1996 BOSTON RED SOX ...

 

Connie Ryan   Al Zarilla   Gary Geiger   Charley Conerly
Died: Jan 3rd   Died: Aug 28th   Died: April 24th   Died: Feb 13th
Bob Adams   Joe Gonzales   Pete Rozelle   Mel Allen
Died: Oct 17th   Died: Nov 16th   Died: Dec 6th   Died: June 16th
Jim Busby   Willard Brown   Milt Gaston   Ewell Blackwell
Died: July 8th   Died: Aug 4th   Died: April 26th   Died: Oct 29th
John Michaels   Babe Dahlgren   John McSherry   Tony Romeo
Died: Nov 18th   Died: Sept 4th   Died: April 1st   Died: May 2nd
Bill Sayles   Del Ennis   Charlie Neal   Willie Miranda
Died: Nov 20th   Died: Feb 8th   Died: Nov 18th   Died: Sept 7th
Rafael Devers   Jaylen Brown   Alex Verdugo   Tanner Houck
Born: Oct 24th   Born: Oct 24th   Born: May 15th   Born: June 29th
Garrett Whitlock   Jarren Duran   Jakobi Meyers   David Pastrnak
Born: June 11th   Born: Sept 5th   Born: Nov 9th   Born: May 25thh
             
             

After the 1995 season, the club was excited about their surprise finish. Rebuilding was put aside and players like Tim Wakefield, Jos Canseco and Dwayne Hosey needed to be rewarded and retained. On paper, the club appeared to be better than it was and to remain at the high level of the year before, they had to spend more money.

They picked up pitchers Tom Gordon and Jamie Moyer as free agents, picked up Heathcliff Slocum, when Rick Aguilera returned to the Minnesota Twins, and finally Dan Duquette signed Wil Cordero. The 1995 American League Most Valuable Player, Mo Vaughn, was signed to a three-year deal.

The 1996 Red Sox were a club with plenty of power, but very little speed, no defense and a pitching staff, that apart from Roger Clemens, didn't intimidate anybody. They were not a team of future stars but looked a lot like the losing clubs of Red Sox past.

On a sun-splashed day in the 70s in Texas, the Red Sox went down to an Opening Day defeat at the hands of the Rangers, 5-3, before 40,484, about 9,000 shy of capacity. The Sox much-ballyhooed lineup was held to eight hits and three runs. Roger Clemens again returned to his home state and pitched as if he were on a different planet. The Sox offered no visible means of support as they committed two errors, none more costly than John Valentin's throwing error in the fifth on Ivan Rodriguez' grounder that opened the door for two runs.

With the season is only three games old, the Sox displayed matchless ineptitude in three major categories: hitting, fielding and pitching. The Sox' 13-2 setback to the Rangers on April 4th wrapped up the grisly 1996 baptismal series and was by far their worst performance of the three losses. After issuing 19 walks in 5-3 and 7-2 losses that opened the season, the Sox added 10 passes, plus four errors (three by novice second baseman Wil Cordero) and a measly six hits, giving them a grand total of 18 (five for extra bases) in the series.

On Opening Day at Fenway Park, the Sox' offense jumped on former Boston prospect Frank Rodriguez for six hits and five runs over five innings, and then the Sox kept hitting from innings one through eight, eventually beating the Minnesota Twins, 9-1. Equally relentless was Tom Gordon, who pitched the American League's first complete game, throwing 132 pitches and scattering seven hits.

The Red Sox made three nasty errors on April 11th that led to a 6-5 loss to the Twins in a game delayed 90 minutes at the start by snow removal. Not much went right in this one. Start with the second inning, when back-to-back errors by third baseman Tim Naehring and shortstop John Valentin scored Pat Meares for a 1-0 Minnesota lead at the expense of Roger Clemens. It was a close game, 3-2, Twins, after seven innings, thanks to Mike Greenwell's two-run fifth-inning homer, but for the most part, Boston hitters were as unreliable as the infielders. The defense administered the coup de grace in the eighth. Mo Vaughn's Buckneresque error, allowing Matt Lawton's routine grounder to first to go through his legs, scored two runs, and Paul Molitor's double off Mike Maddux boosted the lead to 6-2. That was enough of a cushion for the Twins to withstand Naehring's three-run homer in the ninth.

Next came the Indians from Cleveland, who swept the Sox in four straight games. After securing the worst start in their 96-year history, the Red Sox (3-12) finally defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 10-7, on April 18th at Camden Yards. The Sox scored in bunches. They scored four in the third, two in the fourth, three in the seventh and tacked on one more in the eighth on Mike Stanley's solo homer. Seven straight losses and open panic in Red Sox Nation was followed by a two-run homer by Mo Vaughn in the seventh, and four runs in the third.

A 4-1 win over the Twins in Minnesota, on April 22nd, after losing three straight in Cleveland drew the Sox within 7 1/2 games of first-place in the AL East.  Aaron Sele emerged with his best outing of the year (6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run), as closer Heathcliff Slocumb picked up his third save.

The Red Sox exploded on April 24th against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. Behind the torrid bats of Reggie Jefferson and Mo Vaughn, the Sox overcame a 7-0 deficit and scratched and clawed their way to an 11-9 victory. After losing 16 of their first 20 games, the Red Sox went after the Rangers aggressively as if they were the team with an overwhelming lead. Texas was ahead, 7-0, 7-4, 9-4, 9-5 and 9-7 before Boston tied the game in the sixth.

Two victories in a row will not make a season for any major league team. But for the Red Sox the next night, it must have been like taking a breath of fresh air after reaching the first peak of a mountain range. For the second straight night, the Sox came from behind and wiped out the staggering Texas Rangers at Fenway Park, 8-3. They did it with Tim Wakefield pitching six strong innings for his first victory, and with Mo Vaughn and Troy O'Leary connecting for three-run homers to help erase a 2-0 deficit, and Vaughn adding a solo shot as the icing.

The euphoria was short lived because the Sox lost three games to the Royals, who next visited Fenway Park.

The Red Sox were 6-19 and that was the worst record in baseball. In response, pitching coach Al Nipper was let go.  But neither rain nor turmoil in the clubhouse could keep the Red Sox from a 13-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 30th. The winner was Tim Wakefield, who had his teammates back him with 16 hits, including home runs by Reggie Jefferson (two) and Mo Vaughn.

One day after the demotion of his dear friend Al Nipper, Roger Clemens pulled himself together and took out his frustrations on the Detroit Tigers, 5-1, the next night at Fenway Park. With a crowd of 20,828 solidly behind him, Clemens struck out 13 and walked none as he recorded his first victory after four losses, halting his worst start to a season ever.

Two games were won against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway. On April 3rd some fans were upset that the game was allowed to continue through 3 hours and 43 minutes of rain delays, forcing a suspension by the 1 a.m. American League curfew time. The results justified the inconvenience as the Sox held on to win the suspended game, 8-7, and took the scheduled game, 8-4, the next day. The two soggy victories elevated the Sox (10-19) to fourth place in the AL East and out of the cellar for the first time in 1996.

The Red Sox won a game, 4-2, over Milwaukee on May 7th for their fifth win in six games. Roger Clemens struck out 10 batters, the third straight game he'd reached double digits. That hadn't happened since 1987.

