After the failure of the 1991 season, the Red Sox led manager Joe Morgan go. He was replaced by Pawtucket manager and former player Butch Hobson. The front office liked Hobson's perceived toughness. He had been a hard-nosed player and had played football at the University of Alabama for legendary coach bear Bryant. He talked like a football coach but in five seasons as a minor-league manager he finished over .500 only twice. The Red Sox hoped he would be the new Dick Williams. But Hobson looked scared and awkward from day one. He proved he wasn't prepared for the scrutiny of the job on the first day by admitting he had had no other offers from other teams.
The Red Sox signed Minnesota Twins left-handed pitcher Frank Viola to a three-year contract and 13.9 million dollars, to pitch behind Roger Clemens. But Lou Gorman did very little else in the way of moves.
On February 20th, Jean Yawkey suffered a stroke and died six days later. Apart from the two thirds interest in the Red Sox, she left the bulk of the remaining Yawkey fortune to charity. Her two thirds ownership of the team was left under the control of the Jean Yawkey Trust managed by John Harrington. The other third of the team was controlled by Haywood Sullivan.
This year Roger Clemens wasn't enough to ensure respectability. Mo Vaughn was sent back to Pawtucket in June and Ellis Burks, Mike Greenwell and Jack Clark, who couldn't hit anymore, all spent extended periods on the disabled list.
The Red Sox were rather awful in the spring and Hobson seem tighter and more ill at ease every day. Firstbaseman Carlos Quintana was injured in a car accident in Venezuela, breaking his arm and foot. Former manager, Don Zimmer was then brought back and hired by Hobson to become the third-base coach. Roger Clemens showed up a week late for camp, instead training at his home in Houston. Many of the players perceived it as a slap to the face of Hobson.
On Opening Day, homers, by Phil Plantier and Mo Vaughn, were solos. Sox hitters could muster only two other hits against Yankee starter/Red Sox stuffer Scott Sanderson (now 6-1 lifetime against them) as Butch Hobson lost to Buck Showalter in their respective managing debuts, 4-3, at Yankee Stadium on April 7th.
The Red Sox and Indians played 19 innings in Cleveland on April 11th. The Sox ended the long journey with a 7-5 win over the Indians before 65,813 fans there on Opening Day for the Indians. Shortstop Tim Naehring, a native of Ohio who entered the game in the ninth inning, delivered a two-run homer off Eric Bell just over the left-field fence in the top of the 19th with Mo Vaughn on second, to end the longest game by time (6 hours 30 minutes) in Indians history.
A few days later, on April 12th, the Sox played a game that would sum up the Sox during Hobson's tenure, in which appearances were always deceiving. Players were overpaid and underperformed, and nothing was ever quite as it seemed.
Matt Young no-hit the Indians over eight innings in which he walked seven and allowed six steals, but lost the first game of a doubleheader, 2-1. Then the Red Sox came back to win the nightcap, 3-0, behind the two-hit pitching of Roger Clemens, capping off an improbable start to the 1992 season. Young lost his no-hitter because of a ruling made by commissioner Fay Vincent following the 1991 season, when he decided that no-hitters were not official if a pitcher throws only eight innings in a complete-game loss on the road. Charles Nagy struck out 10, allowed eight hits and one run for Cleveland. He'll now be remembered as the man who beat Matt Young, who pitched a no-hitter and lost.
Jody Reed's bases-loaded, two-run bloop single in the eighth won the game on April 15th. Tim Naehring's sacrifice bunt in the eighth, pushed runners to second and third before Reed's hit off the Orioles' Mark Williamson.
On April 17th, Roger Clemens endured a 2-hour 22-minute rain delay at the start of the Red Sox-Blue Jays showdown at Fenway Park. He came back from a 58-minute rain delay after working four innings and throwing 71 pitches.
Clemens pitched the Red Sox past their American League East archrivals, 1-0, striking out 11 in seven innings as four Sox pitchers combined on a three-hitter. He extended his scoreless string to 18 innings. He'd struck out 23 batters in his first two games.
The Sox concluded their first homestand, winning three and losing three and headed to Milwaukee. The key to the April 21st first game of the series, a 3-1 victory over the Brewers, was a gamble by the Red Sox in the eighth inning. Tony Pena took off from second on a 3-2 pitch and scored on a base hit by Jody Reed, breaking a 1-1 tie and bringing Boston one of its more improbable victories in years.
The Red Sox, for a change, featured their offense in a 6-3 victory over the White Sox, at Fenway, on April 28th, behind a seven-inning, nine-strikeout performance by Roger Clemens. Roger improved 3-2, while dropping his ERA to a minuscule 1.38.
Crash, bam, boom! It was a sweet sound as Boston rolled to a 6-1 victory the next night, April 29th, over the White Sox. Crash was Jody Reed, who got on base three times via singles and scored twice. Bam-Bam was what a pair of doubles by Phil Plantier sounded like. He drove in three runs. The boom was lowered by lefty Frank Viola, who would have had his third complete game had not manager Butch Hobson gotten a queasy stomach. The bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the tying run was in the on-deck circle. Jeff Reardon came in and promptly retired Matt Merullo on a foul pop, earning his fourth save.
The Red Sox were only 9-9 for the month of April and were in 4th place, 5 games behind. Boston batted just .232 with six home runs, its lowest totals in both categories since 1972. But they won the finale in style, sweeping a two-game series from the White Sox.
The Red Sox overcame 4-0 and 5-4 deficits and overhauled the Kansas City Royals, 6-5 on May 1st. Boston chipped away and tied the game at 4-4, fell behind in the top of the ninth, then won it against Jeff Montgomery, one of the American League's best closers.
Jack Clark cranked out three hits and three RBIs in leading the Sox to a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Royals the next day.
Frank Viola led the Sox to a 4-1 victory over his former team, the Minnesota Twins on on May 5th. He went 7 2/3 innings, leaving after Kirby Puckett singled to right to knock in the Twins' only run. The lefthander allowed nine hits while improving his record to 3-2 and lowering his ERA to 2.70. Viola, who threw 118 pitches, had won his last three starts, and in his last 22 1/3 innings had allowed only two earned runs.
