Best 2018 Red Sox postseason moments

KenTremendous

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It isn't nearly as important as some of these other moments, but Sale's strikeout of Turner leading off the 9th yesterday was incredible. I've seen a lot of Dodger games, and Turner is an incredible hitter -- unbelievable eye, great bat control, always has a plan. Sale fooled him so badly on strike 3 I actually felt a little bad for the guy. Never seen anyone induce him into a swing that bad. Sale took all of the power and intensity he was planning to use over 6.1 innings of Game 6 and poured it into 3 hitters, and none of them had a chance.
 

LesterFan

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Don't think this has been mentioned and it probably won't be remembered, but Benintendi's 3-run double in Game 3 of the ALDS. Sox were up 4-0 with the bases loaded and no outs and it felt like they needed 1 big hit to really break it open and Beni delivered.

 
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A random goosebumps moment for me last night was in the 9th when the camera cut to the bullpen and in addition to Barnes, we now had Eovaldi and Sale warming up. It was a combination of "all-hands-on deck" and "impending doom" that really struck a chord. Man, this team is special.
 

BTU

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I liked the play in WS Game 1 where Puig threw home in an unsuccessful attempt to get Mookie out, running from 2nd on a Benitendi single. Benitendi smartly advanced to second and later scored on a Martinez hit. Puig should've thrown to the cut-off man to keep Beni from advancing to 2nd. After seeing that LA tolerates these kind of selfishly-motivated plays, I was quite comfortable with the Sox' edge in the team-fundamentals department.
 

ledsox

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this guy live streamed the game and posted to youtube if you would like a in stadium watch of key moments. He zoomed in on Sale coming out of the pen.
Wow. Watching the Sale entrance really got to me. Everyone should check that out. 3 hr 6 min in the video.
 

Spelunker

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It isn't nearly as important as some of these other moments, but Sale's strikeout of Turner leading off the 9th yesterday was incredible. I've seen a lot of Dodger games, and Turner is an incredible hitter -- unbelievable eye, great bat control, always has a plan. Sale fooled him so badly on strike 3 I actually felt a little bad for the guy. Never seen anyone induce him into a swing that bad. Sale took all of the power and intensity he was planning to use over 6.1 innings of Game 6 and poured it into 3 hitters, and none of them had a chance.
I like this one. Going into that inning I was a bit worried about how Sale was going to look, and what his stuff was going to be like given all the mystery around his status.


Making a hitter of his skill look so bad erased all that right away.
 

Rough Carrigan

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A random goosebumps moment for me last night was in the 9th when the camera cut to the bullpen and in addition to Barnes, we now had Eovaldi and Sale warming up. It was a combination of "all-hands-on deck" and "impending doom" that really struck a chord. Man, this team is special.
Yup. Reminded me of that great scene from 2004 ALCS game 5 when Schilling, Wakefield and Lowe all marched out to the bullpen in something like the 11th inning.
 

Rough Carrigan

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Can you elaborate on this a little bit? What do you mean that speed, hit-and-runs, etc. "get these shifted pieces moving and get them all screwed up because they are playing 'out of position'"?
Something sort of related was mentioned by Verducci, IIRC, during the series. He said that, in spring training, the Red Sox actually had a drill that they ran where they used the pitching machines and cranked them up to top velocity or had them throw the toughest breaking pitches they could and actually had the guys practice a "plan B" swing to foul it off or do something other than a perfect launch angle attempt at a home run with it.
 

teddywingman

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Oh, and CORA. Not any given moment. Cora at every single given moment. Very few of his moves didn't work out and those that didn't were at least defensible.

First time manager. First time! At any level! He was a bench coach ONE YEAR and that was it. I've never heard a team talk about their manager like the Sox do. Never. Not even Belichick. And he's out there re-writing baseball norms with his use of the pitching staff. He's not the first one to use a starter as a reliever when they would be doing a side session, but he might be the first one that did it as a rule all postseason long. Doing so essentially created an entire lights-out bullpen ace from NOTHING. Every team will do this from now on. And if they don't, they should.

Not bad, Rookie.
I am only up to this post in this thread, so maybe it had already been mentioned. Cora just changed the game.
 

Saints Rest

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I am only up to this post in this thread, so maybe it had already been mentioned. Cora just changed the game.
It does make me wonder if teams could use the “bullpen session” all year long in this way.
SP1 starts; SP3 roves.
SP2 starts; SP4 roves.
SP3 starts; SP1 (or SP5) roves.
SP4 starts; SP2 (or SP1) roves.
SP5 starts; SP3 (or SP2) roves.
SP1 starts; SP4 (or SP3) roves.
And so on.
 

canyoubelieveit

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Thank you very much for putting these all together. I'm going to bookmark this page for when I need a fix in the coming weeks / months.
 
