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2003 American League Championship Series

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2003 American League Championship Series
Team (Wins) Manager Season
New York Yankees (4) Joe Torre 101-61, .623, GA: 6
Boston Red Sox (3) Grady Little 95-67, .586, GB: 6
Dates: October 8–October 16
MVP: Mariano Rivera (New York)
Television: FOX
TV announcers: Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Bret Boone
Radio: ESPN Radio
Radio announcers: Jon Miller and Joe Morgan
Umpires: Tim McClelland, Derryl Cousins, Joe West, Ángel Hernández, Terry Craft, Alfonso Márquez
ALDS: New York Yankees over Minnesota Twins (3-1)
  Boston Red Sox over Oakland Athletics (3-2)
 < 2002 ALCS 2004 > 
2003 World Series

The 2003 American League Championship Series was played between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees from October 8 to October 16, 2003. The Yankees won the series 4 games to 3 to advance to the World Series.

SummaryEdit

This series delivered yet another blow to Red Sox fans' hopes of winning a World Series for the first time since 1918. The series seemed evenly matched, with the lead being held first by the Red Sox, then by the Yankees. The Sox forced the series to a full seven games, with the seventh game setting another major league record for the rivalry between the two teams: it marked the first time two major league teams have played more than 25 games against each other over the course of a single season. The Red Sox also set an ALCS record with 12 home runs in the series.

Boston Red Sox vs. New York YankeesEdit

New York wins the series, 4-3

GameScoreDateLocationAttendance
1Boston Red Sox - 5, New York Yankees - 2October 8Yankee Stadium56,281[1]
2Boston Red Sox - 2, New York Yankees - 6October 9Yankee Stadium56,295[2]
3New York Yankees - 4, Boston Red Sox - 3October 11Fenway Park34,209[3]
4New York Yankees - 2, Boston Red Sox - 3October 13Fenway Park34,599[4]
5New York Yankees - 4, Boston Red Sox - 2October 14Fenway Park34,619[5]
6Boston Red Sox - 9, New York Yankees - 6October 15Yankee Stadium56,277[6]
7Boston Red Sox - 5, New York Yankees - 6 (11 innings)October 16Yankee Stadium56,279[7]

Game summariesEdit

Game 1Edit

Wednesday, October 8, 2003 at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York

Team 123456789RHE
Boston 000220100 5 130
New York 000000200 2 30
WP: Tim Wakefield (1-0)  LP: Mike Mussina (0-1)  SV: Scott Williamson (1)  
HRs:  BOS – Todd Walker (1), Manny Ramírez (1), David Ortiz (1)

Backed by three home runs, Tim Wakefield shut the Bombers down in Game 1.

Game 2Edit

Thursday, October 9, 2003 at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York

Team 123456789RHE
Boston 010001000 2 101
New York 02101020X 6 80
WP: Andy Pettitte (1-0)  LP: Derek Lowe (0-1)  
HRs:  BOS – Jason Varitek (1)  NYY – Nick Johnson (1)

And Andy Pettitte responded in Game 2.

Game 3Edit

Saturday, October 11, 2003 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 123456789RHE
New York 011200000 4 70
Boston 200000100 3 60
WP: Roger Clemens (1-0)  LP: Pedro Martínez (0-1)  SV: Mariano Rivera (1)  
HRs:  NYY – Derek Jeter (1)

Game 3 was highly anticipated, a classic matchup between Sox ace Pedro Martínez and former Sox pitcher Roger Clemens, who, on the cusp of retirement, was thought to be pitching his last game at Fenway Park. Early on, Karim Garcia was hit in the back by a Martinez fastball. Words were exchanged and Martinez threateningly gestured towards Yankee catcher Jorge Posada. When Garcia was forced out at second, he slid hard into Todd Walker. The following inning, Manny Ramírez took exception to a high Clemens pitch and charged the mound. Both benches cleared, but the resulting brawl turned surreal when 72-year-old Yankee bench coach Don Zimmer ran toward Pedro Martínez and swung an arm at his head. Martinez then threw Zimmer to the ground. After the 13-minute delay, Clemens struck out Ramirez and proceeded to pitch effectively as the Yankees held a lead. The game would not end quietly: a Fenway groundskeeper got into a scuffle with Yankee reliever Jeff Nelson while tending to the bullpen area.

