‘Don’t let us win tonight’: Remembering the 2004 Boston Red Sox

From SABR members Allan Wood and Bill Nowlin at The PostGame on April 28, 2014:

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the team’s unprecedented championship run, Don’t Let Us Win Tonight: An Oral History of the 2004 Boston Red Sox’s Impossible Playoff Run by Allan Wood and Bill Nowlin takes fans behind the scenes and inside the dugout, bullpen, and clubhouse to reveal to baseball fans how it happened, as it happened. The book highlights how, during a span of just 76 hours, the Red Sox won four do-or-die games against their archrivals, the New York Yankees, to qualify for the World Series and complete the greatest comeback in baseball history. Then the Red Sox steamrolled through the World Series, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in four games, capturing their first championship since 1918. This excerpt provides the context leading up to that season.

Any account of the 2004 Red Sox must begin on the night of October 16, 2003, when the New York Yankees capitalized on one of the most egregious managerial blunders in baseball history.

The Red Sox had come into Yankee Stadium needing two wins to capture their first American League pennant since 1986. They rallied in the late innings to win Game 6, setting the stage for a winner-take-all Game 7 with a matchup of Pedro Martinez versus Roger Clemens, a former Boston pitching star now toiling for the enemy.

Martinez had the upper hand that day, pitching seven innings and walking off the mound with his team ahead 4–2. Pedro’s teammates congratulated him with hugs and high-fives, and pitching coach Dave Wallace told his ace he was done for the night. The Red Sox added an insurance run in the top of the eighth — and fans prepared to watch the Boston bullpen, utterly dominant in the playoffs, nail down the final six outs.

Read the full article here: http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/throwback/201404/dont-let-us-win-tonight-2004-boston-red-sox-mlb-baseball-wood-nowlin

Originally published: April 28, 2014. Last Updated: April 28, 2014.