THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER"...
Boggs' bruised rib hurts
June 15, 1986
... Mark Clear stripped the Sox of momentum, as the
Milwaukee Brewers and their much maligned ex-Boston reliever, beat the Sox, 7-3,
at Fenway Park. Who would have thought, two weeks ago, that this would be the
team that would slow the Red Sox' march? The Brewers, who wrapped up their
second series victory in as many weeks against Boston, are still 7 1/2 laps
behind, barely over .500 (32-28), and considered leagues behind the Orioles (4
1/2 back) and Yankees (3 1/2). Those clubs are next on the Boston schedule.
The Sox' best has not
been good enough lately. It was bad enough that the
Brewers jumped all over young Jeff Sellers and
three Red Sox relief pitchers for 12 hits,
including home runs by Ben Oglivie and Robin Yount.
But for Milwaukee pitching to shut down Boston's
lineup for the second time in three games, well,
that was not expected, not even with baseball's top
hitter, Wade Boggs, nursing a bruised rib that
forced him out of the game in the second inning.
Before Boggs left, the Sox took a 2-0 lead and had
Nieves wishing for his Connecticut prep school days. But after Boggs sat down,
Milwaukee tied the game on Yount's home run in the third, then put it away with
a two-run blast by Oglivie in the fifth.
The Red Sox had their chances. Even in the first
inning, when they took the 2-0 lead, the Sox left the bases loaded. Doubles by
Marty Barrett and Boggs started the Sox on the right road, making it 1-0. Boggs
moved to third as Bill Buckner grounded to second. But when Jim Rice followed
with an apparent sacrifice fly to center, Boggs tagged up, ran 12 feet, then put
on the brakes. Boggs eventually scored on a hit by Dwight Evans. But by then
Nieves had overcome his nervousness, and after giving up a bloop single to Tony
Armas, he blew a third strike past Rich Gedman to end the inning.
After Milwaukee went ahead, 4-2, on the home runs,
the Red Sox came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it 4-
3. But Sellers couldn't keep the Sox that close, surrendering three runs in the
sixth inning. Joe Sambito relieved him, carrying into the game a streak of
having stranded 21 of 23 inherited runners. He gave up two runs. It was that
kind of day for the Red Sox.
It only remained for Clear to put the final nails
in the coffin and pay his own tribute to those fans who had booed him during his
Red Sox days. He began warming up in the seventh. When Nieves gave up a walk to
Ed Romero and a single to Buckner to lead off the eighth, Clear got the call.
But Clear was much better than he was when he played here. He mowed down Rice,
Don Baylor and Evans in order. In the ninth, he walked two batters, reminiscent
of his Boston days. But with two out, he watched Jim Gantner make a diving stop
to steal a hit from Romero and end the game.
Wade Boggs' sore rib isn't getting any better. He
lasted only two innings before leaving the game because of an aggravation of the
injury suffered last week in Toronto. He was examined by Red Sox physician
Arthur Pappas, who gave him a cortisone shot to ease the pain that was affecting
Boggs' breathing. Boggs' injury has been described as a "sprained rib," meaning
it affects the cartilage area of only one rib instead of several. Boggs, who
missed one game in Toronto because of the injury, had played with the pain for
three games. Then, on Saturday, he complained that the pain was causing an
"unnatural swing." Today he discovered he was having trouble running and asked
to be removed from the game after lining to left in the second inning.
Jim Rice extended his hitting streak to eight
The Sox are 6-7 in games in which they scored three
runs or fewer and 8-8 versus lefthanders.