Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – March 16, 2015

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Today your pal Sully acted in a movie called “The Wrong Stuff”. It is written and directed by Brett Rapkin, who previously made a documentary about the same subject, former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee.

That film, entitled Spaceman – A Baseball Odyssey, also featured yours truly.

I play a mailman opposite Josh Duhamel, who plays Bill Lee. We had fun on the set today, improvised in an unusual manner and I also got to meet 2003 Cy Young winner Eric Gagne in the process.

It was a fun day of movie making magic on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

For more info on the movie The Wrong Stuff, click here.

To check out the original documentary Spaceman – A Baseball Odyssey, click here.

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Red Sox pitchers who clinched a post season Series: From Dinneen to Uehara

Getty Images

Getty Images

In my opinion, no sight in baseball is cooler than the pitcher getting the final out of a post season series. Whether the final play is a strikeout or a deep flyball, the focus of the celebration is inevitably the ultimate group hug on the mound and a fabulous celebration.

In many ways, I find it to be a more beautiful piece of sports pageantry than a walk off hit or home run to end a series. As a kid I always fantasized about being the final pitcher. And every pitcher who gets the last out gives the fan base an unforgettable image.

Of the 19 post season series won by the Red Sox, three ended on an offensive walk off play by the Red Sox.

Larry Gardner hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning of Game 8 to end the 1912 World Series.
David Ortiz hit a walk off 2 run homer in the 10th of Game 3 to clinch the 2004 Division Series.
And Jed Lowrie slapped a series ending single in Game 4 of the 2008 Division Series.

The other 16 series were ended by a pitcher getting the last out.

Some were names forgotten by all but the most studious baseball historian.
One is one of the biggest names in Red Sox history.

Three of the great clutch relievers in Boston history are on the list.
And two relievers usually associated with blowing games had a moment of glory on the mound.

Here are the pitchers, the game they pitched, and how was the last out recorded.

BILL DINNEEN
1903 World Series – Game 8
Red Sox 3, Pirates 0

October 13, 1903
At Huntington Avenue Grounds, Boston.

Complete Game 4 hit shutout.
LAST OUT: Strikeout of Honus Wagner.

RUBE FOSTER
1915 World Series – Game 5
Red Sox 5, Phillies 4

October 13, 1915
At Baker Bowl, Philadelphia.

Complete Game victory.
LAST OUT: Pinch hitter Bill Killefer grounds out to shortstop Everett Scott who throws to first baseman Del Gainer for the out.

ERINIE SHORE
1916 World Series – Game 5
Red Sox 4, Robins (Dodgers) 1

October 12, 1916
At Braves Field, Boston.

Complete Game victory with no earned runs.
LAST OUT: Brooklyn third baseman Mike Mowrey popped up to shortstop Everett Scott.

CARL MAYS
1918 World Series – Game 5
Red Sox 2, Cubs 1

September 11, 1918
At Fenway Park, Boston.

Complete Game victory.
LAST OUT: Cubs left fielder Les Mann hit a grounder to second baseman Dave Shean who threw to first baseman Stuffy McInnes for the out.

DICK DRAGO
1975 American League Championship Series – Game 3
Red Sox 5, A’s 3

October 7, 1975
At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

1 2/3 innings to save the game for winner Rick Wise.
LAST OUT: Pinch hitter Jim Holt grounded to second baseman Denny Doyle who threw to first baseman Cecil Cooper for the out.

CALVIN SCHIRALDI
1985 American League Championship Series – Game 7
Red Sox 8, Angels 1

October 15, 1986
At Fenway Park, Boston

2 innings to save the game for winner Roger Clemens.
LAST OUT: Three pitch strike out of pinch hitter Jerry Narron.

PEDRO MARTINEZ
1999 American League Division Series – Game 5
Red Sox 12, Indians 8

October 11, 1999
At Jacobs Field, Cleveland.

