NOMAR GARCIAPARRA

THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO, PART 11 ...
IT'S TIME TO "COWBOY UP"

The Sox bullpen collapses as
Nomar goes 6-for-6 to tie a Red Sox record

June 21, 2003 ... You simply cannot lose a game when Nomar Garciaparra goes 6 for 6, only the fourth Sox player ever to have six hits in a game, and second baseman Todd Walker makes like Rogers Hornsby with two home runs and a tie-breaking double in the 13th inning. Garciaparra, who singled six times and walked, matched a team record shared by three players. The last Sox batter with six hits in a game was Jerry Remy June 3-4, 1981, in a 20-inning epic against Seattle. The other two were Jimmy Piersall, June 10, 1953, at St. Louis, and Pete Runnels Aug. 30, 1960, in a 15-inning game against the Tigers.

The Sox bullpen blew three saves, left 14 runners on base, deprived Pedro Martinez of a victory for the fourth time this season after he departed with a lead, and created one massive headache for their fandom after Philadelphia's Todd Pratt struck a pinch-hit, walk-off home run off Sox reliever Rudy Seanez with one out in the bottom of the 13th inning for a 6-5 victory before 35,512 at Veterans Stadium.

Pratt's homer was the third of the 4-hour-45-minute marathon by the Phillies to erase Sox leads, following Jim Thome's blasts in the eighth off Mike Timlin and the 12th off Jason Shiell. The Sox entered the bottom of the 13th with a 5-3 lead thanks to a run-scoring double by Todd Walker, who homered twice earlier in the game, and a Nomar Garciaparra RBI single. But Shiell surrendered an RBI double to David Bell before Seanez was summoned to face Pratt, a former Sox farmhand. Seanez fired one ball to Pratt before he tried to throw him a fastball away and left it over the plate.

The multiple lapses wasted solid pitching performances not only by Martinez but also Alan Embree and Brandon Lyon. They also squandered memorable batting performances by Garciaparra, who matched a team record by collecting six hits, and Walker

Timlin, entrusted with a 2-1 lead in the eighth after Martinez stymied the Phillies on four hits and a pair of walks, relinquished the edge by leaving a fastball over the plate to Thome, Little's old pal and golfing buddy from Cleveland. Thome launched the ball like a tee shot 437 feet through the Philadelphia sky to make it 2-2 with his 16th homer of the season and 350th of his career.

After the Sox seized 4-3 lead in the 12th when Phillies left fielder Jason Michaels misplayed a fly ball by Kevin Millar into a run-scoring triple, Shiell aggravated matters by coughing up Thome's second jack. Then Shiell started the 13th by walking Bobby Abreu, clearing the way for Bell's double and Pratt's game-winner.

But despite their go-ahead runs in the 12th and 13th innings, the Sox endured a rash of futility in which they put 11 runners on base through the 11th inning after Walker's second homer and failed to score. The toll of their woes before their 12th-inning assist from Michaels:

- With one out in the sixth and the bases loaded, Jason Varitek bounced into a double play on a first-pitch curveball from Phillies starter Randy Wolf;
- With two outs in the seventh and the bases loaded, Manny Ramirez (a career-worst 0 for 7) popped out for the fourth straight time in the game, this time on a first-pitch slider from Turk Wendell, a former star at Wahconah Regional in Dalton, Mass.;
- With none out in the eighth and runners at second and third, former Sox lefty Rheal Cormier mowed down Varitek, Damian Jackson, and pinch hitter David Ortiz on strikes;
- With two outs in the ninth and runners at first and second, Ramirez bounced a 3-and-1 pitch from Terry Adams into a double play;
- With two outs in the 10th and Varitek on second after doubling to right-center, Philly lefty Dan Plesac was summoned to face the lefthanded-hitting Trot Nixon, whose pinch-hit flare to shallow left was chased down by shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

The Sox also stranded Millar at third with one out in the 12th as Mesa whiffed pinch hitter Jeremy Giambi and Varitek, keeping the Phillies in position to recover.

The only errant stroke by Martinez was a 92-mile-an-hour heater to Bobby Abreu on a full count leading off the second. The ball veered over the plate and Abreu launched it over the right field wall for his 11th homer, and a 1-0 lead for the Phillies. Todd Walker wasted little time countering, though, as he rocketed a curveball from Phillies starter Randy Wolf with two out in the third not far from where Abreu's shot landed, making it 1-1.

Martinez took it from there. After Abreu's jack, Martinez retired 16 of the next 18 batters, allowing only Abreu to reach on a two- out walk in the fourth and Rollins to poke a one-out, broken-bat single to center in the sixth. Rollins stole second as Martinez fanned Thome and reached third on a passed ball with Pat Burrell up. But just as Martinez got Thome waving at a curveball for a third strike, he did the same to Burrell to strand Rollins.

After Walker went deep for the second time off Wolf in the sixth, staking Martinez to a 2-1 lead, the Phillies mounted a final mini threat against the Sox ace in the seventh, when David Bell walked and Ricky Ledee singled to center with two outs. Again, though, Martinez snuffed the threat with a strikeout, blowing a fastball past Tomas Perez with his 92d - and final - pitch of the game.

But the Sox were unable to hold on.

 

at Veterans Stadium (Philadelphia) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

 

5

15

0

PHILA PHILLIES

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

3

 

6

11

1

W-Jose Mesa (3-4)
L-Rudy Saenez (0-1)
Attendance 35,512

2B-Millar (2)(Bost), Varitek (Bost), Walker (Bost)
3B-Millar (Bost)
HR-Walker (2)(Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Johnny Damon cf 6 1 1 .257  

 

Todd Walker 2b 6 3 3 .310  

 

Nmr Garciaparra ss 6 1 6 .338  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 7 0 0 .311  

 

Kevin Millar 1b 6 0 3 .305  

 

Bill Mueller 3b 4 0 1 .326  

 

Brandon Lyon p 0 0 0 .000  

 

Jeremy Giambi ph 1 0 0 .173  

 

Jason Shiell p 0 0 0 .000  

 

Rudy Saenez p 0 0 0 .000  

 

Jason Varitek c 5 0 1 .276  

 

Damian Jackson rf 4 0 0 .218  

 

Trot Nixon ph/rf 2 0 0 .300  

 

Pedro Martinez p 3 0 0 .000  

 

David Ortiz ph 1 0 0 .293  

 

Mike Timlin p 0 0 0 .000  

 

Alan Embree p 0 0 0 .000  

 

Freddy Sanchez 3b 2 0 0 .000  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Pedro Martinez 7 4 1 2 7  
  Mike Timlin 1.1 2 1 1 2  
  Alan Embree 1.1 0 0 2 1  
  Brandon Lyon 1.1 2 0 0 2  
  Jason Shiell 1.1 2 3 1 2  
  Rudy Saenez - 1 1 0 0  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2003 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees 43 29 -

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 41 31 2

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 42 32 2

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 32 39 10 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Devil Rays 24 48 19