On May 14th, the Sox were down, 3-0, after Aaron Sele's six innings of work (seven hits, six walks). The Sox mounted a comeback in the seventh against Chuck Finley. With two men on base, John Valentin sent a 2-and-0 fastball into the net, tying the score. The shortstop later scored the winning run on Jose Canseco's single to right, for a 4-3 walk-off win in 12 innings.

TROY O'LEARY

It was by far the best and biggest Red Sox victory of the season, 17-6 over the California Angels on May 15th, at Fenway Park. An offensive outburst of 17 hits, including six doubles and four homers. Mo Vaughn (2 homers, 4 RBIs), Mike Stanley (4 RBIs) and Troy O'Leary (3 doubles) highlighted a big night and the bullpen turned in another good performance, allowing just one run over five innings.

In a season full of early despair, the Sox continued their mild surge, bouncing back on May 17th to win in extra innings for the second time in three games. They pulled out a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wil Cordero's two-out, two-run homer.

If the offense explodes and gives the pitchers a comfort zone, only good things can happen. That was the formula that carried the Sox to a 12-2 victory over the Oakland A's on May 19th. Power hitting, strong starting pitching from Aaron Sele and better-than-average defense put Boston 4-1 on this homestand and 10-5 in their last 15 games. Not many teams are going to beat the Red Sox on a day when Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco hit Boston's first back-to-back home runs of the season. Or when Milt Culyer and John Valentin hit two-run singles, each coming with two outs and the bases loaded.

The Sox bats took over Fenway Park during a 16-4 victory over the Oakland A's the next night in an offensive extravaganza. It wasn't close after the third inning. The crowd saw the Red Sox erupt for 21 hits, including home runs by Jose Canseco (2), Bill Haselman and Mo Vaughn. Vaughn's blast was his 17th of the year, which tied him with Albert Belle of Cleveland for the American League lead and gave him a league-leading 47 RBIs to go with a .344 average. Canseco had his first two-homer game in a Red Sox uniform, a pair of two-run shots, as he continued to sizzle.

Roger Clemens went the route on May 23rd, beating the Seattle Mariners, 11-4, for his third win of the year. But long after everything else about the game is forgotten, fans will speak of the night they saw Roger Clemens get his first hit in the big leagues. The Rocket's teammates and the fans were delirious when he walked up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. When Clemens cracked a single up the middle off Seattle lefty Norm Charlton, there were smiles from foul pole to foul pole.

A victory came in the form of a 10-3 victory over the Angels before at the Big A on May 25th. It was just a plain old whuppin' by the Sox, featuring a two-run double by Troy O'Leary, a seventh-inning three-run homer by Jose Canseco and a two-run shot by Mo Vaughn in the ninth. Tom Gordon retired 10 straight batters in the middle of the game before allowing a seventh-inning walk. He scattered eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. But the Sox lost 2 of their three games.

The Sox throttled the Oakland A's, smashing 16 hits and scoring in double digits for the eighth time this season for a 10-3 victory before a Memorial Day crowd of 21,688 at the Coliseum on May 27th. They struck for six hits and five runs in the second inning, more than enough support for a quality start by knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who tossed his first complete game since last August. But, again, the Sox lost their next two games.

Tom Gordon went a long way toward repairing the damage of losing the Angels and As series by throwing a two-hit, 10-1 win against the Seattle Mariners on May 30th at the Kingdome. Gordon's only mistake was a fifth-inning homer by Paul Sorrento, who got the other hit off him with a single in the eighth. Before the homer, Gordon had retired the first 12 batters and 14 of the first 15. While Gordon controlled his destiny, the Sox offense left nothing to chance with a four-homer outburst. Two were by No. 9 hitter Milt Cuyler, a solo shot by Tim Naehring and the big blow, a grand slam by Jose Canseco.

Mo Vaughn has provided precious moments of baseball beauty. His three-run homer in the fifth inning at the Kingdome on June 1st, unknotted a 2-2 game and helped carry the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory over Seattle. Vaughn lofted the ball up to the third deck with a textbook uppercut swing. It was measured at 409 feet.

The Sox (22-32) returned home in 4th place, 10 games out in the AL East. After losing two games to the White Sox at

JOHN VALENTIN

 Fenway, the Red Sox pulled off a 7-4 victory over Chicago on June 6th. They combined decent pitching, solid defense and timely hitting, highlighted by John Valentin becoming the 19th player in franchise history to achieve the cycle with a single, double, triple and homer. Shrugging off a 5-4-3 triple play on a first-inning grounder by Tim Naehring, the Red Sox halted their three-game skid. Valentin was the catalyst, putting the Red Sox ahead for good with a two-run first-inning homer, going on to achieve his first career cycle and scoring three runs as a bonus.

A five-homer comeback from a 7-1 deficit, produced a 10-7 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on June 7th. Reggie Jefferson's two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth put the Sox ahead the first time, and Jose Canseco finished off the power parade with his second homer of the night and 18th of the season. But the Sox lost the next two games with the Brewers. In the last game, it was 8-8 in the ninth inning when a mass of Red Sox fans got up and left Fenway Park. They must have known something, as the Sox once again lost, 11-8. Fan apathy characterized the six-game homestand, as the Sox played seemingly endless marathons of mostly uninteresting and listless baseball. Not enough players cared about their performances on the field.

After four starts that offered glimpses of promise and minimal success, Vaughn Eshelman put it all together on June 11th in a 9-2 victory. His job in jeopardy, the lefthander responded with six shutout innings as he nursed a 1-0 lead. Then his teammates had rewarded him with a seven-run explosion in the top half. The burst was highlighted by Jose Canseco's two-run single and Mike Stanley's three-run homer.

Everyone had seen it all before. There was a blown save by Heathcliff Slocumb, four strikeouts by Jose Canseco and a fly ball clanging off the glove of Troy O'Leary. As the game groaned into extra innings in Chicago, on June 12th, it was the White Sox that squandered opportunities. This time the Red Sox went home with smiles on their faces. Call it an aberration or a hallucination. The Red Sox won the game with a 3-2 victory at Comiskey Park. The Red Sox showed a little backbone. They overcame a dazzling effort by Chicago starter Alex Fernandez (13 strikeouts) and held off three rallies in the late innings. The home team stranded eight runners in the ninth, 10th and 11th. The Red Sox won it when Canseco doubled to lead off the 12th, then limped to third on Tim Naehring's fly before limping home on Mike Stanley's sacrifice fly.

June 14ths 4-3 decision over Texas had Mo Vaughn provided the uplift with an eighth-inning homer off Canton's Bobby Witt to break the 3-3 tie Texas had achieved in the top of the inning. The Sox had won their last three by one run and had 17 come-from-behind wins. They have won four straight for only the second time.

Reggie Jefferson delivered a three-run homer in the ninth, on June 16th, giving the Red Sox a come-from-behind 10-9 victory over the Texas Rangers in one of the most exciting finishes of the year. Texas once led, 9-3, but Boston came back to score seven runs in the last three innings. In the ninth, Jefferson's blast was preceded by clutch singles by Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco, and a wild pitch by loser Mike Henneman. Given the foot speed of the three men who batted in the ninth, Jefferson could just as easily have hit into a triple play. Nobody thought the Rangers would lose in such a manner, especially after the visitors recovered from a 3-2 deficit by scoring five runs in the fifth inning to lead, 7-3, and then gave Lynn's Ken Hill a six-run cushion with two more in the seventh.