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Savin Hillbilly

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Adding on about Devers:
His defense was good as well. Not only the laser he threw to get Machado late in game 4 but the DP in the 1st inning yesterday felt huge for Price and it wasn't that easy to pick that ball. If he had butchered that play, the Dodgers have 2 runners on with no outs in the first after their HR... this game could have gone south very quickly.
Not to mention the two great plays he made in ALCS Game 2, especially the slick grab and strong throw to get Reddick to end the 6th, when the Sox were fighting to even the series at home and Houston was just a run behind.

The whole postseason has just been a great coming-out party for the kid.
 

djbayko

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This is so amazing. The determination in Sale's walk. Everyone in the bullpen thinking the heart of the Dodgers lineup has no idea what they have coming. This guy usually has to worry about 20+ batters, not 3. Whether he was 100% or 75%, it wasn't a fair fight.
 
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It does make me wonder if teams could use the “bullpen session” all year long in this way.
SP1 starts; SP3 roves.
SP2 starts; SP4 roves.
SP3 starts; SP1 (or SP5) roves.
SP4 starts; SP2 (or SP1) roves.
SP5 starts; SP3 (or SP2) roves.
SP1 starts; SP4 (or SP3) roves.
And so on.
I’ve thought about this too but I think the cumulative stress on their arms would be too much. Bullpen sessions are a lot less stressful on the arm than an 8th inning hold opportunity.
 

TeddyBallgame9

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It does make me wonder if teams could use the “bullpen session” all year long in this way.
SP1 starts; SP3 roves.
SP2 starts; SP4 roves.
SP3 starts; SP1 (or SP5) roves.
SP4 starts; SP2 (or SP1) roves.
SP5 starts; SP3 (or SP2) roves.
SP1 starts; SP4 (or SP3) roves.
And so on.
I don’t think that would be sustainable over 162 games. It works in the playoffs because there’s always a day off between venues. During the season these guys can (by the CBA rules) play up to 20 days in a row.
 

jaytftwofive

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So many but I would have to say Game 4 WS. I thought we were done after Puig's HR. I was mad at Cora for not bringing in a righty to face Puig. Don't get me wrong Rodriquez pitched great but Cora had pulled Sale and Porcello early and in this game E-Rod was through 7. Hill pitched a gem and then the deluge. Moreland gave us life and once they tied it I felt we're back. (Of course I was also thinking, "Oh please not another extra inning game")
 

Byrdbrain

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Is that really a controversial statement? If you are in an important 8th inning situation you are naturally going to be amped up and will be throwing harder than if you are just doing a side session.
In addition to physical stress you would have extra layers of emotional stress. Starting pitchers generally have an established routine between starts but that would be completely messed up if this was done all season.

I love what Cora did in the playoffs but I see no chance this type of thing becoming common during the regular season.
 

Remagellan

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I love what Cora did in the playoffs but I see no chance this type of thing becoming common during the regular season.
At the risk of extending this threadjack, I agree with this position. A team/manager needs to operate differently during the regular season than they do during the playoffs. It’s the old saw about the marathon versus the sprint.

In his pod wrapping up the series, Buster Olney said that the Dodgers management had Baez and Urias on strict pitch counts and would not entertain the possibility of pitching Walker Buehler in relief. That was stunning to hear, and made me feel bad for Dave Roberts. He must have envied the freedom Cora had with his roster.

When you get to the playoffs if you’re not willing to go all in, you’re not going to win.

So to bring this back on thread, here’s to every move that Cora made over the past fourteen games that demonstrated he knew the difference between a regular season game and a playoff game.
 

timlinin8th

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He must have envied the freedom Cora had with his roster.
I found myself thinking about this in the later games of the WS. How many of the lineup decisions were from Roberts, and how many were from the giant analytics team the Dodgers have? Is it even possible to parse the two? Because one of the greatest postseason moments for the Red Sox was having guys like Bellinger and Muncy starting games on the bench just due to there being a lefty starter.
 

