MLB Comebacks: The 2004 Boston Red Sox
The MLB regular season began a few months ago, and we are already deep in the action. If you are a fan of MLB then you’re likely looking into the latest baseball odds and are already getting into betting on the games, or are getting ready to start placing bets as the season progresses.
If you are a Red Sox fan you are probably hoping to see a bit of an improvement on last year’s performance when they saw a 78-84 win-loss record.
So far the Red Sox has 30 wins at 30 losses, so are facing an even playing field right now. However, this could quickly turn around as the season progresses.
Speaking of the Red Sox being able to turn a situation around, their 2004 performance was stellar and they made one of the best comebacks seen in baseball for many years
An Incredible Comeback
The American League Championship Series in 2004 was an MLB playoff series deciding the AL champion for the ‘04 season and the winner to face off in the World Series.
This was a rematch of the ‘03 game between the Red Box and the Anaheim Angels as well as the Yankees and the Minnesota Twins.
The Red Sox, through this, became the first and currently, only team to come back from a deficit of 0-3 in the series to win a best-of-7 series.
Before this, no team in MLB had forced a game 7 in circumstances such as these, and still only a single team since then has done so.
In their first game, the pitcher for the Yankees, pitched for a perfect game throughout 6 innings, while the Red Sox recovered from an 8-run deficit to close in a single run before the Yankees ended up winning.
In the second game, John Olerud helped the Yankees to win the second game. Then in the third game, the Yankees gathered up 22 hits to get an easy win, and once again they led game 4.
However, in game 4, they only led by 1 run in the 9th, and a steal of the 2nd base by a Red Sox base runner, and a single by Mueller tied the game.
A home run that was made by Ortiz eventually won it for the Red Sox in their extra innings, and Ortiz ended up helping them to win the 5th game via a single in the 14th inning.
In the 6th game, Schilling pitched 7 innings for the Red Sox, but his sock ended up coated with blood due to an ankle injury.
The 7th game was essentially the Red Sox getting payback on the Yankees for the 3rd game blowout, as they dominated the performance, anchored by Lowe and bolstered by Damon getting 2 home runs and a grand slam.
Ortiz was also named the MVP of the series. The Red Sox ended up sweeping the Cardinals in the World Series when they won their 1st World Series in 86 years, which ended the apparent curse of the Bambino.
How It Happened
Those who were betting on baseball back in 2004 probably would not have been placing their bets on the Red Sox for the World Series. The year before their 2004 victory they ended the series with an AL Championship series 7-game loss to the Yankees.
When they ended up going into the all-star break they were 7 games behind the Yankees for the division, but they were leading the Wild Card round.
They needed a win and needed to improve the team, solidifying a playoff decision, and in anticipation of a showdown against the Yankees, who had been such a difficult opponent for them, the general manager traded Garciaparra to the Cubs to get Mientkiewicz and Cabrera in a deal on the deadline.
They ended up falling behind 10 ½ games in the division during August, but the following month they managed to make a comeback to within 2 games, yet the Yankees were, as expected, playing the better game, and they took home the division.
The Yankees finished 3 games ahead of the Red Sox, and the Red Sox won the AL Wild Card that year.
As they went into the postseason, their first baseman Millar was asked to compare the team’s performance in that season to the previous season. He responded that they were “five outs better than last year”, which referred to the 2003 AL Championship series when the Red Sox had a 5-2 lead over the Yankees.
However, in the 2003 championship, they still blew out the lead and ended up losing the series. The Red Sox did end up sweeping the Angels in 3 games, but it cost them, as in the 1st game of the series Schilling was hurt by a line drive being hit off of his foot, which meant the rest of his postseason was rife with doubt.
The Red Sox’s surprising comeback in 2004 was a shock to all, especially after their previous season, and their back-and-forth contention with the Yankees. Maybe, we will see them make an incredible comeback like this again!