BARRY ZITO

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

 2003 ALDS, GAME #2
Barry Zito dismantles the Sox batters

October 2, 2003 ... When the Sox boarded their flight home tonight after they absorbed two jarring blows from the A's that left their magical season at the breaking point. One defeat away from a long winter, the Sox reacted to their latest disappointment, a numbing 5-1 defeat before 36,305 at Network Associates Coliseum in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

With the nastiest curve west of the Mississippi, Barry Zito utterly dismantled one of the mightiest offensive machines in modern times, limiting the record-setting Sox lineup to a lone run on five hits and a pair of walks over seven innings. The reigning Cy Young Award winner dealt the Sox their 10th straight playoff loss to the A's since 1988. The defeat followed a 5- 4 loss in 12 innings that left Grady Little's gang trying to become the first team since the 1958 Yankees to win a playoff series after losing the opener in extra innings.

The Sox have prevailed only once in franchise history after dropping the first two games of a postseason series. But Nomar Garciaparra and the 99 Sox pulled it off when they won three straight against the Indians, a source of vast inspiration amid the latest challenge. It may happen, though, only if the Sox minimize the kind of miscues that hurt them in the first two games and unleash the powerhouse offense that propelled them into the postseason. The Sox hit only .228 over the first two games and averaged fewer than three runs a game.

The Sox had a shot at Zito only in the early innings, before the lefthander perfected the touch on his devastating curveball and began firing it with pinpoint precision. They scored only on consecutive doubles by Doug Mirabelli and Johnny Damon in the third inning before being silenced the rest of the way.

Unfortunately for the Sox, Tim Wakefield was not as successful. The knuckleballer endured a nightmarish second inning that made all the difference as the A's struck for five runs amid a bout of Wakefield wildness. It started innocently enough with a walk to Jose Guillen, but Guillen quickly advanced on a passed ball and scored on a single by Ramon Hernandez, who delivered the winning bunt in Game 1. Wakefield's next pitch glanced off Jermaine Dye's leg, clearing the way for Dye to score when Eric Byrnes sent a drive to the warning track in left that discombobulated Manny Ramirez. Unable to clearly read the ball, Ramirez let it drop, then bobbled it, enabling Dye's clear shot at the plate as Byrnes steamed into second.

Complicating matters, Wakefield walked Mark Ellis before Eric Chavez punched a two-out grounder toward right field. Second baseman Todd Walker made a fine play to glove the ball, but when he bounced up, he dropped the ball. Worse, he hurried a throw to first, air- mailing the ball over Kevin Millar for an error that allowed two more runs to score and stuck the Sox in a 5-0 quagmire. Instead, the Sox plodded unproductively until the final out.

But the Sox, as always, believe the best is yet to come despite their crisis. Now they've got to win three straight, or those Cowboy Up T-shirts go into the closet next to your 8-track collection and those "Dukakis for President" bumper stickers.



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2003 A.L. DIVISIONAL SERIES

 

 

Boston Red Sox

0 Games

 

 

Oakland Athletics

2 Games

 

 

 

 
 


2003 American League Divisional Series, Game 2
 

 
 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

   

1

6

1

 
 

OAKLAND A's

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

x

   

5

6

0

 

 

W-Barry Zito (1-0)
L-Tim Wakefield (0-1)
Attendance 36,305

2B-Mirabelli (Bost), Damon (Bost), Byrnes (Oak)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED SOX

 

AB

R

H

 

 

Johnny Damon cf 4 0 2  

 

Nomar Garciaparra ss 3 0 1  

 

Todd Walker 2b 4 0 0  

 

Manny Ramirez lf 3 0 1  

 

David Ortiz dh 4 0 0  

 

Kevin Millar 1b 4 0 0  

 

Bill Mueller 3b 4 0 1  

 

Gabe Kapler rf 3 0 0  

 

Jason Varitek ph 1 0 0  

 

Doug Mirabelli c 3 1 1  
             
    IP H ER SO  
  Tim Wakefield 6 4 3 7  
  Alan Embree 1 0 0 0  
  Scott Williamson 1 2 0 1  

 

         

 

             

 

ATHLETICS

 

AB

R

H

 

 

Mark Ellis 2b 2 1 0  

 

Erubiel Durazo dh 4 0 1  

 

Eric Chavez 3b 4 0 0  

 

Miguel Tejada ss 4 0 0  

 

Scott Hatteberg 1b 4 0 1  

 

Jose Guillen lf 1 1 0  

 

Terrence Long lf 1 0 1  

 

Ramon Hernandez c 4 1 1  

 

Jermaine Dye rf 3 1 0  

 

Eric Byrnes cf 4 1 2  
             
    IP H ER SO  
  Barry Zito 7 5 1 9  

 

Chad Bradford 1 0 0 1  
  Keith Foulke 1 1 0 0