After five straight losses in Cleveland and Texas, the Sox were looking for reasons. One reason they found was that Sox catchers had thrown out only eight runners in 73 stolen-base attempts this season.

It was becoming clear that the only excitement to come this season other than watching Mo Vaughn's quest for the Triple Crown. Players were beginning to question in what direction the team was headed. Vaughn has said there's confusion over whether the Sox are still trying to get back in the race or are playing for next year. The Sox were in 4th place and 14 games behind in the AL East.

There was a small feeling of relief on June 26th when the Sox were able to overcome a 4-1 ninth-inning deficit and scratch and claw its way to a 6-4 victory in 15 innings over Cleveland on a two-run homer by Tim Naehring. The Sox had never lost every game of the season to any opponent, and the Indians had won the first 11 games this year, owning a 14-game streak that went back to a sweep in last year's American League playoffs. Chances of ending the streak seemed bleak after eight innings. Roger Clemens had pitched his heart out again, but still stood to be a 4-1 loser unless the Red Sox rallied. They did, scoring three runs in the ninth. They finally won after a series of near-misses by both teams.

This was Bad News Bears I vs. Bad News Bears II. The two worst pitching staffs on earth were trying to hold the other team down at Fenway on June 28th. And in the end, the favored Sox took an 8-5 win over Detroit before 27,578 hardy fans who were stuck with tickets. Tim Wakefield, Mr. Unpredictable, got a rousing ovation for merely pitching into the sixth inning and not getting annihilated. Sox fans are easily impressed now. The crowd filled three-quarters of the bleacher seats by midgame and then thinned quickly. The 600 Club had small clumps of viewers in the lower rows and the roof-top boxes were half-filled.

Nothing succeeds like success. On any given day, the Red Sox could have had all the firepower they needed to take apart a club like the Detroit Tigers. They did it in the third game of the series. Aaron Sele was off his game and put the Sox in a 6-2 hole in fewer than three innings. But the Sox came back with five runs in the bottom of the third, and five more in the sixth en route to a 13-6 victory. It was the second straight win over the last-place Tigers. The baseball world might be a lot different if Sox bats were booming all season like they did in this game. Shortstop John Valentin led a 16-hit assault with two home runs. Reggie Jefferson collected three hits and improved his average to .369. Mo Vaughn extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. Mike Stanley drove in three runs with a single and his 11th home run.

The Sox came back down to reality as July started in the Bronx. They suffered a 2-0 loss to the Yankees, dropping them 14 games back in the AL East. Jimmy Key outdueled Roger Clemens. They have hooked up in the past and the games, finesse vs. power, always had been interesting. There wasn't much room for error, and when Clemens served a 3-and-2 fastball to Mike Aldrete in the seventh, as the designated hitter deposited it into the left-field bleachers. The Yankees also executed a safety squeeze in the inning, as Joe Girardi's bunt toward Vaughn at first scored Andy Fox.

On the day after a nearly two-hour meeting between manager Kevin Kennedy and his players, the Sox showed a little more zip, but the second 81 games began as the first 81 did, with a loss. This one an 8-6 decision on July 4th to the Orioles, at Camden Yards.

JOSE CANSECO

Jose Canseco hit a three-run homer sealing Boston's 7-3 victory over the Orioles on July 5th. Canseco was having a great year. He had 26 home runs and 63 RBIs in 69 games and was hitting .301. He was three homers behind league-leader Brady Anderson and one behind Cleveland's Albert Belle.

On July 7th, Mo Vaughn ended the first half of the season as he slammed two home runs. The second was a titanic game-winning homer in a 7-5 win over Baltimore. It was three or four rows shy of going over the center-field bleachers, a 457-foot shot that was the second longest homer in Camden Yards history. Vaughn knocked in five runs, giving him 78 RBIs at the All Star Break, to go along with 26 homers and a .346 average. The first one was no cheapie either, measuring 417 feet to right field, hitting the brick warehouse on one bounce.

Barry Bonds won the annual All-Star home run derby. He beat crosstown rival Mark McGwire of the A's in the finals, 3-2. McGwire registered the longest drive, a 460-foot shot into the upper deck in left. Mo Vaughn sat out because of a ligament problem in his right hand.

The power pitching of starter John Smoltz, Kevin Brown, Ricky Bottalico and Pedro Martinez, plus five colleagues who contributed to a nine-man, seven-hit shutout, sparked the NL to a 6-0 victory over the American League at Veterans Stadium in Philly. Mike Piazza of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Philadelphia area boy, came home in storybook fashion, winning game MVP honors after collecting a homer and a run-scoring double. John Smoltz gave up two hits, including a second-inning double by Mo Vaughn, who made his debut as an All-Star starter because of a foot injury to White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas.

Roger Clemens made it look easy in the first game after the break in an 11-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on July 11th. In seven innings, he dazzled the worst team in baseball for the second time this season with some of his best stuff. He allowed only three hits and one run and struck out 10 for his fourth victory against eight losses. Boston hitters slammed five home runs, led by Reggie Jefferson's pair, giving him six this season against the Tigers. Jose Canseco hit a three-run homer and walked four times. John Valentin and Mike Stanley chipped in with long balls. The Sox collected 10 hits, but the home runs made it seem like twice that many.

REGGIE JEFFERSON

Tom Gordon's efforts easily could have been lost in the fireworks the next night as the Sox came up with another Detroit demolition, this one 11-3. Mo Vaughn launched his sixth career grand slam and Reggie Jefferson bolstered his credentials as a Tiger killer, knocking in four runs for a two-game total of seven.

Aaron Sele was up to his old tricks in the third game, blowing a 3-0 lead and giving up three home runs to the Tigers. But he was able to hang in there for seven innings, just long enough to reap the harvest of a 10-5 rout. The Red Sox had won four straight and were 8-1 against the Tigers this year. Sele now had four victories.

It was an easy sweep in Detroit and the Sox returned home to face the Yankees on July 15th. They were 16 games behind the Yanks at the start of the night. They know watching the standings is a futile and laughable exercise at this point. This game was about finally being able to say they could beat the best, even if it was just one night. And they did it for the team's sixth straight win, 8-6. They overcame a 3-0 first-inning deficit. While Tim Wakefield (13 hits, six runs) was ineffective, he left after five innings with a 7-6 lead and gained the win to improve to 6-9. It was the fifth straight win by the Sox' starting rotation, a first this season. The Sox bullpen, Vaughn Eshelman, Joe Hudson, Mike Stanton and Heathcliff Slocumb (13th save) were the real stars, holding the Yankees scoreless for the final four innings.

No other game in the 1996 season could have been as meaningful as the one on July 17th. The pile-on after Jeff Frye's two-out, ninth-inning single off John Wetteland, the best closer in baseball, gave the Red Sox an implausible 12-11 win over the Yankees and probably was the closest thing to a championship atmosphere that Fenway Park would experience all year. It was THE game of the season. The noise in the stands wasn't as inspiring as the Sox turned a 9-2 seventh-inning lead into an 11-9 deficit in the ninth. A three-run double by Kevin Mitchell in the fifth and a three-run homer by Jose Canseco in the sixth had helped Boston shatter a 2-2.

