THE CURSE OF
THE BAMBINO, PART 9
"IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER"...
The Yankees charge as
the Red Sox slump
June 24, 1986
... On the heels of an 8-1 loss to the Yankees, it is
clear the Sox' position atop the AL East is in jeopardy if they don't find
someone besides Roger Clemens to win a game once in a while.
Starter Rob Woodward showed
spunk. He showed a fastball with some pop, and he
proved he could yell in a shouting match with Dave
Winfield. But none of this stopped the Yankees from
erupting for six runs in two innings to chase the
New Hampshire product. Woodward was given a 1-0
lead in the fourth inning. Two innings later, he'd
been hit by a ball, thrown a wild pitch and given
up a two-run, wind- blown homer to New York's Ron
Hassey that put what had been a 4-1 game out of
For four innings, Woodward was effective and threw a
sinkerball with the best velocity he has shown all season. New York had only one
baserunner in the first four innings. Hassey doubled in the third, one of four
hits by the Yankee catcher, but was stranded. Woodward's world, however, began
to crumble in the fifth when he walked Dave Winfield and Mike Pagliarulo reached
on an error by shortstop Rey Quinones. A single past first off Bill Buckner's
glove led to one run. Pagliarulo scored on a groundout to short by Willie
If Rickey Henderson doesn't start the sixth by rocketing a
line drive off Woodward's left arm, maybe the Yankees don't start a four-run
inning and Winfield and Woodward don't get into a shouting match.
Henderson's single was followed by a perfectly executed
hit-and- run ball right through the area vacated at shortstop by Quinones. With
runners on first and third, Woodward gave up a ground single to center to Mike
Easler, and New York had a 3-1 lead.
If none of this happens, maybe Woodward doesn't find
himself yelling at Winfield, whom he eventually struck out. And maybe Hassey
doesn't hit a deep fly ball to right that either Tony Armas or Dwight Evans
could have caught in their sleep, but to their surprise kept on sailing into the
Red Sox bullpen.