For my money, this loss to the Yankees was the best game I’ve ever seen:
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Commonly known as “The Jeter Dives into the Stands Game” (tho as I note below, historical accuracy requires that it be known as “The Pokey Catch Game”), this was the best regular season game during the rivalry in my memory. The Red Sox had lost both of the first two games in the series horribly. The first one I believe Derek Lowe got smoked by Tony Clark who hit a homer to dead center. I believe the second game had the ball literally go throw Ortiz’s glove at first base to plate the winning run.
This game, tho, was epic. Extra innings, multiple crazy defensive shifts, every pitch felt like the full weight of history was on the shoulders of both teams. I remember Gary Sheffield being brought in from right field to add a fifth person to the infield at third base to prevent the go-ahead run from scoring (it worked). And John Flaherty got the game winning hit after Manny put us up in the top of the 13th.
It’s best remembered now for Jeter’s catch in the stands which left him bloodied and woozy but Pokey had the same play to make, caught it and didn’t have to be helped off the field.
Incredible game that set the table for the classic Mueller walkoff game a few weeks later. Somewhat lost to time given what transpired in the playoffs. But as good as the rivalry ever got. And Pokey got his revenge in October.
Point is, I agree, incredible baseball reminds you these games, wins and losses alike, are just chapters to a longer story. And that story is still being written.