Jamie Moyer turned in a splendid performance on July 19th for a showstopping 13-2 rout of the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway. Mo Vaughn led the way with a breakout night after five homerless games. He cracked his 29th homer to highlight a four-run third and had five RBIs in the first six innings, raising his season total to 91, one behind his cousin, Milwaukee slugger Greg Vaughn, for the American League lead. It was also his first homer at Fenway since June 14. Mike Stanley capped a six-run sixth with a three-run homer as the Sox regrouped with a vengeance after a lackluster 6-3 loss in the series opener. Moyer allowed only five hits through seven innings before surrendering a pair of unearned runs in the eighth as he improved his record to 6-1.

TIM WAKEFIELD

Tim Wakefield's knuckleball danced in the crosswind at Fenway in perhaps his best performance of the season, a 2-0 Red Sox win over the Baltimore Orioles. In a showing reminiscent of the first half of 1995, Wakefield picked a good day to bring his ERA back down below 6.00 (5.98), as the Boston bats were restful for a change. The Sox mustered only eight hits overall.

In perhaps the final Boston home performance for some, the Sox flexed their muscles for a 12-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on July 24th. They sent the crowd home happy with a 14-hit assault. But after a 5-5 homestand, it was only a guess as to who would return after the upcoming seven-game road trip. Jamie Moyer allowed seven hits and two runs in seven innings, improving his record to 7-1 for the season and lowering his ERA over the last 20 2/3 innings to 1.31. Moyer was 5-1 as a starter and has won his last three. And after giving the Sox their first Fenway decision over KC in six tries, he was responsible for their only two wins in nine games against the Royals.

Arquimedez Pozo saw three runs score after the triple he stroked to right-center field in the top of the ninth on July 27th, in Minneapolis. It may have been the most significant number of his baseball career. It broke a 5-5 game and propeled the Red Sox to a 9-5 win over the Twins. Tom Gordon (8-5) got the win despite blowing 4-1 and 5-3 leads. Heathcliff Slocumb struck out two in the ninth.

Jose Canseco had an MRI at a local and he was still in pain from his lower back down his left leg. He reinjured his back after taking a swing during batting practice. He had revealed during Boston's first West Coast trip in May that a private physician had diagnosed a ruptured disc.  He would be out for the rest of the year and would undergo surgery.

In midseason, injuries and the failure of players that the Red Sox expected to do well, forced a different direction. Defense and speed became a priority for Dan Duquette. He acquired Darren Bragg from Seattle on July 30th for Jamie Moyer, who  would join the Mariners in Milwaukee. Bragg would play either center or right field for the Sox. The Moyer-Bragg deal capped a hectic day. Earlier, the Sox shipped disgruntled outfielder Kevin Mitchell to Cincinnati, where he played in 1994, for moody second baseman Roberto Mejia and minor league pitcher Brad Tweedlie. Finally, lefthanded reliever Mike Stanton was dealt, along with a player to be named later, to the Texas Rangers moments before the deadline, the next day, for the promising 22-year-old closer Kerry Lacy and middle reliever Mark Brandenburg, who would join the Sox in Kansas City.

Troy O'Leary's long drive flew into the night on Dan Naulty's second offering, first looking as if it would easily reach the Sox bullpen, then drifting into that sinister triangle that usually spells doom for someone. The ball was coming down and the Twins Rich Becker seemed to have a bead on it, following it ever so carefully. But at the moment of impact, it grazed off his glove for a triple that scored pinch runner John Valentin and Lee Tinsley, capped the Red Sox' two-out, none-on rally from a three-run deficit and produced an uplifting 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Twins before a fraction of the 28,041 fans who started out at Fenway Park on August 2nd.

There were four teams (Detroit, Seattle, California and Minnesota) with worse ERAs than the Red Sox, so when Boston's offense faced one of those staffs, it could produce some numbers, especially at Fenway Park. After the game on August 4th, the Twins' ERA stood at 5.49 (the Sox' was 5.27) following a 13-6 Boston victory. Vaughn Eshelman started with an 8.08 ERA but ended with a 7.32 mark after allowing one earned run, four in all, in 6 2/3 innings.

The Sox moved within a half-game of the coveted three spot in the American League East on August 5th with an impressive 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays as knuckleballer Tim Wakefield beat Juan Guzman. The Sox' lineup needed only three runs on seven hits to foil the Jays, who committed a costly error in Boston's three-run second. The key to Wakefield's newfound success was Mike Greenwell. While Phil Niekro had received much of the credit for getting Wakefield to change speeds on his knuckleball, it turns out that Greenwell first discovered a flaw in Wakefield's delivery after returning from Florida and the disabled list. Wakefield went back and studied the films and talked to some other people and now had done it the right way. In his third complete game of the season (and first since June 10), Wakefield tied his season-high for strikeouts with eight, while the Sox also stole a season-high four bases, including Greenwell's theft of home as part of a double steal with Mike Stanley.

Mike Maddux, proved the difference in a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays the next night. Darren Bragg doubled twice, scored twice and drove in the deciding run. Maddux posted his first victory of the year. Bragg, as leadoff man, set the table. He did that three times. In the first inning, he reached on an error by second baseman Tomas Perez, and after a double by Jeff Frye, he scored on a ground out by Mo Vaughn. In the sixth, with the game tied at 1-1, Bragg doubled to left-center and scored on a double by Frye. Bragg's RBI came in the eighth after a walk to Tony Rodriguez, who scored from first on another double to left. Not exactly the power show of weeks past. But good enough for the Sox to win their third straight game (fifth out of six) and crawl over Toronto into third place in the American League East

TOM GORDON

For the first half of the season, there were a lot of people who questioned the wisdom of signing Tom Gordon. The free agent righthander's performance was shaky in his early starts at a time when the Red Sox needed a stopper. But you couldn't find a single detractor of the Tom Gordon who showed up on August 8th and flirted with perfection before settling for a three-hitter and an 8-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. He had a perfect game for 4 2/3 innings before allowing a single to Ed Sprague. He wound up with his first shutout since he blanked Seattle in 1990. He threw 130 pitches and struck out eight. It was the first shutout by a Red Sox pitcher at Fenway since 1994. The Blue Jays had scored only three earned runs in three games

Jeff Suppan was a hit among several major league scouts attending the opener of a doubleheader on August 9th, which the Red Sox swept from the Brewers, 9-7 and 4-1. Suppan didn't have a good curveball but kept throwing it and often got Milwaukee hitters to pop it up as he lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs, for his first major league win as a starter. Another winner was Vaughn Eshelman, who went 8 2/3 innings and allowed six hits in the nightcap as the Sox completed their first road doubleheader sweep since 1987, and first sweep of any kind since 1991.

The Red Sox, who had won nine of their last 11 games following a 3-2 victory on August 10th over the Brewers at County Stadium, were playing excellent baseball and it's probably no coincidence that their newfound success had come simultaneously with Tim Wakefield's turnaround. Wakefield was on automatic pilot, changing speeds and patterns and completely baffling hitters. Suddenly, the man who was 4-8 is 10-10 and his season didn't look so bad. He gobbled up valuable innings and saved the bullpen. After allowing John Jaha's two-run homer in the fourth, he yielded only three hits the remainder of the game and retired nine straight before walking Jaha with two outs in the eighth. His tightest moment came in the eighth when David Hulse stole second before Wakefield squelched the threat by freezing Jose Valentin with a 3-2 knuckler that broke right over the plate.

