Friday, October 17, 2003

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe...

What curse? The Red Sox, carried on the back of seven strong innings by Pedro Martinez and four early runs off Roger Clemens (chasing him early in his final game) defeated the Yankees, 5-3, earning a place in the World Series against the upstart Florida Marlins beginning Saturday. This will be the first wildcard matchup since the revised playoff system began.

The Sox got to Clemens early and often. He was hit hard, Trox Nixon slugging a 2-run blast in the second inning. The Sox got one more that inning on a Enrique Wilson throwing error that allowed Jason Varitek to score. Clemens was able to get through the next inning, but in the fourth Kevin Millar hit a leadoff homer to make the lead 4-0. After giving up a walk and a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out, Clemens was pulled for Mike Mussina. Mussina, looking sharp, got the Yankees out of the jam.

Meanwhile, Martinez was cruising. He gave up a pair of solo home runs to a previously quiet Jason Giambi (bumped down to seventh in the order), finally working his way out of a 2-on jam in the bottom of the seventh to end his night at 100 pitches thrown. David Ortiz led off the eighth with a solo home run off a hanging David Wells curveball to add some insurance, and the Sox got two scoreless innings of relief from Mike Timlin and Scott Williamson to close the game out and complete the improbable comeback from the 2-1 and 3-2 deficits the Sox found themselves in during this series.

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