Out of the bullpen for 6 no hit innings in relief of starter Bret Saberhagen and reliever Derek Lowe.
LAST OUT: Strikeout of Omar Vizquel.

DEREK LOWE
2003 American League Division Series – Game 5
Red Sox 4, A’s 3

October 6, 2003
At Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland.

1 inning of relief to save the game for winner Pedro Martinez.
LAST OUT: Called third strike of pinch hitter Terrence Long.

ALAN EMBREE
2004 American League Championship Series – Game 7

Red Sox 10, Yankees 3

October 20, 2004
At Yankee Stadium, New York.

1/3 of an inning of relief for winner Derek Lowe and relievers Pedro Martinez and Mike Timlin.
LAST OUT: Pinch hitter Ruben Sierra grounded to second baseman Pokey Reese who threw to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for the out.

KEITH FOULKE
2004 World Series – Game 4.
Red Sox 3, Cardinals 0

October 27, 2004
At Busch Stadium, St. Louis

1 inning of relief to save the game for winner Derek Lowe.
LAST OUT: St. Louis shortstop Edgar Renteria grounded back to Foulke who threw to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for the out.

ERIC GAGNE
2007 American League Division Series – Game 3
Red Sox 9, Angels 1

October 7, 2007
Angel Stadium, Anaheim

1 inning of relief for winner Curt Schilling
LAST OUT: Pinch hitter Robb Quinlan flies out to right fielder J. D. Drew.

JONATHAN PAPELBON
2007 American League Championship Series – Game 7
Red Sox 11, Indians 2

October 21, 2007
Fenway Park, Boston
2 innings of relief to save the game for starter Daisuke Matsuzaka
LAST OUT: Casey Blake hits a long drive to centerfield where Coco Crisp crashes into the wall for the catch

2007 World Series – Game 4
Red Sox 4, Rockies 3

October 28, 2007
Coors Field, Denver
1 2/3 innings relief to save the game for starter Jon Lester.
LAST OUT: Strikeout of pinch hitter Seth Smith.

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KOJI UEHARA

2013 American League Division Series – Game 4

Red Sox 3, Rays 1

October 8, 2013

Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

1 1/3 innings relief to save game for starter Jake Peavy and relievers Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa.

LAST OUT: Strikeout of third baseman Evan Longoria.

2013 American League Championship Series – Game 6

Red Sox 5, Tigers 2

October 19, 2013

Fenway Park

1 inning relief to save game for starter Clay Buchholz and relievers Franklin Morales, Brandon Workman, Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow.

LAST OUT: Strikeout of shortstop Jose Iglesias.

2013 World Series – Game 6

Red Sox 6, Cardinals 1

October 30, 2013

1 inning relief for starter John Lackey and relievers Junichi Tazawa and Brandon Workman.

LAST OUT: Strikeout of Matt Carpenter

So there you have it.

Uehara is the only one to do it 3 times.
Papelbon is the only other one to have done it twice. And I am sure Calvin Schiraldi and Eric Gagne are honored to be on a list with Pedro Martinez.

I love that Pedro relieved Lowe in 1999…
Lowe saved Pedro’s clincher in 2003…
And Pedro came out of the bullpen to relieve Lowe in 2004.

There is a nice circle of life there.

And I’m glad to see solid veterans like Dick Drago and Alan Embree here.

All of them deserve Red Sox fan’s respect (yes even Calvin and Gagne.)

So savor it Red Sox fans. I don’t get to update this list every year. And savor this wonderful off season.

I won’t boo ANY member of the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox… not even these guys

When I wrote about how I would give Manny Ramirez an ovation if I were at Fenway (and I do cheer for Manny when I go the six miles from my house to Dodger Stadium) I got some people asking me privately (and someone asked on the site) would I also cheer for Johnny Damon.

Of course.
Both Manny and Johnny were big parts of the 2004 team that all of us Red Sox fans waited our whole lives for. And the make up of the 2004 team was NOT a bunch of home grown Red Sox who all played together in Pawtucket. The 1975, 1978 and 1986 Red Sox teams were primarily home grown.