The Sox offense again was triggered by the top of the order. Darren Bragg and Jeff Frye reached base a combined six times in eight plate appearances, including Frye's second home run.

The next day, Roger Clemens spun one of his gems, a 2-0 combined shutout with Mark Brandenburg and Stan Belinda at County Stadium. The surging Sox, who had won 10 of their last 12 games, swept the Brewers in this four-game series.

After taking a 7-2 lead against Toronto in the fourth inning, the Sox never stopped staving off the small but steady comebacks of the Blue Jays on August 13th. In the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the Blue Jays scored single runs off Mike Maddux and Vaughn Eshelman (after touching starter Aaron Sele for one in the second). But in the seventh, the trend was stopped dead in its tracks by Mark Brandenburg, who pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win and set up Heathcliff Slocumb, who registered his 18th save with a dominating performance in the ninth (two strikeouts), as the Sox held on for a 7-5 victory at SkyDome.

Mo Vaughn had a 1-1 count on him the next game, when righthander Tim Crabtree threw an inside fastball that hit off the end of Charlie O'Brien's mitt, deflecting to the backstop and scoring Troy O'Leary with the run that put the Sox, who had trailed, 5-2, entering the eighth, ahead, 6-5. Wil Cordero added some comfort with a two-run single as Red Sox earned their 12th victory in 15 games, capped a 6-1 road trip and climbed within eight games of the Chicago White Sox in the American League wild-card race

Win or lose, Roger Clemens comes to do battle. And finally he was getting the run support he had been suffering without all season. A seven-hit shutout of the California Angels, a 6-0 Boston win on August 17th, was just the sixth victory for Clemens in a season of struggle. It was his first complete game since May 23 and his first shutout since 1994. It was the 37th shutout of his career, leaving him one short of Cy Young on the Red Sox' all-time list. Even at 34, Clemens could turn his game up a notch. The game remained scoreless until the sixth. The three Boston runs that inning were all Clemens would need.

The final score had the Red Sox on top, 10-9, in a battle, on August 19th, that included 31 hits, nine of them for extra bases. Troy O'Leary led the Sox with three RBIs, including a key two-run single in the sixth when the Sox picked apart California's 9-7 lead and pulled away for good.

The next night, the Red Sox hinted at turning the Back Bay into an autumnal hardball heaven with a 4-3 victory over the Oakland A's that pulled them within two games of .500 for the first time since the opening week of the season. Mo Vaughn launched a three-run homer into the screen in left, bringing the Red Sox out from under a 3-1 deficit, carrying them to their 62nd win and moving them within 6 1/2 games of the White Sox in the American League wild-card chase.

On August 21st, in so many ways, the game was much like the chilling, losing days of April and May. The Sox twice squandered leads and committed four errors. The same old story line? Only this time, as fundamentally bereft as they might have been, the Sox scrapped their way to a 6-4 victory over the Athletics, a decision delivered by catcher Mike Stanley's two-run, bases-loaded single in the eighth inning that snapped a 4-4 tie. The win inched them within 5 1/2 games of the White Sox in the race for the American League wild-card playoff berth. Mo Vaughn scored three runs and chipped in with his 116th RBI, not to mention a steal of home.

The Red Sox beat the A's, 2-1, on August 22nd. It was Roger Clemens' classic pitching and Troy O'Leary's one-out homer in the ninth that added up to their 17th triumph in 22 starts and their first visit to the .500 mark (64-64) this season, which has thrust them within 4 1/2 games of the slumping White Sox in the American League wild-card scramble. This is a whole new world for the Sox, one in which they seemingly can do no wrong. They won all three games in this series on their last turn at bat, coming up with eighth-inning rallies in the first two. Then Clemens' scintillating pitching, which produced a 1-0 game until there were two outs and two strikes in the Oakland ninth, and O'Leary's Pesky poke that grazed the right-field foul pole meshed to make this the most memorable night of Boston baseball this season.

Against the Mariners on August 24th, the Red Sox relied repeatedly on the long ball, belting out three home runs, including Darren Bragg's grand slam against Randy Johnson, on their way to a 9-5 thumping of Seattle at Fenway Park. The next day, win No. 66, edged the Sox over .500 for the first time this season, delivering the Olde Towne Team to within 3 1/2 games of Chicago in the race for a wild-card playoff spot. They again relied on home runs by Troy O'Leary and Frye to beat the Mariners into submission. By the fourth inning, the Sox had a 6-0 lead, with five of their runs driven in by the long ball.

It was his fourth straight stellar start and he enabled the Sox to stay three games behind Baltimore in the wacky wild-card chase. Roger Clemens pitched eight innings of shutout ball in the 2-1 victory over the Angels on August 27th. It was 1-0, the Sox, going into the ninth, Clemens still pitching for the Red Sox and Chuck Finley for the Angels in Anaheim. Ace against ace. Every play huge. A wonderful step back to the pure, crisp era of baseball games. And it was Clemens who won, for Boston's 21st win in 27 games. Heathcliff Slocumb finished off the ninth, shakily, for his 24th save. Clemens (three hits, seven strikeouts) had given up only one run in his last 36 1/3 innings and had allowed only 24 hits and one run. He fanned 35 while walking 10. He'd won games by scores of 2-0, 6-0, 2-1 and 2-1. The Red Sox were now only seven games behind the first-place Yankees.

After putting together one of the most sizzling months of the baseball season (a 22-9 August), the Red Sox beat the A's, 8-3, on September 1st, as Aaron Sele returned from the disabled list to pitch very sharply and phenom Nomar Garciaparra made his first major league start a most memorable one indeed. Nomar hit his first homer, had another RBI single and finished with three hits in five at-bats. All told, he'd been at bat six times in the big leagues and had hit the ball sharply all six times.

MIKE GREENWELL

The next night the Red Sox refused to suffer their first setback of September in Seattle, rallying on the bat of Mike Greenwell. He went 4 for 5 and drove in all nine runs  for a 9-8 victory over the Mariners. With two outs and two on in the 10th, Greenwell ripped his fourth hit (the Sox had only seven), a single to left off Rafael Carmona that sent Wil Cordero home with the decisive run. Greenwell's output, which included his third career grand slam, was one short of the team RBI record and set a major league standard for driving in all of a team's runs.

On the heels of a 6-3 swing through California and Seattle, the Red Sox rolled to a 10-3 victory in the opener of a three-game showdown at Comiskey Park on September 6th, and shaved their deficit to 2 1/2 games behind front-running Chicago in the American League wild-card race. Things worked to near perfection, and the beneficiary was knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (12-12), who pitched out of several jams during his seven-inning, eight-hit, three-run stint as he reached .500 for the first time this season. After the explosion in the second, the Red Sox added a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the ninth. Chicago's response against Wakefield, two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, was feeble. Mike Greenwell went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. In 34 games since coming off the disabled list after an injury-plagued start, he was batting .333 (41 for 123). He was also hitting a torrid .526 (10 for 19) this month.

On September 12th, the Red Sox crisply beat the Brewers, 4-1, at Fenway Park, ending a four-game losing streak and keeping their fading American League wild-card hopes alive. They were 5 1/2 games behind Baltimore with 16 games left to play.

