RED SOX SWEEP WAY TO LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP; Boston Starters Strangle KC Offense From Start to Finish

October 8—Kauffman Stadium
Boston 5, Kansas City 0
Boston wins championship series 4-0


The Boston starting firm of Martinez, Wood, Young, & Clemens completely dominated Kansas City on the way to a four-game sweep of Kansas City in the Rhubarb championship series. Each man threw a complete game–the Boston bullpen didn’t throw a single pill in the series. The Royals managed one run against Pedro in game one, zero runs against Smoky Joe in game two, three runs against Cy in game three, and were shutout in the fourth game by Roger in perhaps the most dominant of the four starts. Clemens walked just one, whiffed six, gave up five hits, and faced just 31 hitters as the Sox reached the end of the championship expressway.

KC starter Danny Jackson managed to keep the game tied at zero through four strong innings at the start. But in the top of the fifth, Carlton Fisk and Darrell Evans led off with consecutive walks, and series MVP Nomar Garciaparra knocked in Fisk with a single. Jackson then got Bobby Doerr on a fly-out, but Wade Boggs slapped an RBI single and Jackson’s day was done. In came Bud Black, who got two quick outs, but the first one came on a deep sac fly that plated Garciaparra and gave Boston a 3-0 lead.

That was more than enough for the Rocket on this day, but the Sox added on another two runs in the sixth inning on solo dingers from Carl Yastrzemski and Evans.

The Sox outscored the Royals 25-4 in the series. “It’s a little embarrassing,” admitted KC manager Ned Yost after the game. “Obviously we knew the Red Sox presented a tough challenge to our much younger organization, but we beat them a couple of times in the regular season, and we were confident that we could make it a close series. Unfortunately, we just didn’t swing the bats well, and you’ve got to tip your cap to four incredible pitching performances on their side.”

nomahNomar Garciaparra was named series MVP after the game. He batted 6-for-14 in the series with two home runs. He was the only player with at least one hit in all four games and the only player to score at least one run in all four games. In game one, Garciaparra drilled the game-winning runs with a two-run homer, then in game three had a perfect day at the plate with a walk, two singles, and a homer, and in game four knocked in the winning run with an RBI single.

“It was a hell of a season,” beamed Boston skipper Joe Cronin after the game, champagne streaming down his face. “The guys started the year gangbusters. We got out to such a big lead, then got a little banged up and tired, and flagged just a bit in August, but that quickly turned into a wake-up call and we’ve gone out there just knowing we’re going to win ever since. I’ve never seen a club like this one. The coaches and I mostly just filled out the lineup cards, sat back, and watched the winning machine go to work. Just a beautiful season.”

                  R H BB E
BOS 000 032 000 - 5 8  5 0
KC  000 000 000 - 0 5  1 0

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Boston Rides 3 Early Homers To 3-0 Series Lead vs. Kansas City

October 7—Kauffman Stadium
Boston 6, Kansas City 3
Boston leads series 3-0


The series shifted to Kansas City, but the result stayed the same in game three of the best of seven Rhubarb championship series. The Red Sox had the second-best offense in the regular season, but they did not hit a lot of homers–only Minnesota went yard fewer times than Boston–but KC starter Jose Rosado couldn’t keep the Sox in spacious Kauffman Stadium in this game. Jimmie Foxx tagged a two-run shot in the first inning, Nomar Garciaparra went solo boppo in the second, and Tris Speaker took a solo trot in the third inning to put Boston up 4-0.

The Royals had the pleasure of facing the hottest hurler in the galaxy, Cy Young. They actually got to Young better than most teams had managed over the last couple of months, reaching with nine hits and four walks. They chipped away for single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to make the score 5-3. The KC faithful roared as their squad tried to rally in the seventh. The Royals had runners on the corners with one out, but Young calmly induced a double play grounder from Hal McRae.

Number eight hitters Garciaparra and Jose Offerman led their teams with three knocks apiece. Speaker collected a triple to go along with his dinger.

Boston will try for the sweep tomorrow with Roger Clemens starting vs. Danny Jackson.

                  R H BB E
BOS 211 010 001 - 6 6  5 1
KC  000 011 100 - 3 9  4 0

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Boston Bats & Joe Wood Smoke Kansas City in Game 2 Blowout

October 5—Fenway Park
Boston 11, Kansas City 0
Boston leads series 2-0


When the Red Sox are firing on all cylinders, as they were in game two of the Rhubarb championship series, they are a sight to behold. Starter Smoky Joe Wood barely broke a sweat in a two-hit shutout, and the Boston offense punished KC hurlers Kevin Appier, Joakim Soria, and Jeff Montgomery for 11 runs in the first six innings.

apeStarter Appier got out of the first inning unscathed, but everything fell apart for the Royals in the bottom of the second. Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, and Nomar Garciaparra started it with successive hits to get Boston on the board 1-0 and load the bases with nobody out. Wade Boggs followed with an RBI walk. Appier then got Tris Speaker on a double play that scored a run and made the score 3-0. With the two outs, Appier needed to stop the bleeding right there, but Ted Williams drew a walk and Jimmie Foxx knocked in another run with a single to make it 4-0. That was it for Appier.

