First of all, NESN’s idea to replay the ALCS this week was brilliant. I mean, who isn’t sick of the Superbowl hype? Nobody watches the NBA, and that other game they used to play on the ice, well, you know. So, it is the perfect week to kick back and watch the greatest comeback in sports history.
Game 4 last night. Let me just say, even knowing the outcome, I was crap-your-pants nervous watching the ninth inning. Millar walks and Roberts comes in to pinch run. Everyone in the park, everyone watching on TV, and especially Mariano Rivera, knew he was going. But, do you remember how close Roberts was to getting picked off first base right before the steal? Too friggin’ close. The expression on his face right after he dove back to first was “holy shit, they put me in to pinch run and I almost get my ass picked off”. But he was safe.
Then came The Steal. What else is there to say that hasn’t been said? It was magic.
Bill Mueller’s at-bat. Great hit back through the box. Again, look at how close Rivera was to snaring that or at least knocking it down. Scary.
And pitching? Foulke – nasty. Embree – nasty. But Leskanic was possessed. The bases-loaded jam in the 11th. Ice. Posada singled in the 12th, but Leskanic took care of business, finishing with style as he struck out Cairo.
Bottom of the 12th. Really, what could the Yankees do? Manny and Ortiz leading off the inning. Quantrill pitches to Manny and gives up a single. At that point, do you really want to pitch to Ortiz? Varitek and Nixon are a combined 0 for 10 in the game. They do, and Ortiz hits a 2-1 pitch into the bullpen. Total time from bat to bullpen was about two seconds. Ball game. And the beginning of legend.