10/13/2003 11:45 PM ET
ALCS Game 4 game balls
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, red socks, like the lads from Boston wear, and taxis, in honor of the New York City traffic -- for performances in this year's American League Championship Series.
Five Socks: A perfect fit
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
Four Socks: Clean and comfortable
Three Socks: Has a couple of holes
Two Socks: Needs a washing
One Sock: Giving off a foul odor
Tim Wakefield: Just when the Red Sox needed a major boost at home, Wakefield came to the rescue. His absolute gem on Monday night not only tied the series at two games apiece, it took the focus off the previous game's tension.
Mike Timlin and Scott Williamson: Sure Williamson gave up a home run in the ninth. But it ended up not mattering as he struck out the three other batters he faced. Likewise, Timlin came on in the eighth with a runner on and got the job done quickly.
Trot Nixon: Teammates Nomar Garciaparra, Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller may not be hitting but Nixon is. He's at .500 for the series and his solo home run to center field in the fifth put the Red Sox ahead.
Todd Walker: Like Nixon, Walker just keeps coming through while several of the big Boston hitters struggle mightily. His home run in the fourth put the Red Sox ahead for the first time. He also had a single to raise his series average to .500.
Jason Varitek: Varitek hustled in from the bullpen to pinch-hit in the seventh and hustled even more down the first-base line to prevent a double play. The result? A very important insurance run, that turned out to be the difference in the game.
Five cabs: VIP, police escort
Four cabs: Green lights, little traffic, life is good
Three cabs: Clean backseat, no accidents
Two cabs: Your driver takes "the scenic route"
One cab: Gridlock, 102 degrees in the city, no AC, missing window crank
Ruben Sierra: Sierra silenced the Fenway Park faithful for just a minute with his pinch-hit solo home run in the ninth inning. Maybe he should have started.
Mike Mussina: Mussina pitched fairly well in Game 1 and took the loss. He pitched very well in Game 4 and took the loss. One thing, though, Mussina has now given up five home runs in 12 1/3 innings in the ALCS.
Aaron Boone: Was that Boone or Brooks Robinson making a great backhanded play at third base at the beginning of the second inning, taking a hit away from Johnny Bench, er, Manny Ramirez?
Jorge Posada: Posada is the second-leading hitter in the series among the Yankees regulars. But he wasted several chances to give the Yankees a commanding 3-1 lead by going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He also left seven men stranded on base.
Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.