But the Sox lost 7 of 8 before Roger Clemens shutout the Royals on May 9th. The Sox were not putting runs on the scoreboard. Hobson shuffled his lineup trying to come up with a winning combination. Benching Jack Clark and Mo Vaughn was all well and good, but it is mere tinkering. A lineup with Scott Cooper, Tim Naehring and Tom Brunansky in the power positions was faced with the same plodding reality, and reality was something Hobson had to deal with. The Red Sox were not a team of stars that suddenly was going to crunch home runs. They hadn't been a home run-hitting team since 1986. The combination of a lack of power, a lack of speed, and a decline in the high on-base/low strikeout offensive makeup they had, when Walter Hriniak was here, was dangerous only when the wind was blowing out in Fenway.
On May 10th, Jack Clark showed what he was capable of. He carried the Red Sox to a 10-6 victory over Kansas City that wasn't nearly as close as it sounded. At long last, his teammates saw a Jack Clark-athon. Six runs batted in on two mammoth homers and a run-scoring single. Batting from the cleanup spot and playing first base for the first time since 1990, when he was with San Diego, Clark did it all, which won the deciding game of a three-game series. His third-inning home run, his first of the day, a three-run shot off lefthander Mike Magnante, was a tape-measure job.
The Sox lost 5 of 7 on the early May road trip and came home 7 1/2 games out of first place.
Roger Clemens was the Red Sox' insurance against long-term disaster. When Clemens pitched, they had a chance. On May 15th at Fenway Park, he snapped Boston's two-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Angels, throwing a four-hitter for his third shutout and sixth complete game of the year. He ran his record to 5-3, lowered his ERA to 1.64, extended his scoreless streak to 18 innings, and provided the major entertainment for a packed house.
Mike Gardiner, 3-1, dropped his ERA to 3.26 with seven shutout innings in which he allowed only two of the Seattle Mariners' seven hits on May 18th. Tony Fossas, Greg Harris and Jeff Reardon protected the lead as the Sox inched their way back to .500 (17-17) after 34 games.
Timely hitting and spectacular fielding plays made the Red Sox warm, if not hot. They chugged past the Seattle Mariners for the third straight time on May 20th with a 6-4 comeback. Clemens won his third straight game. It was hardly vintage Clemens. No shutout. No complete game. A struggle. He went eight innings before giving way to Tony Fossas and Jeff Reardon, who recorded his 10th save and preserved Roger's sixth victory.
There was also a big bang from the offense that always seemed to sleep. Ellis Burks provided it with a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth, breaking a 2-2 tie. And Bob Zupcic made a diving, sliding catch of a Pete O'Brien line drive in the seventh that could have helped the Mariners break open a splendid pitching duel between Clemens and rookie lefthander Dave Fleming. For six innings, Clemens looked almost like Clemens, not overpowering but still in control.
The Sox concluded their 6-3 home stand and headed out to the west coast. The Red Sox' 4-1 victory over the Angels in Anaheim, on May 26th was highlighted by Clemens' two-hit effort over eight innings, a typically unhittable performance in which he surrendered California's only run in the fourth. He struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 1.65. Jeff Reardon came on to retire the Angels in the ninth (one hit), his 11th save in 11 opportunities. Mike Greenwell slammed an extra base hit, his first this year. Greenwell also had another hit to pace Boston's nine-hit attack along with Ellis Burks, who also had two hits.
1986 was the last time the Red Sox swept a three-game series at the Big "A" until May 28th when, the Sox defeated Mark Langston and the Angels, 2-1. In the process, the Sox gave starter Joe Hesketh his first win, and climbed within 2 1/2 games of first place in the American League East.
After sweeping the Angels, the Sox moved on to Seattle and lost two straight games. The Red Sox needed a victory. They needed Clemens to stop a southbound slide. He won. The Sox struggled to score for six innings, but Roger smothered the Mariners on May 31st. Clemens was clinging to a 2-1 lead when the Boston batters finally blew it open with three in the seventh and two more in the eighth. The Rocket's reputation says he almost always will deliver after the Sox lose. Lifetime, he was 83-27 after a Boston defeat. This year he was 6-1 after a loss.
In Oakland, the Sox got a near win on June 3rd, as they rallied from a couple of deficits before and after a brawl. But those surges proved as fleeting as the hostilities. The Sox came limping home on the heels of a 7-6 loss, their third in a row here and fifth in six games, wrapping up a 4-5 trip on which they lost ground in the American League East.
On June 6th, Roger Clemens became the major leagues' first nine-game winner, and had stopped another Boston losing streak. It would take more than his efforts to get the Sox above .500. Clemens' 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians was followed by a 3-1 loss to the American League cellar dwellers, despite a decent outing by Frank Viola. For reasons too difficult to pinpoint, the Red Sox continued to play .500 ball, unable to escape their early season funk.
There were many reasons the Sox beat the Indians on June 7th. First and foremost, there was the stalwart pitching of starter Joe Hesketh (2-3, 3.05 ERA), who threw 6 1/3 innings of four-hit, shutout ball before a blister forced his exit. Next was the solid relief from Danny Darwin, who gave up three hits and struck out three in his 2 2/3 innings to earn his third save. Although it denied Jeff Reardon the opportunity to pull within one game of the career save record, it seemed to come as retribution for the four wins the bullpen had blown for Hesketh.
Butch Hobson was mad and exploded following the next night's 5-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Camden Yards was no different from Comiskey Park, the Coliseum in Oakland, the Metrodome, the Kingdome. The Red Sox found a new place to lose. All the wonderful little things the Red Sox did one day -- run the bases with authority, get the runner in from third base -- were afterthoughts. Wade Boggs, who homered and doubled wouldn’t comment. Mike Greenwell just walked away.
The next night, June 9th, the Sox showed the kind of heart and emotion Hobson had been trying to instill the past couple of days. Hobson wanted the point to be clear, especially in this most crucial week for the Sox. This was hardly easy. The score was 0-0 until the eighth, when Tom Brunansky, playing in place of Phil Plantier, twice failed to lay down a sacrifice bunt against submariner Todd Frohwirth, then doubled on an 0-2 pitch to left-center. That scored the first run and ignited a four-run rally that Jeff Reardon made stand up. Working a busy ninth inning, Reardon recorded his 13th save of the season and was now one shy of tying Rollie Fingers' career record.