Game 4Edit

Monday, October 13, 2003 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 123456789RHE
New York 000010001 2 61
Boston 00011010X 3 60
WP: Tim Wakefield (2-0)  LP: Mike Mussina (0-2)  SV: Scott Williamson (2)  
HRs:  NYY – Rubén Sierra (1)  BOS – Todd Walker (2), Trot Nixon (1)

Game 4 was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain; Todd Walker hit his second home run of the series to pace the Sox in that game. The Red Sox scored the eventual deciding run when Jason Varitek just beat a potential double play ground ball with the bases loaded.

Game 5Edit

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 123456789RHE
New York 030000010 4 71
Boston 000100010 2 61
WP: David Wells (1-0)  LP: Derek Lowe (0-2)  SV: Mariano Rivera (2)  
HRs:  BOS – Manny Ramírez (2)

The see-saw continued to teeter in Game 5 as David Wells and Mariano Rivera combined to shut Boston down.

Game 6Edit

Wednesday, October 15, 2003 at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York

Team 123456789RHE
Boston 004000302 9 161
New York 100410000 6 122
WP: Alan Embree (1-0)  LP: José Contreras (0-1)  SV: Scott Williamson (3)  
HRs:  BOS – Trot Nixon (2), Jason Varitek (2)  NYY – Jason Giambi (1), Jorge Posada (1)

Back at Yankee Stadium, six Red Sox pitchers kept the team in the game as a 7th-inning comeback forced a Game 7.

Game 7Edit

Thursday, October 16, 2003 at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York

Team 1234567891011RHE
Boston 03010001000 5 110
New York 00001013001 6 111
WP: Mariano Rivera (1-0)  LP: Tim Wakefield (2-1)  
HRs:  BOS – David Ortiz (2), Kevin Millar (1), Trot Nixon (3)  NYY – Jason Giambi 2 (3), Aaron Boone (1)

In the Martinez-Clemens rematch of Game 3, the Sox took an early lead in game 7, jumping to a 4-0 lead and knocking Clemens out of the game in the fourth inning with two men on base and nobody out. Only three brilliant shutout innings by Mike Mussina (making the first relief appearance of his career) and two solo home runs by Jason Giambi kept the Yankees in the ballgame. But in the 8th inning, with the Red Sox leading 5-2, things unraveled for Boston. Sox manager Grady Little left a tiring Martinez in for the 8th, a controversial move which is still discussed today. Little had two relievers who had shown some effectiveness in the games leading up to the seventh game -- Scott Williamson and Mike Timlin (who had not allowed a single hit in the playoffs) -- in the bullpen. However, both Williamson and Timlin had experienced stretches of ineffectiveness during the season, while Martinez had Hall of Fame credentials. Critics of the move note that Martinez had experienced diminished effectiveness in the late innings of games in which he had thrown more than 100 pitches. After the Cy Young Award winner Martinez assured his manager he still had something left, he gave up a double to Derek Jeter and a single to Bernie Williams, prompting Little to go out to the mound. To the surprise of many, Little left Martinez in the game, leaving inconsistent lefty Alan Embree in the bullpen with the left-handed Hideki Matsui coming to the plate. Martinez gave up a double to Matsui and a bloop double to Jorge Posada to tie the game, sending it to extra innings. Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth and pitched three shutout innings.

Tim Wakefield pitched a scoreless 10th for Boston and in the bottom of the 11th faced Aaron Boone, who had entered earlier as a pinch-runner. In one of the more dramatic scenes in baseball history, on the first pitch Boone launched a home run into the left field seats. Fox Sports displayed a vivid collection of images thereafter: tears welling up in the eyes of Aaron's brother, Seattle Mariners infielder Bret Boone (the guest announcer), ALCS MVP Mariano Rivera running to the mound and collapsing on it in joy, Boone jumping on home plate, and Rivera being carried off on his teammates' shoulders.