Roger Clemens (9-12) was the beneficiary of a six-run outburst in the third inning, but he was hardly overpowering in his seven-inning stint on September 13th. Still, the Red Sox earned a 9-5 victory over the White Sox at Fenway Park as a three-game showdown between American League wild-card contenders opened. In a 13-5 loss to the White Sox the next day the Red Sox self-destructed in the first inning before getting to bat. Chicago tagged Tom Gordon for five runs. Finally it was three cheapie singles that decided a 9-8 Red Sox victory over the White Sox in the final game of their series showdown.

MO VAUGHN

Mo Vaughn was honored as AL Player of the Week for the second time this season. He hit in six straight games at a sizzling .560 clip (14 for 25) with a double and three home runs. He drove in 11 runs and scored six times while raising his average from .316 to .326. Vaughn also was player of the week from April 29 to May 5, on his way to player of the month honors for May.

In September, Vaughn was hitting at a torrid .420 pace (21 for 50). He was 10 hits short of becoming the first Red Sox player to reach 200 since Wade Boggs in 1989. He had 41 home runs and 133 runs batted in, both career bests. He ranked in the AL top 10 in 10 offensive categories.

ROGER CLEMENS

For mere mortals, once in a lifetime would be more than enough. But Roger Clemens is on another plateau entirely. He had the stuff of legends. He can make the impossible come true. In a magnificent performance, Clemens duplicated his 10-year-old major league record on September 18th, when he struck out 20 Detroit Tigers in a 4-0 victory. Rearing back for the glory of his flamethrowing youth, Clemens awakened the echoes of 1986, when he set the record for a nine-inning game by fanning 20 Seattle Mariners. Tonight's strikeout performance made it a trifecta for Clemens. He tied the Red Sox career victory record of 192 held by Cy Young. It was his 38th shutout, tying Young for first on the club list in that department.

The Yankees may have been in first place. But the team playing the best baseball in the majors is from Boston. The Red Sox gave the American League East leaders a sample on September 20th with a 4-2 victory that was as hard-fought as a playoff game.Tim Wakefield (14-12) dazzled the Yankees with his knuckleball for eight innings, and John Valentin's baserunning heroics in the seventh won the game.

At the end of the most important game of the year, on September 22nd, the Red Sox had Arquimedez Pozo at third, Trot Nixon making his big league debut in right, and Joe Hudson on the mound. They were totally spent and had no more to give. And so, on the last day of a rather dreadful summer, in front of a sellout, old-timey, "Boston sucks" crowd at Yankee Stadium, the 1996 Sox succumbed to the first-place Yankees, 12-11, in 10 bombastic innings.

But the Red Sox had lost too many games in April and May to catch up. The Red Sox were eliminated from the race on September 27th. At that point dissension rose up on the team. Mike Greenwell wanted a new contract but was told that he wasn't worth what he thought, because Wil Cordero could be playing left-field in the future. Roger Clemens was disappointed that the Red Sox questioned his health. His desire for a four-year deal, which the Red Sox wouldn't give him, meant he would opt for free agency. Then Canseco demanded to be traded. When the season ended, Kevin Kennedy was blamed and was fired.

 

 

