This photo could be from when Schilling struck out Newhan in the eighth (his 14th of the night, all swinging) or when Foulke gave up a two-run monster jack in the ninth. This could have been the most predictable homerun of the year after watching Lopez absolutely crush two balls foul earlier in the at-bat. At that point, give him first base and take your chances with Jay Gibbons.
Fortunately, the Sox were not to be denied the victory as they rallied in the ninth to avoid what would have been one of the worst losses of the year. Schilling pitched a masterpiece, giving up just 3 hits and a walk through 8 in a scoreless battle. The Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning on three walks and a sac fly by Millar (on a great at-bat). Then came decision time. Leave Schilling in to finish what he started? He’d thrown 114 pitches, but he’s the workhorse, he’s stayed in to pitch complete games with 9-1 leads so why not in a 1-0 game? Or, bring in the closer in a textbook save situation. Foulke was acquired exactly for this reason.
Right or wrong, and in my opinion it was a toss-up, Francona went to Foulke and things just didn’t go as planned. The Sox went into the bottom of the ninth down 2-1, Schilling’s effort in the books as a no decision. Youkilis walked on four pitches and Mueller hammered a wall-ball double. Then Dave McCarty pinch-hit for Pokey. Here, I have to throw up a red flag. McCarty hasn’t had a meaningful at-bat in about two months, and it is certainly a possibility that the Sox get one run and go into the tenth.
Anyway, McCarty pops up harmlessly and Damon strikes out. That brings up Bellhorn, who promptly singled in the winning runs. Ballgame over. Foulke breathes a sigh of relief that Schilling might not beat him about the head and face, at least not as badly, and the standings remain the same. Which brings up the timeless question…