But the bottom line was the Red Sox could pitch, and could not hit. The latest demonstrations of those twin realities came during the last game of the series, where the Orioles took the deciding game of this three-game series with a 3-1 victory which looked distressingly like many another Red Sox games in this win-one, lose-one season. The pitching was good enough to win a lot of games, but the offense wasn’t there. The Sox fell 7 1/2 games out of first place in the American League East.
On June 12th, Wade Boggs won the game in Toronto with a grand slam homer. Just when all hope seemed lost, Boggs and Frank Viola (6-4) came to the emotional rescue of Red Sox Nation. The Sox won 5-0. Viola hurled 7 1/3 innings, winning for the first time in four weeks, and Boggs provided the punch with an all-too-rare, game-breaking homer. The blast wasn't a two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth buzzer-beater. But it won the game and brought the Sox back to sea level (28-28). The Sox led, 1-0, and Viola was looking a little shaky when Boggs came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Boggs took the first offering for a ball, then went for a pitch at his knees and launched a dome run over the fence in right. It was his fifth homer of the season, the third grand slam of his career, and a gold rush of offense for the much-ridiculed Boston batters.
The next day’s 5-3 win over the Blue Jays was the Sox' second in as many days. The Sox slammed 10 hits, including three homers (Ellis Burks, Mike Greenwell and Phil Plantier), and Jeff Reardon tied Fingers' career save record with his 341st by enduring an eventful ninth. The win, which brought the Sox back above .500, was just as much about their slugging prowess, as the pitching, which produced four homers good for eight runs in two games.
But the Red Sox finished the relatively important four-game series against the Blue Jays with a split, following a 6-2 loss at Skydome. And they ended a seven-game trip, which started with three games in Baltimore, 3-4.
Back at Fenway on June 15th, John Dopson was on his way to a complete-game shutout. Despite a brilliant eight innings, in which he threw only 95 pitches and had the New York Yankees pounding the ball into the ground, Hobson brought in Jeff Reardon to close it out. So Reardon came into a tight spot and chalked up his 342nd save in the 1-0 win. But if not for Phil Plantier's fifth-inning homer, it might never have happened as the Sox' weak offense produced only three hits in support of Dopson, who improved to 3-2.
On June 16th, the bases were loaded and all Ellis Burks wanted to do with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning was hit something that would grab some Fenway sod. On a 2-and-2 offering, Burks poked a single into right field, scoring Jody Reed for a 4-3 victory. The hit culminated a long evening of ball, but one that saw the Sox go two games over .500 and gain ground on Baltimore and Toronto, both of whom lost. Tom Brunansky led a Red Sox revival with a 4-for-4 effort which accounted for half of Boston's hits in another 4-3 decision the next night. The Sox took 3 if the 4 games they played with the Yankees.
In Texas, even Roger Clemens couldn't bail out the Sox on June 21st. He had a 2-0 lead after five innings, but the Texas Rangers scored three times in the sixth and held on to win, 3-2. Swept by the Rangers, the loss dropped the Sox to 32-33. They fell below .500 for the first time since the middle of June.
On May 11th, Mo Vaughn had been sent to Pawtucket. That was six weeks ago. After being sent down, Vaughn had blasted manager Butch Hobson and said there was a double standard. He implied he was sent down for reasons other than baseball. The Sox recalled Vaughn on June 23rd. He was hitting .185 with 2 homers and 11 RBIs in 23 games.
Three straight losses in Texas were followed by three straight in Tigertown. Along the way in this tour de terrible, Boston's entire starting outfield went down. The Red Sox had lost seven straight and on June 24th were in fifth place, a season-high 9 1/2 games out of first. They were a mess.
Battered, bruised and virtually buried following an 0-6 trip to Detroit and Texas, the Red Sox produced a relentless assault of singles and doubles (13 hits worth) to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers, 8-4, on June 26th at Fenway Park, ending their seven-game losing streak.
There was subplot upon subplot in a melodrama at Fenway Park on June 27th. Everything from the Red Sox coughing up a 7-0 lead, to Roger Clemens failing to win his 10th game for the fourth time, to Jeff Reardon's horrible performance, to Herm Winningham's game-winning hit. It all came in an 8-7 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in 13 innings. The Red Sox did appear to be making an offensive comeback. They had scored 24 runs in their last four games.
On June 29th, Steve Lyons became the first player the Red Sox have ever hired three times, as he was purchased from the Montreal Expos to replace Ellis Burks, who went on the disabled list.
On one night, June 30th, amid all the garbage that Hobson had to muddle through this season, all of his boys of summer were the heroes in an 8-5 comeback victory over the Tigers. Bob Zupcic hit a ninth-inning grand slam on a 3-and-1 pitch from Tiger closer Mike Henneman to cap a night that, before the fireworks, was not typical of Red Sox games this year. The next night a five-run seventh inning, spearheaded by Tom Brunansky's three-run double, sparked a 6-4 win over the Tigers at Fenway Park.
Scott Cooper, hitting .324 with runners in scoring position, drove in both Boston runs on July 4th, leading the Red Sox to a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. On Independence Day, the Red Sox ended their nine-game losing streak on the road with a modest eight-hit attack against 11-game winner Jack McDowell. The Red Sox won behind the splendid offerings of their lefthander, Joe Hesketh.
42 times in 78 games the Red Sox scored three runs or fewer, and as Jody Reed kept his bat on his shoulder, watching a 3-2 pitch from Greg Hibbard with the bases loaded in the second, he looked bad, the Sox quietly lost 3 of 4 at Comiskey Park.
After watching closer Jeff Reardon give up a one-out homer in the ninth inning to George Brett, wiping out their 2-1 lead, and after surviving a scary top of the 11th on July 7th at Fenway Park, the Red Sox ended their two-game losing streak in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win. Tom Brunansky's liner over Kansas City right fielder Jim Eisenreich's head with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 11th, ended a 3 hour and 52 minute marathon, in which the Red Sox left 14 men on base, but got clutch pitching most of the night.
