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Filling the (MLB) Void: Ortiz and Lowe Foreshadow Greatness

Let’s revisit one of the lesser remembered moments in the Red Sox 2004 postseason run.

100 Years of Fenway Park by Jason Mrachina is licensed under CC BY NC ND 2.0

Filling the (MLB) Void: Ortiz and Lowe Foreshadow Greatness

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Having a hard time with the Major League Baseball lockout? Yeah – us too. Especially when Spring Training should have started and there are still so many questions left to answer before the season can begin. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease that tension. While we may not have any of the current MLB baseball to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconicnoteworthy, and remarkable baseball games we could find. We also found some mundanerun of the mill stories, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles an MLB game, right? Until the lockout ends, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.

2004 ALDS – David Ortiz and Derek Lowe’s Early Postseason Heroics

When the 2004 postseason is discussed it usually focuses on the Red Sox 0-3 comeback vs. the Yankees in the ALCS. Next, it’s likely Boston’s ending their 86 year championship drought in a sweep of the Cardinals. But the Red Sox’s opening series vs. the Angels deserves a mention too. Specifically, the third game.

After the classic 2003 ALCS, it seemed like destiny for the Red Sox and Yankees to face off again in the 2004 playoffs. On October 8th, 2004 Boston was doing their part with a 2-0 series lead over the Angels. The Yankees were tied 1-1 with the Twins, but would go on to defeat Minnesota 3-1.

Boston was hoping to finish their sweep of the Angels and had a 6-1 lead going into the 7th inning. Unfortunately, Anaheim would not go quietly. Darin Erstad forced a bases loaded walk to make it 6-2, and then Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s dad hit a grand slam to tie it all up.

The game would then continue tied at 6 into the 10th inning. From there, it was up to Derek Lowe and David Ortiz.

Again, Lowe and Ortiz are most often mentioned for their 2004 playoff performance in the Yankees series. Lowe started Games 4 and 7, only allowing 4 total runs when the New York offense seemed impenetrable. Ortiz solidified his stature as one of the game’s best hitters in that series, with 3 home runs, a 1.119 OPS and multiple game-winning hits.

However, the Sox could have missed out on their historic ALCS win if not for Lowe and Ortiz in Game 3 of the ALDS. Lowe came in to pitch the top of the inning and had runners on the corners with 2 outs. Chone Figgins was up and had hit .412 in nine games vs. Boston that season. On a 0-1 pitch Lowe was able to get Figgins to ground out and preserve the tie.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Red Sox had one on and one out. Pokey Reese was on first base, having been brought on as a pitch runner for Mark Bellhorn. Slugger Manny Ramirez came up but was called out on strikes after four pitches vs. Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez.

Anaheim then brought in lefty Jarrod Washburn to face Ortiz, who had hit .250 vs. lefties in 2004. Ortiz would waste no time though as he took Washburn’s first offering deep into the Green Monster seats. The Red Sox won and the Lowe/Ortiz combo had earned their opportunity for more heroics in the upcoming ALCS.

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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