 
GAME LOG
  RECORD PLACE GB/GF OPPONENT   SCORE  PITCHER W/L
04/01/1996 0-1 4th -1  at Texas Rangers L 5-3 Roger Clemens 0-1
04/02/1996 0-1 5th -1  
04/03/1996 0-2 5th -2  at Texas Rangers L 7-2 Tom Gordon 0-1
04/04/1996 0-3 5th -3  at Texas Rangers L 13-2 Tim Wakefield 0-1
04/05/1996 0-4 5th -4  at Kansas City Royals L 5-4 Brad Pennington 0-1
04/06/1996 0-5 5th -4  at Kansas City Royals L 7-3 Stan Belinda 0-1
04/07/1996 1-5 5th -4  at Kansas City Royals W 3-1 Jamie Moyer 1-0
04/08/1996 1-5 5th -3 1/2  
04/09/1996 2-5 5th -3 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 9-1 Tom Gordon 1-1
04/10/1996 2-5 5th -4  
04/11/1996 2-6 5th -5  Minnesota Twins L 6-5 Roger Clemens 0-2
04/12/1996 2-7 5th -6  Cleveland Indians L 3-1 Aaron Sele 0-1
04/13/1996 2-8 5th -7  Cleveland Indians L 14-2 Jamie Moyer 1-1
04/14/1996 2-9 5th -7  Cleveland Indians L 7-6 Mike Stanton 0-1
04/15/1996 2-10 5th -7 1/2  Cleveland Indians L 8-0 Tim Wakefield 0-2
04/16/1996 2-11 5th -8 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 6-1 Roger Clemens 0-3
04/17/1996 2-12 5th -9 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 6-5 Mike Maddux 0-1
04/18/1996 3-12 5th -8 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles W 10-7 Jamie Moyer 2-1
04/19/1996 3-13 5th -8 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 9-4 Tom Gordon 1-2
04/20/1996 3-14 5th -8 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 2-1 Tim Wakefield 0-3
04/21/1996 3-15 5th -8 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 11-7 Brad Pennington 0-2
04/22/1996 4-15 5th -7 1/2  at Minnesota Twins W 4-1 Aaron Sele 1-1
04/23/1996 4-16 5th -7 1/2  at Minnesota Twins L 8-6 Joe Hudson 0-1
04/24/1996 5-16 5th -7 1/2  Texas Rangers W 11-9 Mike Stanton 1-1
04/25/1996 6-16 5th -7 1/2  Texas Rangers W 8-3 Tim Wakefield 1-3
04/26/1996 6-17 5th -7 1/2  Kansas City Royals L 4-3 Roger Clemens 0-4
04/27/1996 6-18 5th -7 1/2  Kansas City Royals L 10-0 Aaron Sele 0-2
04/28/1996 6-19 5th -7 1/2  Kansas City Royals L 9-7 Heathcliff Slocumb 0-1
04/29/1996 6-19 5th -7 1/2  
04/30/1996 7-19 5th -7 1/2  Detroit Tigers W 13-4 Tim Wakefield 2-3
05/01/1996 8-19 5th -7 1/2  Detroit Tigers W 5-1 Roger Clemens 1-4
05/02/1996 8-19 5th -7  
05/03/1996 9-19 4th -8  Toronto Blue Jays W 8-7 Jamie Moyer 3-1
05/04/1996 10-19 4th -7  Toronto Blue Jays W 8-4 Tom Gordon 2-2
05/05/1996 10-20 4th -8  Toronto Blue Jays L 11-4 Tim Wakefield 2-4
05/06/1996 10-20 4th -8 1/2  at Pawtucket Red Sox pp  
05/07/1996 11-20 4th -8 1/2  at Milwaukee Brewers W 4-2 Roger Clemens 2-4
05/08/1996 11-20 4th -8 1/2  at Milwaukee Brewers pp  
05/09/1996 11-21 4th -9  at Milwaukee Brewers L 17-2 Aaron Sele 0-3
05/10/1996 12-21 4th -8  at Toronto Blue Jays W 6-5 Heathcliff Slocumb 1-1
05/11/1996 12-22 4th -8  at Toronto Blue Jays L 9-8 Brent Knackert 0-1
05/12/1996 12-23 4th -9  at Toronto Blue Jays L 8-7 Heathcliff Slocumb 1-2
05/13/1996 12-23 4th -9  
05/14/1996 13-23 4th -9  California Angels W 4-3 Stan Belinda 1-1
05/15/1996 14-23 4th -8  California Angels W 17-6 Jamie Moyer 4-1
05/16/1996 14-23 4th -8  
05/17/1996 15-23 4th -8  Oakland Athletics W 5-3 Mike Stanton 2-1
05/18/1996 15-24 4th -9  Oakland Athletics L 6-5 Rich Garces 0-1
05/19/1996 16-24 4th -8  Oakland Athletics W 12-2 Aaron Sele 1-3
05/20/1996 17-24 4th -7 1/2  Oakland Athletics W 16-4 Tom Gordon 3-2
05/21/1996 17-25 4th -8 1/2  Seattle Mariners L 13-7 Vaughn Eshelman 0-1
05/22/1996 17-26 4th -8 1/2  Seattle Mariners L 6-1 Tim Wakefield 2-5
05/23/1996 18-26 4th -8 1/2  Seattle Mariners W 11-4 Roger Clemens 3-4
05/24/1996 18-27 4th -8 1/2  at California Angels L 3-1 Aaron Sele 1-4
05/25/1996 19-27 4th -8 1/2  at California Angels W 10-3 Tom Gordon 4-2
05/26/1996 19-28 4th -8 1/2  at California Angels L 12-2 Vaughn Eshelman 0-2
05/27/1996 20-28 4th -8 1/2  at Oakland Athletics W 10-3 Tim Wakefield 3-5
05/28/1996 20-29 4th -8 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 6-2 Roger Clemens 3-5
05/29/1996 20-30 4th -8 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 7-6 Heathcliff Slocumb 1-3
05/30/1996 21-30 4th -8  at Seattle Mariners W 10-1 Tom Gordon 5-2
05/31/1996 21-31 4th -9  at Seattle Mariners L 9-6 Rich Garces 0-2
06/01/1996 22-31 4th -9  at Seattle Mariners W 6-5 Tim Wakefield 4-5
06/02/1996 22-32 4th -10  at Seattle Mariners L 3-1 Roger Clemens 3-6
06/03/1996 22-32 4th -10  
06/04/1996 22-33 4th -11  Chicago White Sox L 6-4 Eric Gunderson 0-1
06/05/1996 22-34 4th -11  Chicago White Sox L 8-6 Heathcliff Slocumb 1-4
06/06/1996 23-34 4th -11  Chicago White Sox W 7-4 Vaughn Eshelman 1-2
06/07/1996 24-34 4th -10  Milwaukee Brewers W 10-7 Rich Garces 1-2
06/08/1996 24-35 4th -10  Milwaukee Brewers L 3-2 Joe Hudson 0-2
06/09/1996 24-36 4th -11  Milwaukee Brewers L 11-8 Heathcliff Slocumb 1-5
06/10/1996 24-37 4th -12  at Chicago White Sox L 8-2 Tim Wakefield 4-6
06/11/1996 25-37 4th -12  at Chicago White Sox W 9-2 Vaughn Eshelman 2-2
06/12/1996 26-37 4th -11  at Chicago White Sox W 3-2 Joe Hudson 1-2
06/13/1996 27-37 3rd -10  Texas Rangers W 8-7 Heathcliff Slocum 2-5
06/14/1996 28-37 3rd -10  Texas Rangers W 4-3 Mike Stanton 3-1
06/15/1996 28-38 3rd -10  Texas Rangers L 13-3 Tim Wakefield 4-7
06/16/1996 29-38 3rd -10  Texas Rangers W 10-9 Joe Hudson 2-2
06/17/1996 29-38 3rd -9 1/2  
06/18/1996 29-39 3rd -10 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 9-7 Aaron Sele 1-5
06/19/1996 29-40 4th -11  at Cleveland Indians L 11-4 Tom Gordon 5-3
06/20/1996 29-41 4th -11 1/2  at Cleveland Indians L 5-4 Mike Stanton 3-2
06/21/1996 29-42 4th -13  at Texas Rangers L 14-4 Nate Minchey 0-1
06/22/1996 29-43 4th -14  at Texas Rangers L 8-2 Tim Wakefield 4-8
06/23/1996 30-43 4th -14  at Texas Rangers W 6-4 Mike Stanton 4-2
06/24/1996 30-43 4th -14  
06/25/1996 30-44 4th -14  Cleveland Indians L 4-0 Tom Gordon 5-4
06/26/1996 31-44 4th -14  Cleveland Indians W 6-4 Rich Garces 2-2
06/27/1996 31-45 4th -15  Detroit Tigers L 9-6 Nate Minchey 0-2
06/28/1996 32-45 4th -14  Detroit Tigers W 8-5 Tim Wakefield 5-8
06/29/1996 33-45 4th -14  Detroit Tigers W 13-6 Vaughn Eshelman 3-2
06/30/1996 34-45 4th -13  Detroit Tigers W 9-4 Tom Gordon 6-4
07/01/1996 34-46 4th -14  at New York Yankees L 2-0 Roger Clemens 3-7
07/02/1996 34-47 4th -15  at New York Yankees L 7-5 Joe Hudson 2-3
07/03/1996 34-47 4th -15  at New York Yankees pp  