Even in the tough times in Boston there was still great entertainment value at Fenway Park. On July 10th in a 6-5 Red Sox thriller over the White Sox, Roger Clemens, marred by the continuation of his bad luck, in his sixth attempt at 10 wins, and coming off a one-week layoff, failed again. There was Bob Zupcic's dramatic grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning, which transformed a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 Red Sox lead. There was Jeff Reardon's poor timing on blown saves. And Mo Vaughn's big two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth, set the stage for newcomer Billy Hatcher's game-winning hit off the wall. Vaughn tripled to the right-center-field wall off the door against submariner Terry Leach. Hatcher, who was traded for from Cincinnati, pounced on the first pitch, sending a shot over the head of left fielder Craig Grebeck, scoring the winner.
Unrewarded blasts were common for Mo Vaughn during his recent slump. Unlike the early part of the season, when weeks of awkward at-bats landed him back in the minors, Vaughn had been looking better since being recalled.
Going into the All-Star break, the Red Sox were winning. The Red Sox, after their third consecutive victory, 3-0, over the White Sox, and fifth in their last six, were 10 games behind Toronto in the AL East. The master plan to build a team of veterans such as Jack Clark, the man who would tear down the wall, Matt Young, the hard-throwing lefty who would magically transform from loser to winner, and Danny Darwin, the grizzled veteran who would move in as a No. 2 starter, did not pan out. And the Red Sox were left with a master plan, but no masterpiece.
What did go well this winter was the free agent signing of Frank Viola, who had won eight and probably should have had 11 victories. But all Sox pitchers had been paralyzed, in effect, by the team's hitting, which had been last, or next to last, all season. The .246 batting average at the break was threatening to be the worst team average since the 1968 Red Sox hit .236.
Roger Clemens pitched one scoreless inning in The All Star Game, at San Diego, where the American League beat the National League, while Wade Boggs went 1 for 3, scoring the first run. Making his second appearance since suffering inflammation in his right foot, Clemens allowed two hits, but got out of a two-on, nobody-out jam to continue a four-pitcher shutout at the time.
Rookie righthander Paul Quantrill made his major league debut for the Sox on July 20th in a 5-3 Red Sox win over the Royals and got the victory, pitching 2 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Danny Darwin. Greg Harris, Tony Fossas and Jeff Reardon (19th save) finished up to preserve Quantrill's win. He entered the game in the sixth inning in a 3-3 tie and did not relinquish the ship. The Red Sox had trailed, 3-0, but got big offensive efforts from Tom Brunansky and Mo Vaughn, who drove in all five runs between them.
The Sox lost 5 of 7 after the All Star Break and fell 12 games behind. People were no longer coming out to see the Sox. There were 102,127 on hand for the four-game series against the Twins, and after the July 26th, 8-2 loss to Minnesota, the Red Sox' spot in sixth place was reinforced in the American League East.
There were times when one wondered about lefthander Frank Viola. In his Cy Young days, he was nearly invincible. With the Red Sox, he was often unpredictable. Viola, with relief help from Greg Harris and Jeff Reardon, got his ninth victory of the season in the kind of game the Fenway Faithful had been looking for all weekend on July 27th.
Roger Clemens ran his record to 11-7 to pace the Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on July 29th. Jeff Reardon mowed the Rangers down in the ninth to record his 21st save. The win vaulted the Red Sox into fourth place in the American League East, ahead of the New York Yankees.
On August 3rd, Clemens easily won his 12th game (his eighth complete game) and easily out-dueled a less-than-100-percent Juan Guzman, who lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowed six hits and four walks, as the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 7-1.
On August 6th, Frank Viola beat the Yankees at the Stadium, 3-1, improving his record to 10-7 while lowering his ERA to 3.16 with 8 2/3 well-crafted innings, a four-hitter that was in perfect synch with catcher John Marzano, the offensive star of the game. He kept the Yankees off stride. They could muster only an eighth-inning run, the product of his only bout with wildness with consecutive walks sandwiched around a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. Viola got two batters in the ninth before Reardon, who had saved five of his 10 wins this season, came in for two pitches against Roberto Kelly, who grounded to shortstop. It was Reardon's 23d save.
Clemens, improved to 13-7 while his ERA continued to evaporate (2.20) on August 8th. Jack Clark let the abuse of Yankee fans, who were waving dollar bills at him, roll off his back, pounded an 0-2 homer in the ninth inning to give Boston a small cushion. Phil Plantier had to be thankful New York manager Buck Showalter elected to intentionally walk him to load the bases with two outs in the eighth. It brought Bob Zupcic up to face Scott Kamieniecki, and Zupcic flared a two-run, go-ahead single to right-center field. The Sox never looked back.
Clemens saved the Red Sox from last place on August 13th, after beating the Cleveland Indians, 4-2. He improved to 14-7 while his ERA remained at 2.20. He went eight innings, allowed eight hits and two runs. He struck out nine and walked only one, giving up a solo homer to Glenallen Hill in the eighth to make it 4-2. He threw 121 pitches and definitely appeared tired in the eighth.
The Sox lost 3 of 4 in Cleveland and then were swept in a doubleheader at County Stadium, by the Brewers. They were 15 games out of first place.
In the 1986 World Series, Jesse Orosco ate up lefthanded hitters, even Wade Boggs. But on August 15th, Boggs patiently watched the ball come out of Orosco's funky motion and softly lined an 0-1 pitch to left-center. His two-run single in the ninth inning propelled the Red Sox and Danny Darwin to a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Darwin threw a four-hitter in his first complete game of the year.
Clemens took the mound at Fenway Park against California on August 18th and allowed just four hits, took over the AL strikeout lead (164) and notched a complete-game 8-0 victory. Of his 142 pitches, 92 were for strikes.
There were few nice stories this season, but on August 22nd the Red Sox not only came back from a 7-3 deficit, they pounded 14 hits in a 10-8 win over the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Rookie John Valentin's sixth-inning grand slam, his first major league homer, brought them back, and Tom Brunansky's two-run homer in the eighth broke an 8-8 deadlock. Greg Harris and Tony Fossas each pitched an effective third of an inning, and Jeff Reardon got his 26th save, retiring two in the ninth.
