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

Bill Mueller sets a major league HR record

July 29, 2003 ... In one of the most memorable offensive explosions in Red Sox history, Bill Mueller swatted three homers and became the first switch hitter in major league history to slug grand slams from each side of the plate in a game, as he knocked in nine runs and propelled the Sox to a 14-7 devastation of the Rangers before 24,632 at The Ballpark in Arlington.

Mueller became the 12th player in major league history to uncoil two grand slams in a game, joining Nomar Garciaparra (1999) and Jim Tabor (1939) and Rudy York (1946) among the Sox who have accomplished the feat. Boston pitching coach Tony Cloninger also launched two slams for the Braves in 1966. In addition, Mueller became the first Sox player to drive in nine runs in a game since Garciaparra knocked in 10 May 10, 1999, the day he hit two slams against the Mariners.

Mueller's second homer of the game, and his first grand slam, was the most crucial, as the Sox batted around and struck for seven runs in the seventh inning to erase a 4-2 deficit. Fourteen times this season, Little's Comeback Kids have entered the seventh trailing, only to recover and triumph. In fact, the seventh inning has been their most lopsided of all, as they have outscored their foes, 88-51.

David Ortiz's two-run double off reliever Rosman Garcia gave the Sox the lead in the seventh after Gabe Kapler singled home Garciaparra earlier in the outburst. And Mueller's first slam, from the right side of the plate off lefthander Aaron Fultz, capped it.

Their latest seventh-inning eruption helped hard-luck Tim Wakefield improve to 8-5 after his erratic knuckleball caused problems and prompted him to rely more than usual on the rest of his repertoire as he held the Rangers to four runs (two earned) over the first six innings. His knuckler danced so much that catcher Doug Mirabelli had four pitches elude him for passed balls, contributing to the two unearned runs. It hardly helped that the temperature, which was 97 at game time, made the knuckleball even more difficult to control.

After Garciaparra homered leading off the eighth to give the Sox a 10-4 edge, Mueller scorched right-hander Jay Powell for his second slam to make it 14-4. Mueller also struck a solo homer in third on his way to setting a career high in homers with 13. Trot Nixon also homered.

No pop, they said. No power. Bill Mueller could slash singles and doubles until the cows come home, the baseball wizards said after the Red Sox acquired him with an eye toward replacing Shea Hillenbrand at third base. But he was no slugger, they said. If only they could see him now.

 

at The Ballpark in Arlington (Arlington, TX) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

1

1

0

0

7

5

0

 

14

14

0

TEXAS RANGERS

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

2

1

 

7

9

0

W-Tim Wakefield (8-5)
L-Rosman Garcia (1-1)
Attendance 24,632

2B-Ortiz (2)(Bost), Mirabelli (Bost)
HR-Mueller (3)(Bost), Nixon (Bost), Garciaparra (Bost)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Johnny Damon cf 6 0 1 .267  

 

Todd Walker 2b 6 1 1 .285  

 

Nmr Garciaparra ss 3 2 2 .323  

 

Damian Jackson ss 1 0 0 .124  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 2 0 0 .325  

 

Gabe Kapler lf 1 2 1 .257  

 

David Ortiz dh 5 1 2 .290  

 

Kevin Millar 1b 4 2 1 .289  

 

Trot Nixon rf 3 3 1 .321  

 

Bill Mueller 3b 5 3 3 .330  

 

Lou Collier 3b 0 0 0 .000  

 

Jason Varitek c 5 0 2 .252  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Tim Wakefield 6 6 2 2 8  
  Alan Embree 1.1 1 2 1 1  
  Chad Fox 1.2 2 1 2 3  

 

 

         

 

 

 

2003 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

New York Yankees 64 40 -

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 63 42 1 1/2

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 54 52 11

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 50 53 13 1/2

 

 

Tampa Bay Devil Rays 38 66 26