Composite BoxEdit

2003 ALCS (4-3): New York Yankees over Boston Red Sox

Team 1234567891011RHE
New York Yankees 16264054101 30 545
Boston Red Sox 24453162200 29 683

<tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="15">Total Attendance: 328,559   Average Attendance: 46,937</td></tr>


AftermathEdit

The series is widely considered to be one of the worst losses in Boston sports history. The loss was crushing for Red Sox fans, many of whom blamed Little for leaving Martinez in the game and not going to his recently-dependable bullpen, since Martinez had experienced difficulty pitching effectively beyond 100 pitches. In his book "Now I Can Die In Peace", Bill Simmons writes that the Boston owners and Theo Epstein had ordered Little to remove Pedro from the game when he finished the 7th inning and/or topped the three-digit pitch count. Martinez was sure he would not be called on for the 8th inning, but agreed to do so when his manager asked him. After the game, Little reportedly and prophetically told his pitcher "Petey, I might not be here anymore". Little defended his move by saying that he felt a tired Martinez was a better option than anyone else on the team. Defenders of Little also noted that the Red Sox offense collapsed in the game, as the club scored only 2 runs in the last 9 innings of the contest and also noted the poor defensive play of Johnny Damon in center field during the crucial inning. Little's contract was not renewed after the season and he was replaced by Terry Francona. Little went on to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers before ironically being replaced by Joe Torre.

Until the final game of the pennant race, some baseball fans had been hoping for a rematch of the 1918 World Series: a showdown between the Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs, one of only two major league teams to have played for a longer period of time since winning the World Series (the other was the Chicago White Sox, who went on to win the Series in 2005). The Cubs reached the 2003 National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. As with the Red Sox, they had a 3-run lead and were only five outs away from reaching the World Series, although this was in Game 6, when the Marlins scored eight runs in that inning and won the game 8–3. The Marlins would win Game 7 9–6 to advance to the World Series, where they defeated the Yankees 4 games to 2.

Yankees' dramatic rally in the 8th inning of Game 7Edit

All calls are by Joe Buck

Jeter flies it to right...Nixon, back on the run, it's over his head! Jeter will dig for second, he will hold there with a double!

Derek Jeter's one-out, rally-sparking double.

The 2-2...into center field, Damon will play it on a hop, Jeter will come to the plate...it's a two-run game!

Bernie Williams' RBI single.

Ripped into the right field corner, fair! Bernie Williams will dig, it's a ground-rule double! It's second and third as the Red Sox catch a break as that ball hops out of play. But the tying runs are on second and third with only one out here in the 8th!

Hideki Matsui's double.

A flare into center field...out is Walker, he won't get it! The base running of Matsui...he comes home, nobody covers second, tie game!

Jorge Posada's game-tying two-run double.

Quotes of the SeriesEdit

All quotes are by Joe Buck (Fox Sports) unless otherwise noted.

You talk about looking for a reason!

After Manny Ramírez charged Roger Clemens in Game 3 at Fenway Park

I think we have upgraded from a battle to war.

Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little after Game 3

Nixon hammers one into deep right, if it's fair, it's gone, this one is into the upper deck, a two-run home run! It's 9-6 Boston here in the ninth. So much for Trot Nixon's tough night; he delivers at a crucial time here, in the ninth inning, to give the Red Sox a three-run cushion.

Boston Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon's two-run blast inside the right field foul pole at Yankee Stadium

Williamson trying to nail it down... into right center field, we will see you tomorrow night! Game 7 of the ALCS, we know you'll join us as Pedro Martínez takes on Roger Clemens. It's a final of 9-6, Game 6 belongs to the Boston Red Sox.

Boston Red Sox's Scott Williamson saving Game 6 to notch the win.

Ortiz gets one into right, this one is at the wall and gone! David Ortiz greets David Wells with a first pitch home run to right; it's 5-2 Boston.

Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz's solo home run off Yankees' David Wells in the top of the eighth inning of Game 7.

The Boston Red Sox, and fans from New England will tell you that they were five outs away, leading by three...as Boone hits it to deep left...that might send the Yankees to the World Series. Boone is the hero of Game 7!!!

Aaron Boone's eleventh inning walk off home run.

There's a fly ball deep to left. It's on its way, there it goes, and the Yankees are going to the World Series! Aaron Boone has hit a home run! The Yankees go to the World Series for the thirty-ninth time in their remarkable history! Aaron Boone down the left field line, they are waiting for him at home plate, and now he dives into the scrum! The Yankees win it, six to five! Ball game over! American League Championship Series over! Yankees win!: "The" Yankees win!

Charley Steiner and John Sterling (Yankees radio) call at the same moment Buck called the above.

Notable performersEdit

NotesEdit

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