Red Sox / A’s – NLCS Game 5
For the 2003 season, I saw 33 games in person. I watched untold (probably over 100) other games on TV, some on radio, and even closed down a stadium (I was in Philly for the closing of Veterans Stadium). However, I don’t think I saw a game quite as good as I saw tonight on Fox.
I tuned in to watch game 5 of the Red Sox / A’s series. I figured it’d be a decent game what with Barry Zito & Pedro Martinez pitching. And through the first four innings, I thought it was going to be a game for the ages, as both Zito & Martinez were dealing some serious pitching. Both looked pretty much perfect through two, and Oakland scored in the fourth on a Pedro walk.
The Red Sox tied it and went ahead on a couple of home runs in the 6th off of Barry Zito, who seemed rattled after a leadoff home run by Jason Varitek. Manny Ramirez hit a three run jimmy jack to take the lead, and after some EXCESSIVE talk about his watching his home run (OK Fox announcers, we get the friggin point), the Sox were up, and I was happy, because I wanted the Sox to advance.
Oakland picked up a run in the bottom of the 6th and the 8th, and then the Sox tried to give the game to the A’s. In the bottom of the ninth, Scott Williamson came in, faced two batters, and walked them. A sac bunt now had the tying run at third, and the series winning run at second with just one out. Derek Lowe came in and after getting an out, walked another batter, but managed to strike out Terence Long to end the game. I know my description doesn’t do it justice, but this was by far the best game I’d seen. Had pitching, had a little power, and oh BOY did it have drama.
It also had anguish too what with the collision in center field between the Sox players Johnny Damon & Damian Jackson. I’ve seen collisions before, but NEVER like this. Ever. The two players basically collided head to head. Jackson had caught the ball, but lost it when they crashed and fell. Nomar Garciaparra was in the area, and picked up the ball and threw out the runner, but then everyone’s attention turned to the downed players. Damon & Jackson were both down on the ground, and while Jackson eventually got up, Damon was unconcious for awhile, and had to be taken off the field in a neck brace and a stretcher into an ambulance. I see easy 200 games a year on TV and in person, and it’s like once in every five SEASONS you see an ambulance on a baseball field. That is highly rare. Towards the end of the game, they said that Damon had to be hospitalized; I’d be surprised if he plays in the Yankees series that’s coming up. I have some pictures of the problem here which I grabbed from the newswire.
The Crash #1
The Crash #2
The Crash #3
The Crash #4
Nomar gets the ball
Nomar looks at his downed teammates
Some more players gather
Johnny Damon is taken into the ambulance
It was a scary sight, that’s for sure. The game was wonderful, and while I wanted the Red Sox to win, I probably wouldn’t have been all that upset if the A’s won, too. It’s an odd mix for baseball’s final four now. On one hand you have the ultra traditional, the Red Sox/Yankees series, and on the other side you have the ultra-odd with the Marlins/Cubs series. I’d love the Cubs to win for obvious reasons, but I would like for the Marlins to win because Pudge, Ugueth URbina, & Rick Helling are there. And of course I want any of the Marlins/Cubs/Red Sox to beat the Yankees, that’s a given.
Someday my Rangers will make it there. Someday. :)