The Sox came back to beat Dennis Eckersley and the Oakland A’s, 5-4, at Fenway on August 25th. The Sox scored two eighth-inning runs against the best reliever in baseball, and Reardon needed only two pitches to retire Sox killer Terry Steinbach with the bases loaded to end the game.
The next night, August 26th, Tom Brunansky hit a fourth-inning homer to tie the score, 1-1 and then delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single off reliever Kevin Campbell in the bottom of the 10th inning, for a 2-1 victory at Fenway Park as the Red Sox concluded their homestand 4-5. Brunansky's heroics saved the day for Frank Viola, who in hot and steamy conditions threw 151 pitches as he improved to 11-10. He posted Boston's second dramatic one-run victory over the A's in less than 24 hours as the American League East cellar dwellers took two of three from the West leaders.
On August 28th, Roger Clemens breezed to a 7-1 win at Anaheim Stadium in the opener of Boston's 12-game road trip. It was the Red Sox' third straight win, their longest streak since a three-game stretch leading into the All-Star Break.
For Boston, the game had no significance other than as a step up in the American League East basement -- the Sox were tied with Cleveland. Clemens, who improved his record to 16-8 and regained the league strikeout lead with 178 solidified his credentials for his fourth Cy Young Award. Having allowed eight hits and an unearned run while striking out seven and walking one, he left after seven innings in favor of Greg Harris.
Most of the Red Sox' problems were overshadowed by the brilliant efforts of pitcher Danny Darwin and first baseman Scott Cooper, who were the catalysts in August 30th’s 4-2, 10-inning win at Anaheim Stadium that lifted the Red Sox out of last place. The veteran righthander allowed only one hit in nine innings, striking out nine, walking one and allowing only one unearned run. And Scott Cooper, who in a rare start at first base had with a career-high five hits (in five at-bats), including three doubles, the last of which drove in three runs to break the 1-1 tie in the top of the 10th.
In Oakland on September 4th, the Sox ripped Dave Stewart, who in good times and bad always had beat them, to the tune of 13 straight wins. Pacing the Sox were Wade Boggs' and Jody Reed's two RBIs and Scott Cooper's first major league home run.
Rookie shortstop John Valentin had three hits and was in the middle of three Red Sox rallies in leading Boston to a 7-3 win over the Oakland A's. The Red Sox, acting as spoilers rather than spoiled brats, were now 5-3 on their road trip.
It was the kind of pitching duel that made Red Sox fans forget, at least for one night, just how sorry this season had been. Nolan Ryan vs. Roger Clemens, on September 7th, the third, and perhaps final, chapter. The scoreboard told part of the story. It was filled with goose eggs through seven innings, with the Sox finally scoring two runs in the eighth and an insurance one in the ninth for a 3-0 victory. Strikeouts played a huge part. Clemens had nine in his eight innings, including a string of seven that was one shy of an American League record he shared with Ryan and Ron Davis. Ryan, meanwhile, struck out six.
The real drama, however, was in watching Ryan, the 45-year-old righthander who was winding down his career with the same crowd-pleasing style and grace that he entered the game with 25 years ago. And Clemens, who at 30, succeeded Ryan as the game's premier fireballer. Clemens threw eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball. Ryan managed 8 1/3 innings of six-hit ball.
In the absence of a pennant race, it was sometimes hard to appreciate a good night's work by the last-place Sox. On September 16th, those fans at Fenway Park who gutted it out for the full 15 innings were rewarded for their patience with a 2-1 victory that brought an exciting end to a long night of baseball for the Sox, and a disaster for the Milwaukee Brewers. In their newly official role of full-time spoilers, the Red Sox won with speed and daring as they cost Milwaukee a chance to climb within four games of American League East leader Toronto. The decisive rally was fashioned on two. The first single was by Jody Reed. With one out, he moved to third on a hit-and-run single to right by Billy Hatcher. That brought up Bob Zupcic, who then came through with a safety squeeze on a 2-0 pitch. By the time catcher Dave Nilsson hauled in the bunt, Reed had slithered right past him for the winning run.
John Valentin continued to impress at the plate with a pair of RBI singles and his third home run in pacing the Red Sox to a 5-4 win over Detroit on September 20th. Even in victory, it did not come easy as the Sox took a 5-2 lead into the ninth and used three pitchers to nail down the win. While Valentin shined, Mo Vaughn, who had shown good offense, continued to scratch to get out of Hobson's doghouse as a result of his poor defense.
On a chilly night before a crowd of 28,135, Brunansky cemented his stature as the Sox' best hitter at home, driving in four runs in a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on September 24th. Snapping out of a 1-for-18 slump, he collected two hits to boost his Fenway average to .309 (64 for 207).
Frank Viola almost pitched a no-hitter on September 30th, allowing only Devon White's leadoff single in the ninth as the Red Sox lefthander outdueled David Cone and the Blue Jays, 1-0. But to put a fitting touch on a year when Matt Young pitched an eight-inning no-hitter and lost, the Red Sox got great pitching, timely hitting and still clinched last place all alone, their first basement finish since 1932.
The Sox were out of sync all year long. Matt Young never won a game, and although Viola and Jeff Reardon pitched relatively well, the Red Sox couldn't hit or stay healthy.
It was just after two o'clock on a postcard Fenway afternoon, on October 4th, when Eric Wedge came to the plate to lead off the bottom of the third inning.