Joakim Soria took over and was not able to end the Boston surge until after Carl Yastrzemski, Fisk, and Lynn all singled in succession and the Red Sox had scored seven runs in the disastrous frame.

The rest of the game felt like a mere formality, with the Royals never getting anything  going against a wicked Wood, and the Sox tacking on four more runs.

Every Red Sox batter got at least one hit and scored at least one run. Boggs and Williams both reached safely in four of five plate appearances.

The teams take a travel day tomorrow before playing game three on October 7.



                   R  H BB E
KC  000 000 000 -  0  2  4 0
BOS 070 130 00x - 11 18  3 0

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Martinez, Garciaparra Lead Boston To Championship Series Game 1 Win Over Kansas City

October 4—Fenway Park
Boston 3, Kansas City 1
Boston leads series 1-0

Red Sox Spring Training

The heavily-favored Boston Red Sox won the opening game of the Rhubarb Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals in a low-scoring affair. Kansas City starter Bret Saberhagen was reasonably sharp, particularly against the usual on-base machines Wade Boggs, Tris Speaker, and Ted Williams that top Boston’s lineup. But the Boston lineup is deep, and Jimmie Foxx and Carl Yastrzemski opened the bottom of the second with back-to-back doubles to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

Pedro Martinez was fired up and on his game. He did get himself into trouble a couple of times, but buckled down and powered his way out of the jams unscathed. KC’s top five hitters were largely MIA and went a combined 2-for-20 with two singles and no walks in the game. The first three hitters did hit the ball hard in the top of the first, but all three line drives screamed straight towards second baseman Bobby Doerr’s waiting glove. Bizarrely, all three were ballpark single chances, usually a good result for the batter since Fenway has a 1-16 rating for singles and just 17-20 for line-outs. It’s rare enough to land on a ballpark single chance three times in a row, but then to also roll between 17-20 each time is nuts.

The bottom four hitters in Kansas City’s relatively shallow lineup managed to cause some stress for Martinez. In the top of the third, Jose Offerman led off with a walk and Alcides Escobar slapped a single that pushed Offerman to second. Willie Wilson followed them up with a single that couldn’t get Offerman home, but loaded the bases with no outs and the Royals, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hitters due up. John Mayberry struck out. George Brett lifted a middle-depth fly-out to left field, and Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele, respecting Carl Yastrzemski’s strong arm, elected to not send Offerman home on a tag. Martinez finished off the Houdini act by getting Willie Aikens to ground out softly to first.

Offerman and Escobar again set the Royals up for a rally in the fifth inning, leading off with a single and a walk respectively, but Wilson, Mayberry, and Brett all flew out without advancing either runner.

In the bottom of the fifth, Nomar Garciaparra made the Fenway rooters roar with a two-run blast over the monster.

The Royals got on the board in the top of the sixth with a Hal McRae single and Darrell Porter triple, but that one run was all they could manage against Pedro’s complete game.

Starters Smoky Joe Wood and Kevin Appier are slated to face off tomorrow in game two.

                  R H BB E
KC  000 001 000 - 1 7  2 0
BOS 010 020 00x - 3 5  3 0

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Mantle & Young Named Players of September


Mickey Mantle finished off a strong season with his best month of the year in September. He and teammate Lou Gehrig were neck-and-neck as the most productive hitters over the final month, and the Mick provides much more defensive value and speed than Gehrig.

Mantle just hit and hit all month, but his finest day came on September 11 with the Yankees hosting the Blue Jays. Mantle rapped five hits, two of which were homers. Here is his September by the numbers:

140 19 42 29  7  0  6 .347 .436 .554 .429  29

Full slate of players of the month this season:

April: Tris Speaker, BOS
May: Lou Gehrig, NY
June: Craig Biggio, HOU
July: Frank Thomas, CHI
August: Ty Cobb, DET
September: Mickey Mantle, NY

Cy Young became the only player to win more than one player/pitcher of the month honor. Having just won the prize in August, Young reeled off another remarkable month in September. It started with a relative down game for Young on September 4th. He had pitched his team to a 2-1 lead against Cleveland in the ninth inning, but the Naps got to him for two runs in that final frame to beat him. It was the only one of his final 10 starts in which he gave up more than one run.

Then on the 9th, Young was masterful for 10 full innings and gave up just one run in a victory over Detroit. It might have been his finest game of the year. He walked one and struck out six.

Next up, Young swatted down Chicago on the 14th with a dominant nine inning, one run game. Same nine innings and one run against Anaheim on the 19th. On the 25th, Young again only yielded one, though this time in a scandalously short seven inning start that still ended in a win over New York. In his final regular season start of the year, he returned to his usual nine innings/one run dominance, this time winning over Oakland.