07/04/1996 34-48 4th -16  at Baltimore Orioles L 8-6 Tim Wakefield 4-9
07/05/1996 35-48 4th -16  at Baltimore Orioles W 7-3 Aaron Sele 2-5
07/06/1996 35-49 4th -17  at Baltimore Orioles L 4-3 Roger Clemens 3-8
07/07/1996 36-49 4th -16  at Baltimore Orioles W 7-5 Joe Hudson 3-3
07/08/1996  All Star Game Break
07/09/1996
07/10/1996
07/11/1996 37-49 4th -16  at Detroit Tigers W 11-4 Roger Clemens 4-8
07/12/1996 38-49 3rd -15 1/2  at Detroit Tigers W 11-3 Tom Gordon 7-4
07/13/1996 39-49 3rd -16  at Detroit Tigers W 10-5 Aaron Sele 3-5
07/14/1996 40-49 3rd -16  at Detroit Tigers W 6-4 Jamie Moyer 5-1
07/15/1996 41-49 3rd -15  New York Yankees W 8-6 Tim Wakefield 5-9
07/16/1996 41-50 3rd -16  New York Yankees L 9-5 Roger Clemens 4-9
07/17/1996 42-50 3rd -15  New York Yankees W 12-11 Vaughn Eshelman 4-2
07/18/1996 42-51 3rd -15  Baltimore Orioles L 6-3 Aaron Sele 3-6
07/19/1996 43-51 3rd -14  Baltimore Orioles W 13-2 Jamie Moyer 6-1
07/20/1996 44-51 3rd -14  Baltimore Orioles W 2-0 Tim Wakefield 6-9
07/21/1996 44-52 3rd -14  Baltimore Orioles L 10-6 Mike Stanton 4-3
07/22/1996 44-53 3rd -14  Kansas City Royals L 5-2 Tom Gordon 7-5
07/23/1996 44-54 3rd -15  Kansas City Royals L 7-5 Aaron Sele 3-7
07/24/1996 45-54 3rd -15  Kansas City Royals W 12-2 Jamie Moyer 7-1
07/25/1996 45-55 3rd -15  at Minnesota Twins L 16-6 Tim Wakefield 7-10
07/26/1996 45-56 3rd -16  at Minnesota Twins L 5-1 Roger Clemens 4-10
07/27/1996 46-56 3rd -16  at Minnesota Twins W 9-5 Tom Gordon 8-5
07/28/1996 46-57 4th -17  at Minnesota Twins L 9-8 Aaron Sele 3-8
07/29/1996 46-57 4th -17  
07/30/1996 46-58 4th -17  at Kansas City Royals L 7-0 Vaughn Eshelman 4-3
07/31/1996 47-58 4th -16  at Kansas City Royals W 5-3 Tim Wakefield 8-10
08/01/1996 47-59 4th -17  at Kansas City Royals L 9-4 Roger Clemens 4-11
08/02/1996 48-59 4th -16  Minnesota Twins W 11-10 Mark Brandenburg 2-3
08/03/1996 49-59 4th -16  Minnesota Twins W 6-3 Aaron Sele 4-8
49-60 4th -15 1/2 L 6-0 Jeff Suppan 0-1
08/04/1996 50-60 4th -15 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 13-6 Vaughn Eshelman 5-3
08/05/1996 51-60 4th -15 1/2  Toronto Blue Jays W 3-1 Tim Wakefield 9-10
08/06/1996 52-60 3rd -15 1/2  Toronto Blue Jays W 3-2 Mike Maddux 1-1
08/07/1996 53-60 3rd -14 1/2  Toronto Blue Jays W 8-0 Tom Gordon 9-5
08/08/1996 53-61 3rd -15 1/2  Toronto Blue Jays L 9-6 Aaron Sele 4-9
08/09/1996 54-61 3rd -14 1/2  at Milwaukee Brewers W 9-7 Jeff Suppan 1-1
55-61 3rd -14 W 4-1 Vaughn Eshelman 6-3
08/10/1996 56-61 3rd -13  at Milwaukee Brewers W 3-2 Tim Wakefield 10-10
08/11/1996 57-61 3rd -13  at Milwaukee Brewers W 2-0 Roger Clemens 5-11
08/12/1996 57-62 3rd -13  at Toronto Blue Jays L 5-1 Tom Gordon 9-6
08/13/1996 58-62 3rd -12  at Toronto Blue Jays W 7-5 Mark Brandenburg 3-3
08/14/1996 59-62 3rd -12  at Toronto Blue Jays W 8-6 Stan Belinda 2-1
08/15/1996 59-62 3rd -12  
08/16/1996 59-63 3rd -12  California Angels L 6-3 Tim Wakefield 10-11
08/17/1996 60-63 3rd -11  California Angels W 6-0 Roger Clemens 6-11
08/18/1996 60-64 3rd -11  California Angels L 4-3 Mark Brandenburg 3-4
08/19/1996 61-64 3rd -11  California Angels W 10-9 Kerry Lacy 1-0
08/20/1996 62-64 3rd -11  Oakland Athletics W 4-3 Rich Garces 3-2
08/21/1996 63-64 3rd -10  Oakland Athletics W 6-4 Mark Brandenburg 4-4
08/22/1996 64-64 3rd -9  Oakland Athletics W 2-1 Roger Clemens 7-11
08/23/1996 64-65 3rd -10  Seattle Mariners L 6-4 Mark Brandenburg 4-5
08/24/1996 65-65 3rd -10  Seattle Mariners W 9-5 Kerry Lacy 2-0
08/25/1996 66-65 3rd -9  Seattle Mariners W 8-5 Mike Maddux 2-1
08/26/1996 67-65 3rd -8  at California Angels W 4-1 Tim Wakefield 11-11
08/27/1996 68-65 3rd -7  at California Angels W 2-1 Roger Clemens 8-11
08/28/1996 69-65 3rd -6  at California Angels W 7-4 Tom Gordon 10-6
08/29/1996 69-65 3rd -5 1/2  
08/30/1996 69-66 3rd -6 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 7-0 Mike Maddux 2-2
08/31/1996 69-67 3rd -7 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 8-0 Tim Wakefield 11-12
09/01/1996 70-67 3rd -6 1/2  at Oakland Athletics W 8-3 Aaron Sele 6-9
09/02/1996 71-67 3rd -6 1/2  at Seattle Mariners W 9-8 Heathcliff Slocumb 3-5
09/03/1996 71-68 3rd -6 1/2  at Seattle Mariners L 11-9 Tom Gordon 10-7
09/04/1996 72-68 3rd -6 1/2  at Seattle Mariners W 7-5 Pat Mahomes 2-4
09/05/1996 72-68 3rd -6 1/2  
09/06/1996 73-68 3rd -6 1/2  at Chicago White Sox W 10-3 Tim Wakefield 12-12
09/07/1996 73-69 3rd -6 1/2  at Chicago White Sox L 4-3 Roger Clemens 8-12
09/08/1996 73-70 3rd -6 1/2  at Chicago White Sox L 7-4 Aaron Sele 6-10
09/09/1996 73-71 3rd -7  Milwaukee Brewers L 6-0 Tom Gordon 10-8
09/10/1996 73-72 3rd -8  Milwaukee Brewers L 11-10 Joe Hudson 3-4
09/11/1996 74-72 3rd -8  Milwaukee Brewers W 4-1 Tim Wakefield 13-12
09/12/1996 74-72 3rd -7 1/2  
09/13/1996 75-72 3rd -8 1/2  Chicago White Sox W 9-5 Roger Clemens 9-12
09/14/1996 75-73 3rd -9 1/2  Chicago White Sox L 13-5 Tom Gordon 10-9
09/15/1996 76-73 3rd -8 1/2  Chicago White Sox W 9-8 Heathcliff Slocumb 4-5
09/16/1996 76-73 3rd -8 1/2  
09/17/1996 77-73 3rd -8 1/2  at Detroit Tigers W 4-2 Mark Brandenburg 5-5
09/18/1996 78-73 3rd -8 1/2  at Detroit Tigers W 4-0 Roger Clemens 10-12
09/19/1996 79-73 3rd -8  at Detroit Tigers W 8-3 Tom Gordon 11-9
09/20/1996 80-73 3rd -7  at New York Yankees W 4-2 Tim Wakefield 14-12
09/21/1996 80-74 3rd -8  at New York Yankees L 12-11 Joe Hudson 3-5
09/22/1996 80-75 3rd -9  at New York Yankees L 4-3 Aaron Sele 6-11
09/23/1996 81-75 3rd -8  at New York Yankees W 4-3 Heathcliff Slocumb 5-5
09/24/1996 82-75 3rd -7 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 13-8 Tom Gordon 12-9
09/25/1996 82-76 3rd -9  Baltimore Orioles L 6-2 Tim Wakefield 14-13
09/26/1996 83-76 3rd -8  New York Yankees W 5-3 Mike Maddux 3-2
09/27/1996 84-76 3rd -7  New York Yankees W 7-5 Aaron Sele 7-11
09/28/1996 84-77 3rd -8  New York Yankees L 4-2 Roger Clemens 10-13
09/29/1996 85-77 3rd -7  New York Yankees W 6-5 Pat Mahomes 3-4
 
1996 RED SOX BATTING & PITCHING
 
 

 

 

FINAL 1996 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees

92 70 -

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

88 74 4

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX

85

77

7

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

74 88 18

 

 

Detroit Tigers

53 109 39

 

 

 
1995 RED SOX 1997 RED SOX