THE CURSE OF THE
BAMBINO, PART 11 ...
IT'S TIME TO "COWBOY UP"
The Sox roar back with
a three run 7th inning
April 18, 2003
way under the silvery moon in the frosty sky was the resurgent crew
of Red Sox relievers about to feel a pang of empathy last night for
poor Jeff Tam. They watched their Toronto counterpart, in a scene as
ugly as any the Boston bullpen has foisted upon the faithful,
squander a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning at Fenway
Park by surrendering three runs on a single, four straight walks (one
intentional), and a fielder's choice in a 7-3 Sox victory before
31,440 well-chilled witnesses.
Tam's world. Emerging from one of the few bullpens that have nearly matched
Boston's for inefficiency, Tam bestowed a richly appreciated gift on the Sox by
firing 17 of 18 pitches for balls in one stretch, including a run-scoring wild
pitch and run- producing ball four to the ice man, Kevin Millar.
generosity helped the Sox win their fifth straight game and sixth in seven
tries. Though Tam termed his meltdown "inexcusable" and "embarrassing," the Sox
deserved some credit for abetting his collapse.
Wakefield set the stage for the comeback by overcoming the elements and holding
the Jays to three runs (two earned) over seven innings. He unleashed two wild
pitches and two other knucklers that eluded catcher Doug Mirabelli for passed
balls. Wakefield surrendered seven hits, walked three, and hit a batter before
the Sox rewarded him by waiting out Tam.
Tolar plowed down the Jays in the eighth, clearing the way for the Sox to score
two more runs on Mirabelli's second homer in as many nights. And Fox finished
off the Jays in the ninth, the third straight night the Sox pen has gone
unscathed. Fox allowed a single to Orlando Hudson but otherwise struck out the
cut his teeth roaming the chilly climes of the upper Midwest for the St. Paul
Saints of the independent Northern League, continued to thrive in the frigid
air. His solo shot in the sixth inning was the first homer that was caught
cleanly by a fan in the Monster seats, barehanded nonetheless. Hillenbrand also
drove in two runs to reclaim sole possession of the league's RBI lead with 20.
And Mirabelli remained on a tear with a homer and two singles. He is 5 for his
last 6 with two homers after starting the season 0 for 15. But with a Sox lineup
that entered the night leading the league in runs, he may have to wait a while
to swing the bat again.
troubles wasted a solid outing by Toronto starter Mark Hendrickson, who held the
Sox to two runs on seven hits and three walks through six innings.