53  8  7  1  9 30  1.19 1.36 2.53   15

All the pitchers of the month this year:

April: Johan Santana, MN
May: Pedro Martinez, BOS
June: Ed Walsh, CHI
July: Smoky Joe Wood, BOS
August: Cy Young, BOS
September: Cy Young, BOS

Boston Finishes Triumphant Regular Season With Sweep of Oakland

September 29: Boston 3, Oakland 0

The unstoppable Wade Boggs cracked another three hits and Roger Clemens finished his stellar regular season with seven shutout innings.

                  R H BB
OAK 000 000 000 - 0 5  6
BOS 003 000 00x - 3 7  3

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Bender   8.0  3  3  0  3  4  
R. Clemens  7.0  0  0  0  3  7 

OAK 87-73, BOS 94-66

September 30: Boston 6, Oakland 1

Just about any other team would be thrilled to have Jon Lester in their rotation, but with Boston’s incredible starting pitcher depth, Lester only squeezed in 73 innings all year. He made an excellent spot start in this one, giving up just two hits, and concluded his season with a tidy 3.22 ERA.

Boggs and Tris Speaker each had one hit to move into a four-way tie for the league hit lead. Boggs, Speaker, Lou Gehrig, and Cleveland’s Joe Jackson all stood at 211 knocks.

                  R H BB
OAK 010 000 000 - 1 3  2
BOS 500 000 01x - 6 9  7

HR: J. Canseco (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Zito     7.2  6  6  0  7  6  
J. Lester   8.0  1  1  1  2  9 

OAK 87-74, BOS 95-66

speakerOctober 1: Boston 4, Oakland 1

Cy Young went the full nine and gave up just one. He was merely good for the first two-thirds of the year before shifting into next level ish. He rampaged like a runaway train through his last 10 starts, allowing 10 earned runs in 89 innings.

Carl Yastrzemski was perfect in this game with three singles and a double. Boggs went hitless while Tris Speaker slapped two more safeties to claim the hit crown with 213 on the year. Boggs leads the league in hits + walks + HBP at 310.

The limp showing by Oakland knocked them into a third place finish (tied with Baltimore) and boosted Minnesota to a second place finish.

Boston has two days off before hosting game one of the championship series on October 4th.

                  R H BB
OAK 000 000 010 - 1 5  3
BOS 012 100 00x - 4 9  4
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Waddell  4.0  4  4  0  4  4  
C. Young    9.0  1  1  0  3  5 

OAK 87-75, BOS 96-66


New York Takes Series in Boston

September 25: Boston 8, New York 2

Cy Young continued his shockingly good finish to the season and now has a 1.01 ERA over his last nine starts. Young has snuck into the league’s top ten with a 3.33 mark for the year.

The outlandishly good top of Boston’s lineup went koo-koo, Wade Boggs and Tris Speaker each reaching four times and Ted Williams thrice. The trio started the bottom of the first with three consecutive doubles.

                  R  H BB
NY  001 000 001 - 2  7  5
BOS 200 041 01x - 8 12  4

HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Hoyt    4.1  6  6  0  2  0  
C. Young   7.0  1  1  0  2  3 

NY 81-76, BOS 93-64

September 26: New York 15, Boston 10

This one went wild. The Yanks jumped Lefty Grove for eight runs in the first three innings. Alex Rodriguez hit two homers in that stretch and New York held a 9-2 lead after three and a half innings, but they coughed it up. The top of Boston’s lineup again proved almost impossible to get out. Boggs knocked three hits including a rare dinger, Speaker hit four safeties and drew a walk, Williams walked twice and singled, and Jimmie Foxx walked and smacked three singles from cleanup.

Boston tied the game at 10 in the seventh inning and seemed to have all the momentum after deflating New York’s huge lead. But Williams and Speaker both made errors in the top of the ninth to go along with four New York singles, which let the Yankees run away with five runs and the victory.

                   R  H BB
NY  134 101 005 - 15 15  3
BOS 101 212 300 - 10 16  6

HR: A. Rodriguez-2 (26), Y. Berra (9), W. Boggs (4)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Gomez   5.1  7  7  0  6  1  
L. Grove   2.2  8  6  3  1  3 

NY 82-76, BOS 93-65

caldwellSeptember 27: New York 6, Boston 1

Ray Caldwell was unusually good in a complete game for New York and Smoky Joe Wood was unusually ineffective while giving up five runs. A Wade Boggs error in the fifth inning helped New York to the winning run. Then in the eighth, Bill Dickey tripled, Derek Jeter doubled, and Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig singled to run up the Yankees lead.

New York couldn’t keep up with Boston in the standings this year, but they played respectably in their head-to-head contests. Boston claimed 10 of the 18 meetings between the rivals.

                  R H BB
NY  000 020 040 - 6 8  8
BOS 000 010 000 - 1 8  4

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Caldwell  9.0  1  1  0  4  2  
S.J. Wood    7.1  5  4  0  8  9 

NY 83-76, BOS 93-66