BoSox Rule

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It would never ever ever ever happen in a million years in the regular season. In the playoffs you go with 100% intensity if you come into a game on your throw day. In the regular season you’re trying to figure out why you didn’t have a feel for your changeup in your last start and maybe throwing 15-20 at a time in the bullpen.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Is that really a controversial statement? If you are in an important 8th inning situation you are naturally going to be amped up and will be throwing harder than if you are just doing a side session.
In addition to physical stress you would have extra layers of emotional stress. Starting pitchers generally have an established routine between starts but that would be completely messed up if this was done all season.

I love what Cora did in the playoffs but I see no chance this type of thing becoming common during the regular season.
Not a controversial statement at all. There have been many many many pitchers that have spoken to the notion that it isn't just how many pitches you throw, but the situation in which you throw them. For a starter, an 85 pitch, 6 inning effort in a 1-0 game can be more stressful and take more of a toll than a 110 pitch, 7 inning effort in a game where he has a 5+ run lead early. So the idea of throwing 25-30 pitches in a bullpen session with no hitter and no concern about anything other than getting the throwing in is far different than throwing 15-20 pitches in a game with a hitter and potentially runners on where the outcome of each pitch has importance. Totally unsustainable over 162 games.
 

Zososoxfan

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I liked the play in WS Game 1 where Puig threw home in an unsuccessful attempt to get Mookie out, running from 2nd on a Benitendi single. Benitendi smartly advanced to second and later scored on a Martinez hit. Puig should've thrown to the cut-off man to keep Beni from advancing to 2nd. After seeing that LA tolerates these kind of selfishly-motivated plays, I was quite comfortable with the Sox' edge in the team-fundamentals department.
There was a similar play in the WS (can't remember which game, but I think it was the bases loaded 1-out situation in the top of the 7th of G1, Brasier pitching) where the Sox were up by more than a run (5-3 if this is the right situation) and JBJ caught a fly ball in CF (neither deep nor shallow) but he threw to the cutoff man and I was furious at first, but more than just sound baseball (being up by more than 1), I'm sure it caught JBJ's mind to try and heroball gun Muncy at the plate. ERod got Bellinger to flyout on the AB.
 

phrenile

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There was a similar play in the WS (can't remember which game, but I think it was the bases loaded 1-out situation in the top of the 7th of G1, Brasier pitching) where the Sox were up by more than a run (5-3 if this is the right situation) and JBJ caught a fly ball in CF (neither deep nor shallow) but he threw to the cutoff man and I was furious at first, but more than just sound baseball (being up by more than 1), I'm sure it caught JBJ's mind to try and heroball gun Muncy at the plate. ERod got Bellinger to flyout on the AB.
You're misremembering that play. JBJ did try to gun out Muncy at the plate, but it was a bad throw and Leon had to catch it up the first base line. (After that, ERod did come in and get Bellinger to fly out.)
 

RetractableRoof

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I'm going to stretch the definition a bit and say watching Kimbrel doing post game interviews holding his daughter in his arms with his wife next to him. All the players and their families struck a chord with me - but it got dusty in the room watching the Kimbrels knowing just a fraction of the daughter's medical story.

All hail the Boston medical community...
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I think a really pivotal moment was Steve Pearce's home run in game three of the ALCS.

I felt like the Astros had a fair amount of swagger going into that series and they sure were playing pretty confidently in Fenway. We played hard to get the split in Fenway in game 2 but going back to Houston I think they were imagining they were going to roll us. Their fans were loud for game 2 even when the Sox took the early lead. Devers had the misplay on Bregman's ball to third base and they tied the game and the place was going crazy.

Not more than 10 minutes later, Pearce absolutely crushed one. Even on tv you could kind of feel the deflation in the stadium and you could see it with the Astros and it was the first time their faces betrayed that maybe they knew they were in for a fight. Of course, JBJ put it to rest a few innings later and completely changed the entire tenor of that series just like the 16-1 game did in New York.

It's hard to really say a one-run home run in a game we won by six runs was all that crucial, but it felt huge at the time. It also was consistent with the Red Sox constantly picking each other up this postseason. Pearce made sure that Devers didn't have too long to sulk, just like Price picked up JD a couple of days ago, and like Beni and Mookie had Kimbrel's back, and just like the entire team rallied for Kinsler. There are some other examples I'm forgetting too.
 

RedOctober3829

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This is the moment for me. This is why this team is special. How can you not get emotional reading this story?

"No team ever invested more in a World Series loss than did the Red Sox in Game 3. It had all the marks of a devastating defeat, one that had cut their Series lead to 2–1 and had given L.A. an apparent edge in Game 4, since Price and Eovaldi had just pitched. Nobody knew who was starting Game 4 for Boston 16 hours later. (At 2:30 a.m., Cora decided on Rodriguez.) Most people saw a beaten team. Cora saw a proud one, which is why he called the team meeting.