"Attention please," said public address legend Sherm Feller. "Eric Wedge, batting for Boggs." There was little crowd reaction. A few boos and groans. Some light applause. That was it. That was how Boston said goodbye to Wade Boggs.
|04/07/1992||0-1||4th||-1||at New York Yankees||L||4-3||Roger Clemens||0-1|
|04/09/1992||0-2||6th||-2 1/2||at New York Yankees||L||3-2||Frank Viola||0-1|
|04/11/1992||1-2||3rd||-3||at Cleveland Indians||W||7-5||Mike Gardiner||1-0|
|04/12/1992||1-3||3rd||-3 1/2||at Cleveland Indians||L||2-1||Matt Young||0-1|
|04/13/1992||2-4||4th||-4||Baltimore Orioles||L||8-6||Tony Fossas||0-1|
|04/15/1992||3-4||4th||-4||Baltimore Orioles||W||6-5||Greg Harris||1-0|
|04/16/1992||3-4||4th||-3 1/2||Baltimore Orioles||pp|
|04/17/1992||4-4||4th||-3 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||W||1-0||Roger Clemens||2-1|
|04/18/1992||4-5||5th||-4 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||L||2-1||Frank Viola||0-2|
|04/19/1992||5-5||4th||-3 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||W||5-4||Danny Darwin||1-0|
|04/20/1992||5-6||4th||-4 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||L||6-4||Tom Bolton||0-1|
|04/21/1992||6-6||4th||-4 1/2||at Milwaukee Brewers||W||3-1||Mike Gardiner||2-0|
|04/22/1992||6-6||4th||-4||at Milwaukee Brewers||pp|
|04/23/1992||6-7||4th||-5||at Milwaukee Brewers||L||3-2||Roger Clemens||2-2|
|04/24/1992||7-7||4th||-5||Texas Rangers||W||3-1||Frank Viola||1-2|
|04/25/1992||7-7||4th||-5 1/2||Texas Rangers||pp|
|04/26/1992||7-8||5th||-6 1/2||Texas Rangers||L||3-1||Matt Young||0-2|
|04/28/1992||8-9||4th||-5||Chicago White Sox||W||6-3||Roger Clemens||3-2|
|04/29/1992||9-9||4th||-5||Chicago White Sox||W||6-1||Frank Viola||2-2|
|04/30/1992||9-9||4th||-5||at Pawtucket Red Sox||T||3-3|
|05/01/1992||10-9||5th||-3 1/2||Kansas City Royals||W||6-5||Danny Darwin||2-0|
|05/02/1992||11-9||5th||-2 1/2||Kansas City Royals||W||7-6||Greg Harris||2-1|
|05/03/1992||11-10||5th||-3 1/2||Kansas City Royals||L||5-2||Joe Hesketh||0-1|
|05/04/1992||11-11||5th||-4 1/2||Minnesota Twins||L||6-1||Roger Clemens||3-3|
|05/05/1992||12-11||4th||-4 1/2||Minnesota Twins||W||4-1||Frank Viola||3-2|
|05/06/1992||12-12||4th||-5 1/2||at Chicago White Sox||L||7-5||Danny Darwin||2-1|
|05/07/1992||12-13||4th||-6 1/2||at Chicago White Sox||L||7-6||Greg Harris||2-2|
|05/08/1992||12-14||4th||-6 1/2||at Kansas City Royals||L||2-1||Joe Hesketh||0-2|
|05/09/1992||13-14||4th||-5 1/2||at Kansas City Royals||W||5-0||Roger Clemens||4-3|
|05/10/1992||14-14||3rd||-5 1/2||at Kansas City Royals||W||10-6||Frank Viola||4-2|
|05/12/1992||14-15||4th||-6 1/2||at Minnesota Twins||L||6-3||Mike Gardiner||2-1|
|05/13/1992||14-16||4th||-7 1/2||at Minnesota Twins||L||4-3||Greg Harris||2-3|
|05/15/1992||15-16||4th||-7||California Angels||W||3-0||Roger Clemens||5-3|
|05/16/1992||16-16||4th||-6 1/2||California Angels||W||3-0||Frank Viola||5-2|
|05/17/1992||16-17||4th||-6 1/2||California Angels||L||3-1||John Dopson||0-1|
|05/18/1992||17-17||4th||-5 1/2||Seattle Mariners||W||3-2||Mike Gardiner||3-1|
|05/19/1992||18-17||4th||-4 1/2||Seattle Mariners||W||7-5||Tom Bolton||1-1|
|05/20/1992||19-17||4th||-4||Seattle Mariners||W||6-4||Roger Clemens||6-3|
|05/22/1992||19-18||4th||-5||Oakland Athletics||L||5-3||Frank Viola||5-3|
|05/23/1992||20-18||4th||-4||Oakland Athletics||W||5-1||John Dopson||1-1|
|05/24/1992||20-19||4th||-4 1/2||Oakland Athletics||L||4-0||Mike Gardiner||3-2|
|05/26/1992||21-19||4th||-4||at California Angels||W||4-1||Roger Clemens||7-3|
|05/27/1992||22-19||4th||-3||at California Angels||W||4-3||Jeff Reardon||1-0|
|05/28/1992||23-19||4th||-2 1/2||at California Angels||W||2-1||Joel Hesketh||1-2|
|05/29/1992||23-20||4th||-3 1/2||at Seattle Mariners||L||7-3||John Dopson||1-2|
|05/30/1992||23-21||4th||-4 1/2||at Seattle Mariners||L||3-0||Mike Gardiner||3-2|
|05/31/1992||24-21||4th||-4 1/2||at Seattle Mariners||W||7-1||Roger Clemens||8-3|
|06/01/1992||24-22||4th||-5 1/2||at Oakland Athletics||L||10-7||Danny Darwin||2-2|
|06/02/1992||24-23||4th||-6 1/2||at Oakland Athletics||L||5-4||Joe Hesketh||1-3|
|06/03/1992||24-24||4th||-6 1/2||at Oakland Athletics||L||7-6||Mike Gardiner||3-3|
|06/06/1992||25-24||5th||-6||Cleveland Indians||W||5-1||Roger Clemens||9-3|
|25-25||5th||-6 1/2||L||3-1||Frank Viola||5-4|
|06/07/1992||26-25||5th||-5 1/2||Cleveland Indians||W||4-0||Joe Hesketh||2-3|
|06/08/1992||26-26||5th||-6 1/2||at Baltimore Orioles||L||5-2||Mike Gardiner||3-4|
