Monday, February 16, 2009

Red Sox: Past and Future

Last night I was watching the MLB Network, and this weekend they've been running "Four Home Run Games." They featured the four-homer games of Mike Cameron, Mark Whiten and Carlos Delgado. But they also showed the game where the L.A. Dodgers hit four consecutive homers in the ninth inning to tie the San Diego Padres, and eventually won the game in the tenth, 11-10. (Sorry for the bad memories, Peggy and Ken.)

It was a really amazing game. I remember watching it on the MLB package back on September 18, 2006, and it was a see-saw game from the start. The Padres opened with four in the first, and with Jake Peavy on the mound, you'd have thought that would have been enough. But Los Angeles battled back to tie it in the third, but the Padres grabbed the lead in the eighth, and added runs in the ninth and took a 9-5 lead in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Dodgers exploded. Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson all went deep (and they were all shots) to tie it. The last two were off future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman. (And Drew would be apart of the next four consecutive home run spurt, the following April at Fenway against Yankee immortal Chase Wright.) In the tenth, the Padres grabbed a 10-9 lead, but in the bottom of the tenth, Nomar Garciaparra hit a two-run blast into the seats to give L.A. an incredible win. Even the normally reserved Vin Scully couldn't believe what kind of game it was. It was also the finale of a four-game series and put LA in first by a half-game. (The Padres would eventually get back in first place and win the West, while the Dodgers won the Wild Card in 2006.)

But I write this post for another reason. The amazing number of past and future Red Sox players who took part in this memorable game. As I was watching it last night, I decided to check and see how many took part. Here is the boxscore and list, courtesy of Baseball Reference:

Padres (9):
Dave Roberts, Manny (Those Aren't My Steroids in This Car) Alexander, Rudy Seanez, Paul McAnulty (currently in camp with the Red Sox on a minor league contract), Josh Bard (before and after this game), Alan Embree, Cla Meredith, Todd Walker and Mark Bellhorn.

Dodgers (5):
Nomar (I Really Hope He's Not on That List) Garciaparra, J.D. (Oh, My Aching Back) Drew, Julio (Stealing the Red Sox Money) Lugo, Brad Penny and Takashi Saito. (Derek Lowe was also on the LA roster but didn't pitch, and Bill Mueller also was in 2006, but he was hurt and forced to retire midway into that season.)

14 past and future Sox took part in the game, and of course, the Dodgers manager was the infamous Grady Little. Three members of the 2004 World Series champions were in it (Roberts, Embree and Bellhorn). Yep, Southern California baseball really was "Fenway West" that night.

My friend Jere over at A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory also has a column today about watching this game last night on MLB. We must be on the same wavelength...

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