Listen up!” he said. Players were still mostly in their soiled, heavy uniforms. Some peeled off sweatshirts or tape from their wrists. Some sat at their lockers.

“We just played one of the greatest games in World Series history. Red Sox ... Dodgers ... Dodger Stadium ... World Series ... And the way you competed is something all of us should be very proud of. This is a great team. This was a great game. And you guys proved it tonight. And Nathan ...”

Cora then singled out Eovaldi, praising him for his effort and unselfishness. When Cora was done, the room burst into a standing ovation.

“There were tears,” Holt says. Porcello was one of those crying.

And then one by one, every player, coach and staff member lined up to take turns hugging Eovaldi—and not one of those quick, “Good game, bro” hugs.

“I’m talking like a minute hug each,” Porcello says. “What Nathan did was the epitome of what our team is about. Every player does whatever he can to try to help the team win. This is what sports should be about. It’s about everybody pulling together.

“We just lost a World Series game in 18 innings. But after that [meeting], it didn’t feel like we lost. It felt like we won.”

A short while later, as Cora unwound from the game, he looked up to see a line outside his office. There stood Price, Porcello and Sale, whose combined contracts are worth $332 million. They all told him they were ready to pitch the next game. "

https://www.si.com/mlb/2018/10/30/boston-red-sox-season-ages-ends-world-series-title-game-5?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-share-article&utm_content=20181030&fbclid=IwAR0JMG8YWcv0wt-5Goc8iCZ9tkKwVzM3e2Hqdub7qJYVDXifN8HR8AjELnI
 

24JoshuaPoint

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The line of serious hugs sounds quite extraordinary. After a team moment like that it would be hard for any person to continue to sulk after such a seemingly devastating loss.

I would think a few of us would have dealt with that loss a bit better had we known about what took place in the locker room after the game.
 

Soxy Brown

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One I haven't seen mentioned yet that instantly came to my mind was JBJ's bases loaded, bases clearing double in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Sox are down 1-0 in the ALCS. They're down 4-2 in the game. Bottom of the third, so still early. But Gerrit Cole, Houston's Ace 1B, is on the mound. David Price, at this point still "the guy who can't get it done in the playoffs," is on the mound for the Sox, and off to a rough start.

Sox had gotten off to an early 2-0 lead. The Astros tied it on a 2 run, 2 out double, then took the lead on a 2 run, 2 out HR. This is basically a must win game for the Sox (not really) because heading back to Houston for 3 games facing an 0-2 deficit is.... not a good situation.

JD starts the inning with a K. Then it goes: Xander single, Steve Pearce double, Devers walk. Bases loaded, one out.

Kinsler strikes out. Because of course he does. (No hard feelings!)

JBJ up. Last hope of the inning. He went 1 for 17 with the bases loaded during the 2018 season, a stat mentioned at the time by the TV announcers. At this point, he was 2 for 16 in the playoffs, with 4 walks and 0 RBI. Hadn't done any damage.

Then he does this:


Slices a wall ball double that, somehow, manages to bounce up onto the left field padding and then bounce again along the top of the padding, enabling Devers to score from first. I can't recall ever seeing a ball bounce twice on that padding. The slow-mo replay is almost comical as Marwin Gonzalez waits twice for the ball bounce off into his glove, only to see it bounce a foot in front of him. Sox take the lead 5-4.

That felt like a big turning point.

Yeah, it's still way early in the game. It's still early in the series. But if JBJ makes an out there and Cole gets out of the jam, maybe doubts start to creep in. Cole retired the next 10 Red Sox he faced, with the Sox not scoring again until the Astros bullpen came in.

Instead, with one swing, the Sox took the lead in the game, ended up tying the series, and never really looked back.
 

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Another underrated moment perhaps:

Sale pitching a clean 8th in game 4 ALDS seemed to fly under the radar with Kimbrel's near-meltdown the next inning.

He got Torres, McCutchen, and Hicks in order to hand a 3 run lead to Kimbrel to start the 9th. Who knows what happens in that game (or series) if someone else is brought in for the 8th and gives up a run or (gasp) Kimbrel goes for a 6 out save.
 

Oppo

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My favorite under the radar play was Devers handling the Machado groundball for out 2 in the 9th of game 4. It was a play you hold your breath on and was even more arrhythmia inducing on the replay. The moment never seemed to big for the kid. Also, Machado in the same play stepping on MVPearce didn’t get enough attention.
 

