Another miracle for the Bombers, this time in the Bronx.
"I still can't even put it into words. It's humbling. This game humbles you all the time in good ways and bad ways. It's been humbling a little bit lately for me in a bad way, and this is just the same," Boone said to the Associated Press about his eleventh inning home run off knuckleball Tim Wakefield.
The Yankee third basemen becomes the fifth player to end a postseason series with a homer, the last being Todd Pratt's that lifted the Mets over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1999 NLDS.
The other three include Chris Chambliss' shot in 1976 that allowed the Bronx Bombers to capture the pennant, Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski in the 1960 World Series versus the Yankees inside Forbes Field, and Joe Carter in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, who delivered for Toronto against Philadelphia.
Seventeen years after pitching the Boston Red Sox into the World Series, allowing only four hits in seven-plus innings of work against the California Angels, Clemens toed the rubber for a decisive Game 7 once more. The forty-year old right-hander was far from perfect, allowing four runs -- three earned -- and six hits over three innings.
At the time of his departure it looked it was the end of his brilliant career.
It definitely wasn't.
|A 'LITTLE' LATE: The Boston manager may regret not taking the ball from his ace when he visited the mound the first time, prior to Hideki Matsui's double on an 0-2 count.|
That prompted Boston manager Grady Little to take a sluggish walk out to the mound in front of the 56,279 who packed the House That Ruth Built. His ace had reached 115 pitches and was beginning to show signs of fatigue.
"He asked me if I had enough ... in my tank to get him out, and I said ‘Yes.' I would never say no," Martinez said to the Associated Press. "There's no reason to blame Grady. Grady doesn't play the game, I do. If you want to judge me or criticize me or curse me or whatever, I will swallow that, because I am responsible."
Hideki Matsui then placed a double down the right-field line, putting runners on second and third as the Yankee Stadium crowd erupted. Jorge Posada stepped to the plate and dropped a hit into centerfield, plating both runners and knotting the score at five.
Mariano Rivera -- who worked a three-inning stint for the first time since September 6, 1996 and didn't allow a run -- deservedly captured the Most Valuable Player Award after saving two games and winning the decisive Game 7.
"Like Derek [Jeter] told me, ‘The ghosts will show up eventually,'" Boone said to the Associated Press.
Especially when you're playing a team that'll just never beat you.
Analyst Christopher Guy covers New York baseball for both NYMFansOnly.com and PinstripesPlus.com. You can contact him at CGGuy86@Yahoo.com