5 Unforgettable Red Sox vs Yankees Games
There aren’t many rivalries in sports like the one between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. These teams are always competing for AL East supremacy, leading to some heated battles. Every Yankees vs Red Sox game seems to carry extra meaning, especially since the fans on both sides hate one another more than the players do. It’s no wonder that Yankees vs Red Sox tickets are always at a premium because every game in this rivalry has a chance to become an instant classic. If you’re looking for proof of that, look no further than these five unforgettable Yankees vs Red Sox games.
Game 3, 2003 ALCS
There have been several scuffles and bench-clearing incidents between the Yankees and Red Sox over the years, but not many of them took place during such a high-stakes moment like the 2003 ALCS. Pitching for the Yankees at Fenway Park, former Red Sox ace Roger Clemens threw a pitch to Manny Ramirez that Ramirez thought was a little too inside. Ramirez charged the mound and the benches quickly cleared. While the two teams quarreled, Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer took a run at Boston’s Pedro Martinez, who was the Red Sox starting pitcher in the game. Martinez side-stepped out of Zimmer’s way and shoved the 72-year-old to the ground. That moment was equal parts puzzling and memorable. Ultimately, the delay lasted 13 minutes and Fenway Park had to cease beer sales before the game resumed.
As for the game itself, Clemens gave up two runs in the first inning before things settled into a pitchers duel between him and Martinez. After trailing 2-0, the Yankees came back to take a 4-2 lead, eventually winning 4-3 with Mariano Rivera getting the save to put the Yankees up 2-1 in the series. However, the drama continued in the middle of the 9th inning. Yankees outfielder Karim Garcia, who was hit by a pitch early in the game, and reliever Jeff Nelson got into a scrap with a member of the Red Sox groundskeeper that ended with Garcia’s hand being cut and the groundskeeper going to the hospital because of cleat marks on his back.
Game 4, 2004 ALCS
The Yankees were just three outs away from sweeping the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS. Nursing a 4-3 lead with Mariano Rivera on the mound in the 9th, Kevin Millar drew a walk, allowing Dave Roberts to enter the game as a pinch-runner. Roberts stole second base, enabling him to score on a single from Bill Mueller, sending the game to extra innings. The game remained tied until the bottom of the 12th when David Ortiz hit a two-run home run to keep the series alive. The stolen base by Roberts turned out to be the turning point in the series. Boston would win three more games to reach the World Series, eventually sweeping the Cardinals to end their 86-year championship drought.
Game 6, 2004 ALCS
Known colloquially as “The Bloody Sock Game,” this was perhaps the most memorable game in the epic 2004 ALCS that saw the Red Sox erase a 3-0 series deficit with four straight wins. Boston’s Curt Schilling got knocked around by the Yankees in Game 1, but the Red Sox needed him to bounce back in Game 6 despite struggling with an ankle injury. Schilling was able to gut it out for seven innings, allowing just one run. By the end of his performance, the white sock Schilling was wearing was noticeably soaked in blood, giving fans watching a good indication of the pain he was dealing with on the mound. The Red Sox led 4-1 in the 8th inning when the Yankees looked to rally. In another notable play, New York’s Alex Rodriguez slapped the arm of Red Sox reliever Bronson Arroyo, knocking the ball out of his glove after Arroyo fielded a ground ball and made a play to tag Rodriguez. After a long discussion, the umpires ruled Rodriguez out for interference, ending the rally. Boston would win the game 4-2 to tie the series 3-3, ultimately winning Game 7 to complete the historic comeback.
Game 7, 2003 ALCS
The brawl in Game 3 of the 2003 ALC was just the appetizer for the rest of the series. Not only did the series go to seven games, but Game 7 went to extra innings after the Yankees scored three runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to tie the game 5-5. In the bottom of the 11th, Aaron Boone, who was acquired via a midseason trade, launched a home run against Boston’s Tim Wakefield. It was a rare walk-off home run to end a postseason series and has become one of the most memorable home runs in playoff history, keeping the Curse of the Bambino alive for one more year.
One-Game Tiebreaker, 1978
The first winner-take-all game between the Yankees and Red Sox might be the most memorable. The Red Sox looked poised to run away with the AL East in 1978, leading the division by as many as 14 games in July. But the Yankees didn’t give up and got hot down the stretch to tie Boston and force a one-game playoff to determine the division winner. A coin toss gave the Red Sox home-field advantage, and despite facing 25-game winner Ron Guidry, Boston led 2-0 after six innings. But with two runners on base, Bucky Dent hit a home run over the Green Monster, playing the role of unlikely hero after hitting just .125 over his previous 20 games. The Yankees added two more runs and then withstood a late rally from the Red Sox to secure a 5-4 win and the AL East crown. New York would eventually win the World Series while the Red Sox had even more proof of a curse. To this day, Boston sports fans despise Dent for his home run.