Fred not Lynn

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I don’t think that would be sustainable over 162 games. It works in the playoffs because there’s always a day off between venues. During the season these guys can (by the CBA rules) play up to 20 days in a row.
But you still have the regular relievers...and not every game will give you a “starter throw day inning” situation. Sometimes, though, if a guy waits all game for his inning and doesn’t get it you’ll have the awkward phenomenon of a guy having to throw a bullpen after the game.
 

dhappy42

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Is that really a controversial statement? If you are in an important 8th inning situation you are naturally going to be amped up and will be throwing harder than if you are just doing a side session.
In addition to physical stress you would have extra layers of emotional stress. Starting pitchers generally have an established routine between starts but that would be completely messed up if this was done all season.

I love what Cora did in the playoffs but I see no chance this type of thing becoming common during the regular season.
I wouldn’t call it controversial. I’d call it unsubstantiated. I don’t mean to be hard on you, but there’s a ton of “everybody knows” nonsense about pitchers and pitch counts that’s not based on much more than “everybody knows...”

The thing about bullpen sessions (of how many pitches?) being more stressful (what does “stressful” mean, exactly?) than one inning of in-game relief pitching (how many pitches?) might seem intuitively sound, but I’d be interested to know if there was anything to back it up.

Edit: I’m not arguing for regular season rovers. I’m just questioning conventional wisdom about pitch counts and what is and isn’t “stressful,” to pitchers. I assume to most people “stressful” means physically damaging to a pitcher’s arm, wear-and-tear-wise and injury-risk-wise.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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One I haven't seen mentioned yet that instantly came to my mind was JBJ's bases loaded, bases clearing double in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Sox are down 1-0 in the ALCS. They're down 4-2 in the game. Bottom of the third, so still early. But Gerrit Cole, Houston's Ace 1B, is on the mound. David Price, at this point still "the guy who can't get it done in the playoffs," is on the mound for the Sox, and off to a rough start.

Sox had gotten off to an early 2-0 lead. The Astros tied it on a 2 run, 2 out double, then took the lead on a 2 run, 2 out HR. This is basically a must win game for the Sox (not really) because heading back to Houston for 3 games facing an 0-2 deficit is.... not a good situation.

JD starts the inning with a K. Then it goes: Xander single, Steve Pearce double, Devers walk. Bases loaded, one out.

Kinsler strikes out. Because of course he does. (No hard feelings!)

JBJ up. Last hope of the inning. He went 1 for 17 with the bases loaded during the 2018 season, a stat mentioned at the time by the TV announcers. At this point, he was 2 for 16 in the playoffs, with 4 walks and 0 RBI. Hadn't done any damage.

Then he does this:


Slices a wall ball double that, somehow, manages to bounce up onto the left field padding and then bounce again along the top of the padding, enabling Devers to score from first. I can't recall ever seeing a ball bounce twice on that padding. The slow-mo replay is almost comical as Marwin Gonzalez waits twice for the ball bounce off into his glove, only to see it bounce a foot in front of him. Sox take the lead 5-4.

That felt like a big turning point.

Yeah, it's still way early in the game. It's still early in the series. But if JBJ makes an out there and Cole gets out of the jam, maybe doubts start to creep in. Cole retired the next 10 Red Sox he faced, with the Sox not scoring again until the Astros bullpen came in.

Instead, with one swing, the Sox took the lead in the game, ended up tying the series, and never really looked back.
It’s another occasion of one teammate picking up another. Even just a Kinsler sac fly or run scoring ground ball would have been tolerable and made it a one-run game but he couldn’t get the bat on the ball. So JBJ picked him up.
 

phenweigh

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I'll add Mookie going deep after his 13 at bat hitless string. That was the moment I knew the Dodgers were toast. The Martinez and Pearce homers were confirmatory.
 

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What made it legendary was him blowing away Sanchez with 97 heat to end the AB. It would’ve still been sweet, but not as satisfying if he ha popped or grounded out.
Agreed. Reading this thread has reminded me how many moments of note there were in this run and how many details I've overlooked until you all recaptured all the legendary moments. One of the things that makes this place special and only enhances my enjoyment of our Red Sox.
 

mwonow

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Thanks for the links to the condensed games, Madmartigan - this is fun!

Quick question, though - who is this on the Dodgers making the choke sign after Madsen gives up the dinger to Moreland in game 4?