10/08/2003 11:47 PM ET
Game 1 win puts Sox in control
Wakefield, offense give Boston early advantage
NEW YORK -- So much for the Red Sox being drained by their emotional five-game Division Series victory over the A's.
The most prolific and deep offensive unit in the American League combined with a stellar performance from knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in Game 1, putting the Red Sox in early command of their American League Championship Series matchup with the Yankees.
It's a blinding glimpse of the obvious to say it's a big swing of momentum Boston's way, considering the possibility now exists that the Red Sox could wrap up the series in Boston -- regardless of what happens in Game 2 on Thursday here.
The Yankees love having 21-game winner Andy Pettitte as their designated Game 2 guy because he's even-keeled no matter what the situation is. You'd think he'd have the advantage over John Burkett in that one. But you might have said the same thing about Mike Mussina against Wakefield, and we saw how that turned out in Game 1.
The Yankees have been in this position before, and they came out of it just fine back in 2000. That time, they were shut out by Seattle's Freddy Garcia and three relievers in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium and actually went without scoring until a seven-run eighth inning in Game 2 en route to an ALCS victory in six games.
That said, it's not exactly the position they'd choose to be in -- especially with the Red Sox still having Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez on tap for the next two games.
They're all must-wins at this stage, but you might call Thursday's Game 2 a must-must-win for the Yankees.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By John Schlegel / MLB.com