|06/09/1992||27-26||4th||-6 1/2||at Baltimore Orioles||W||4-1||John Dopson||2-2|
|06/10/1992||27-27||4th||-7 1/2||at Baltimore Orioles||L||3-1||Tom Bolton||1-2|
|06/11/1992||27-28||4th||-8 1/2||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||4-0||Roger Clemens||9-4|
|06/12/1992||28-28||4th||-7 1/2||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||5-0||Frank Viola||6-4|
|06/13/1992||29-28||4th||-6 1/2||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||5-3||Joe Hesketh||3-3|
|06/14/1992||29-29||4th||-7 1/2||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||6-2||Mike Gardiner||3-5|
|06/15/1992||30-29||4th||-7||New York Yankees||W||1-0||John Dopson||3-2|
|06/16/1992||31-29||4th||-6||New York Yankees||W||4-3||Danny Darwin||3-2|
|06/17/1992||32-29||4th||-6||New York Yankees||W||4-3||Frank Viola||7-4|
|06/18/1992||32-30||4th||-6||New York Yankees||L||5-4||Danny Darwin||3-3|
|06/19/1992||32-31||4th||-6||at Texas Rangers||L||4-1||Mike Gardiner||3-6|
|06/20/1992||32-32||4th||-7||at Texas Rangers||L||4-1||John Dopson||3-3|
|06/21/1992||32-33||4th||-7||at Texas Rangers||L||3-2||Roger Clemens||9-5|
|06/22/1992||32-34||4th||-8||at Detroit Tigers||L||4-2||Danny Darwin||3-4|
|06/23/1992||32-35||4th||-8 1/2||at Detroit Tigers||L||11-7||Joe Hesketh||3-4|
|06/24/1992||32-36||5th||-9 1/2||at Detroit Tigers||L||5-1||Mike Gardiner||3-7|
|06/26/1992||33-36||5th||-9 1/2||Milwaukee Brewers||W||8-4||John Dopson||4-3|
|06/27/1992||34-36||5th||-8 1/2||Milwaukee Brewers||W||8-7||Danny Darwin||4-4|
|06/28/1992||34-37||5th||-8 1/2||Milwaukee Brewers||L||9-3||Frank Viola||7-5|
|06/29/1992||34-38||5th||-9 1/2||Detroit Tigers||L||8-3||Joe Hesketh||3-5|
|06/30/1992||35-38||5th||-8 1/2||Detroit Tigers||W||8-5||Daryl Irvine||1-0|
|07/01/1992||36-38||5th||-8 1/2||Detroit Tigers||W||6-4||John Dopson||5-3|
|07/02/1992||36-39||5th||-9||at Chicago White Sox||L||8-3||Roger Clemens||9-6|
|07/03/1992||36-40||5th||-10||at Chicago White Sox||L||2-1||Greg Harris||2-4|
|07/04/1992||37-40||5th||-10||at Chicago White Sox||W||2-1||Joe Hesketh||4-5|
|07/05/1992||37-41||5th||-11||at Chicago White Sox||L||4-2||Mike Gardiner||3-8|
|07/06/1992||37-42||5th||-12||Kansas City Royals||L||6-3||John Dopson||5-4|
|07/07/1992||38-42||5th||-12||Kansas City Royals||W||3-2||Danny Darwin||5-4|
|07/08/1992||39-42||5th||-12||Kansas City Royals||W||5-4||Tony Fossas||1-1|
|07/09/1992||39-43||5th||-13||Chicago White Sox||L||10-3||Joe Hesketh||4-6|
|07/10/1992||40-43||5th||-12||Chicago White Sox||W||6-5||Jeff Reardon||2-0|
|07/11/1992||41-43||4th||-11||Chicago White Sox||W||11-2||John Dopson||6-4|
|07/12/1992||42-43||4th||-10||Chicago White Sox||W||3-0||Frank Viola||8-5|
|07/13/1992||All Star Game Break|
|07/16/1992||42-44||4th||-11||at Minnesota Twins||L||7-6||Mike Gardiner||3-9|
|07/17/1992||42-45||4th||-11||at Minnesota Twins||L||3-2||Greg Harris||2-5|
|07/18/1992||43-45||5th||-11||at Minnesota Twins||W||1-0||Roger Clemens||10-6|
|07/19/1992||43-46||4th||-12||at Minnesota Twins||L||7-5||Greg Harris||2-6|
|07/20/1992||44-46||4th||-11||at Kansas City Royals||W||5-3||Paul Quantrill||1-0|
|07/21/1992||44-47||4th||-12||at Kansas City Royals||L||8-0||Joe Hesketh||4-7|
|07/22/1992||44-48||4th||-12||at Kansas City Royals||L||6-4||Frank Viola||8-6|
|07/23/1992||44-48||6th||-12 1/2||Minnesota Twins||pp|
|07/24/1992||44-49||5th||-11 1/2||Minnesota Twins||L||5-0||Roger Clemens||10-7|
|07/25/1992||45-50||5th||-12||Minnesota Twins||L||3-2||Danny Darwin||5-5|
|07/26/1992||45-51||5th||-12||Minnesota Twins||L||8-2||Joe Hesketh||4-8|
|07/27/1992||46-51||5th||-11 1/2||Texas Rangers||W||7-5||Frank Viola||9-6|
|07/28/1992||46-52||5th||-12 1/2||Texas Rangers||L||2-1||Paul Quantrill||1-1|
|07/29/1992||47-52||4th||-11 1/2||Texas Rangers||W||6-5||Roger Clemens||11-7|
|07/31/1992||48-52||4th||-12||Baltimore Orioles||W||7-4||Joe Hesketh||5-8|
|48-53||4th||-12 1/2||L||4-3||Matt Young||0-3|
|08/01/1992||48-54||4th||-13 1/2||Baltimore Orioles||L||9-3||Frank Viola||9-7|
|08/02/1992||48-55||4th||-14 1/2||Baltimore Orioles||L||2-1||Tony Fossas||1-2|
|08/03/1992||49-55||4th||-13 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||W||7-1||Roger Clemens||12-7|
|08/04/1992||50-55||4th||-12 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||W||9-4||Joe Hesketh||6-8|
|08/05/1992||50-56||4th||-13 1/2||Toronto Blue Jays||L||5-4||Daryl Irvine||2-1|
