CURSE, PART 2
& TEK COME TO TOWN
ALDS, GAME #4
Sox lose ... Indians advance to ALCS
October 3, 1998 ... While
the celebration was centered on the visitors' side of the field at
Fenway Park, where the Cleveland Indians were making plans for a
return trip to the American League Championship Series after closing
out the Red Sox, 2-1, Nomar Garciaparra popped out of the first base
shortstop waved his cap fiercely from Lansdowne Street to Van Ness to Yawkey
Way, extended his arms toward the crowd of 33,537, and put his hands together,
again and again. Even in defeat, Garciaparra, whose fourth-inning home run off
Bartolo Colon accounted for the team's only run and whose 11 RBIs set a Division
Series record, felt it appropriate that this season should end in applause.
be time later to reflect on how the Indians' David Justice, who hit a
game-winning two-run double in the eighth inning off closer Tom Gordon with the
Red Sox ahead, 1-0, detected a flaw where most other teams had found near
perfection. With one gorgeous swing straight out of the Ted Williams school of
hitting, Justice rifled a one-hop laser to the center-field triangle, ending
Gordon's consecutive-save streak at 43 and dashing Red Sox designs on extending
their October. That had seemed so possible with starter Pete Schourek pitching
nobly for 5 1/3 scoreless innings and reliever Derek Lowe setting down all five
batters he faced.
be all winter to watch replays of Mike Stanley's sixth-inning single and third
base coach Wendell Kim waving John Valentin home, where he was thrown out by
that man Justice instead of scoring the run that would have given the Sox a 2-0
lead. There would be plenty of nights to lie in bed wondering just how close Mo
Vaughn came to putting one in the net in what might have been his last Fenway
Park at-bat in the bottom of the eighth.
still 90 feet away from scoring the tying run when Troy O'Leary, whose 1-for-16
performance was the most conspicuous failure by a front-line Sox starter, lofted
a little fly ball into short center field, where it was caught by Kenny Lofton,
whose broken-bat single off Gordon had touched off the Indians' winning rally in
the top of the inning.
They came up
short, like every Red Sox team for the last 80 years. The Indians, who came
within one out of winning the World Series last season, will now meet the
Yankees for the right to a return engagement, but Garciaparra won't be watching.
Next Red Sox game, 1999.