With the exception of Youk, Nixon, Varitek and Lowe, none of them spent their rookie years with the Red Sox. And even Varitek and Lowe were actually originally drafted by Seattle.

Most of the 2004 squad were picked up from other teams and assembled like a baseball answer to The Dirty Dozen, slapped together for a crazy mission to reverse the curse.

So it is disingenuous to get mad when a mercenary leaves for more money. Pedro, Damon, Manny, Foulke, Schilling et al came to the Red Sox via free agency or forced trades to make dough.

When Pedro signed with the Mets, Damon signed with the Yankees and Manny forced the deal to LA, they were doing to us what they did to the Expos, A’s and Indians before coming to Fenway.

I just say “thank you” and have them on their way.
And I have my policy… if you were on the Red Sox playoff rosters for 2004 or 2007 then I can not boo you.

But there are a few guys who test that theory… and it isn’t Manny nor Damon.

There are 4 guys who at first make me want to boo… then I have to stop and say “But they helped the Sox win a ring” and reluctantly say “Oh alright. I won’t boo.”

They are…

RAMIRO MENDOZA, Relief Pitcher. 2004

He always felt like a Yankee mole, didn’t he? I still remember him being on the mound in 1999, clinching the ALCS. (No offense to El Duque, but Mendoza should have been the MVP of the 1999 ALCS.)

He was a big pile of “eh” in his 2 seasons in Boston, compiling a combined 5.73 over 2003 and 2004. And he was the last Red Sox pitcher to record a loss in 2004, getting the decision in the 19-8 Game 3 Fiasco… against the Yankees. It was the last game he pitched in a Red Sox uniform and the Sox went 8-0 the rest of the way. I admit it looked odd seeing his celebrate with the other Red Sox at Yankee Stadium after Game 7. When he received his ring the next season, he was a member of the Yankees again.

I never trusted him. But I can’t boo him.

ERIC GAGNE, Relief Pitcher. 2007

He was supposed to be the pick up that solidified the bullpen and made the World Series a lock. Instead he became the 800 pound gorilla reliever and the very symbol of how badly someone could suck when they get off the juice.

By the time the playoffs came about, he was banished to mop up duty. The only time he pitched in a close game, it was Game 2 of the 2007 ALCS which he of course lost.

The only two positive things about Gagne’s Red Sox stay were his closing out the Division Series (in a mercy move by Tito) and this song inspired by his time in Boston.

He has a ring and Yaz doesn’t? It’s sick. But I can’t boo him.

JAVIER LOPEZ, Relief Pitcher. 2007

I watched a lot of Red Sox games in 2007. And I watched a lot of games where Javier Lopez came into the game. And I honestly have no recollection of him recording an out.

I’m not being snarky. I am sure he MUST have got a batter out. But I don’t remember it. It seemed like all of his appearances were listed in the Box Score as 0 IP, faced 2 batters.

When he came into the game, you just KNEW that Tito was going to relieve him before the inning was over. You KNEW that the rally was going to continue.

He was tough to root for… and I bid him farewell last year. As poorly as he pitched, I can’t boo him.

JULIO LUGO, Shortstop. 2007

Oh boy this is the ultimate litmus test. This guy was TOUGH to root for. Not only was he obscenely overpaid ($36 million for a guy who lost his starting job with the Dodgers) but was BRUTAL in the field and had an 0-33 stretch at the plate.

Someday we’ll learn what Orlando Cabrera did to tick off the Red Sox front office. But until then, Sox fans will all be scratching our collective heads wondering why he couldn’t stay instead of shelling out tons of money for Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo.

But he won a ring with the Sox (and made a few nice plays in the World Series.) Swallow hard… I can’t boo him.

And folks, if I refrain from booing those guys, then I think I can find it in myself to cheer some of the heroes of the ’04 and ’07 titles.

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