|08/06/1992||51-56||4th||-13 1/2||at New York Yankees||W||3-1||Frank Viola||10-7|
|08/07/1992||51-57||4th||-13 1/2||at New York Yankees||L||7-5||John Dopson||6-5|
|08/08/1992||52-57||4th||-12 1/2||at New York Yankees||W||4-2||Roger Clemens||13-7|
|08/09/1992||52-58||4th||-12 1/2||at New York Yankees||L||6-0||Joe Hesketh||6-9|
|08/10/1992||52-59||4th||-13 1/2||at Cleveland Indians||L||8-5||Paul Quantrill||1-2|
|08/11/1992||52-60||5th||-13 1/2||at Cleveland Indians||L||3-1||Frank Viola||10-8|
|08/12/1992||52-61||5th||-13 1/2||at Cleveland Indians||L||8-5||Daryl Irvine||2-1|
|08/13/1992||53-61||4th||-13 1/2||at Cleveland Indians||W||4-2||Roger Clemens||14-7|
|08/14/1992||53-62||5th||-14 1/2||at Milwaukee Brewers||L||8-7||Jeff Reardon||2-1|
|08/15/1992||54-63||5th||-14 1/2||at Milwaukee Brewers||W||3-1||Danny Darwin||6-5|
|08/16/1992||54-64||5th||-15||at Milwaukee Brewers||L||1-0||Frank Viola||10-9|
|08/18/1992||55-64||5th||-15||California Angels||W||8-0||Roger Clemens||15-7|
|08/19/1992||55-65||5th||-15||California Angels||L||3-2||Jeff Reardon||2-2|
|08/20/1992||55-66||6th||-15||California Angels||L||2-0||Danny Darwin||6-6|
|08/21/1992||55-67||6th||-15||Seattle Mariners||L||5-2||Frank Viola||10-10|
|08/22/1992||56-67||6th||-15||Seattle Mariners||W||10-8||Greg Harris||3-7|
|08/23/1992||56-68||6th||-15||Seattle Mariners||L||9-3||Roger Clemens||15-8|
|08/24/1992||56-69||7th||-15||Oakland Athletics||L||9-3||John Dopson||6-6|
|08/25/1992||57-69||7th||-14||Oakland Athletics||W||5-4||Paul Quantrill||2-2|
|08/26/1992||58-69||7th||-14||Oakland Athletics||W||2-1||Frank Viola||11-10|
|08/28/1992||59-69||6th||-13 1/2||at California Angels||W||7-1||Roger Clemens||16-8|
|08/29/1992||59-70||6th||-13 1/2||at California Angels||L||7-2||John Dopson||6-7|
|08/30/1992||60-70||6th||-13 1/2||at California Angels||W||4-2||Danny Darwin||7-6|
|08/31/1992||60-71||6th||-14 1/2||at Seattle Mariners||L||15-2||Frank Viola||11-11|
|09/01/1992||60-72||6th||-15 1/2||at Seattle Mariners||L||4-3||Greg Harris||3-8|
|09/02/1992||61-72||6th||-14 1/2||at Seattle Mariners||W||5-3||Roger Clemens||17-8|
|09/04/1992||62-72||6th||-14 1/2||at Oakland Athletics||W||8-3||Danny Darwin||8-6|
|09/05/1992||63-72||4th||-14 1/2||at Oakland Athletics||W||7-3||John Dopson||7-7|
|09/06/1992||63-73||6th||-15 1/2||at Oakland Athletics||L||2-1||Paul Quantrill||2-3|
|09/07/1992||64-73||5th||-14 1/2||at Texas Rangers||W||3-0||Roger Clemens||18-8|
|09/08/1992||64-74||5th||-15 1/2||at Texas Rangers||L||6-1||Matt Young||0-4|
|09/09/1992||64-75||5th||-16 1/2||at Texas Rangers||L||3-2||Danny Darwin||8-7|
|09/11/1992||65-75||5th||-16||Detroit Tigers||W||7-6||Mike Gardiner||4-10|
|09/12/1992||65-76||6th||-17||Detroit Tigers||L||9-5||Roger Clemens||18-9|
|09/13/1992||65-77||7th||-18||Detroit Tigers||L||7-2||John Dopson||7-8|
|09/14/1992||65-78||7th||-18||Milwaukee Brewers||L||6-0||Danny Darwin||8-8|
|09/15/1992||65-79||7th||-19||Milwaukee Brewers||L||7-2||Frank Viola||11-12|
|09/16/1992||66-79||7th||-18||Milwaukee Brewers||W||2-1||Daryl Irvine||3-2|
|09/17/1992||66-80||7th||-19||Milwaukee Brewers||L||10-4||Roger Clemens||18-10|
|09/18/1992||66-81||7th||-20||at Detroit Tigers||L||10-3||John Dopson||7-9|
|09/19/1992||66-82||7th||-21||at Detroit Tigers||L||3-2||Greg Harris||3-9|
|09/20/1992||67-82||7th||-20||at Detroit Tigers||W||5-4||Frank Viola||12-12|
|09/21/1992||67-83||7th||-20 1/2||at Detroit Tigers||L||6-5||Daryl Irvine||3-3|
|09/22/1992||67-84||7th||-21 1/2||Cleveland Indians||L||4-2||Roger Clemens||18-11|
|09/23/1992||67-85||7th||-21 1/2||Cleveland Indians||L||7-3||Scott Taylor||0-1|
|09/24/1992||68-85||7th||-21 1/2||Cleveland Indians||W||6-4||Danny Darwin||9-8|
|09/25/1992||68-85||7th||-21||at Baltimore Orioles||pp|
|09/26/1992||69-85||7th||-21||at Baltimore Orioles||W||7-3||Greg Harris||4-8|
|69-86||7th||-21 1/2||L||2-0||John Dopson||7-10|
|09/27/1992||70-86||7th||-21 1/2||at Baltimore Orioles||W||6-1||Joe Hesketh||7-9|
|09/28/1992||70-87||7th||-22||at Baltimore Orioles||L||7-3||Daryl Irvine||3-4|
|09/29/1992||70-88||7th||-23||at Toronto Blue Jays||L||5-2||Danny Darwin||9-9|
|09/30/1992||71-88||7th||-22||at Toronto Blue Jays||W||1-0||Frank Viola||13-12|
|10/02/1992||71-89||7th||-23||New York Yankees||L||6-3||John Dopson||7-11|
|10/03/1992||72-89||7th||-23||New York Yankees||W||7-5||Scott Taylor||1-1|
|10/04/1992||73-89||7th||-23||New York Yankees||W||8-2||Joe Hesketh||8-9|
|1992 RED SOX BATTING & PITCHING|