Red Sox-Yankees Game 3 was more embarrassment than classic
Posted: Sunday October 17, 2004 2:44AM; Updated: Sunday October 17, 2004 2:44AM
Bronson Arroyo got the ball rolling by allowing six runs over just two innings.
BOSTON -- On the baseball beauty scale, Saturday's American League Championship Series game between the Yankees and Red Sox ranks right there alongside Roseanne's screechy rendition of the national anthem in San Diego in 1990, Pete Rose's 1970s hairdo, Randy Johnson's Seattle mullet, the beanball that hit Tony Conigliaro in 1967, Juan Marichal with a bat, Frank Francisco with a chair, strikes and/or lockouts (your pick), the entire 1962 Mets' season, the smell in the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park and any game that Bob Uecker ever played.
Game 3 of the ALCS was not a championship game in any perverted definition of the word. This was Devil Rays-Yankees in the Rays' first season out of the box. This was the Brewers when the Brewers were really bad.
This was a flat-out embarrassment for Major League Baseball, the Red Sox, the city of Boston and the entire baseball-loving nation. Especially the entire Red Sox Nation.
"I don't know why it happened the way it happened tonight," said Boston's Tim Wakefield, who was supposed to be the starter in Game 4 on Sunday, until he had to do emergency relief duty in Saturday's debacle.
"You saw what they did to us," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
"It's not good," Boston center fielder Johnny Damon said after the game -- about a half-dozen times.
What the Yankees did to the Red Sox in Game 3 was almost unspeakable. It was darn near obscene. They should have placed a parental lock on the broadcast of this game. When the DVD hits the stores, a label should be attached.
WARNING! EXPLICITLY BAD BASEBALL INCLUDED!
What do you say about a game -- a supposedly championship game, remember -- that ends, 19-8? How can you defend a game as anything close to good that includes more runs than have ever been scored in a League Championship Series game?
How can you possibly explain away a game with more hits (37) than any postseason game ever? Any World Series game, any League Championship game, any Division Series game. Ever!
That the pitching was ... well, bad? Well, yeah. Neither starting pitcher lasted an out into the third inning. Boston starter Bronson Arroyo's first 30 pitches resulted in one out.
Ten pitchers climbed onto the mound at Fenway Park on Saturday to throw a total of 412 pitches in a game that lasted four hours and 20 minutes, the longest (and, without a doubt, the most painful) postseason game in the history of baseball.
The Yankees had a reliever (Javier Vazquez) who went 4 1/3 innings in relief, threw 96 pitches, gave up seven hits and four runs, including a homer -- and they raved about him afterward.
The Red Sox had a reliever (Wakefield) who pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up five runs and may be due a raise. "When we win [Sunday]," Francona said, "we'll have Wake to thank for that."
The Red Sox pitchers -- if that's what you want to call them -- made the top of the Yankees' order look like the middle of the best lineup ever assembled. The Yankees are good, for sure. But Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield went 16-for-22 (.727) with four homers, 15 RBIs and 14 runs scored. That's not supposed to happen. Ever.
Bad doesn't begin to explain this pitching. This kind of pitching gives pitching a bad name. This kind of pitching gives Little League pitching a bad name.
It was ugly with a capital "Ugh," from the very start. The first 3 ½ innings took two hours and 10 minutes to play.
Maybe the worst part about this steaming pile of so-called baseball is that it was so unexpected. The Yankees and Red Sox are supposed to put on postseason classics, like they did last season. These two teams, clearly, were the best in the AL. Many people actually gave the long-suffering Sox a chance to break through against the Yankees and move on to the World Series.
Instead, we get a poorly pitched, poorly played game, a 3-0 lead for the Yankees in this best-of-seven and the distinct possibility that the New Yorkers will complete the sweep when Game 4 is played here Sunday night.
"We were thinking this was our series for the taking. We felt like we would be up 3-0 at this point," Damon said.