10/15/2003 8:53 PM ET
ALCS Game 6 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
Boston bullpen: What bullpen problems? Bronson Arroyo allowed one run in his 1 1/3 innings, but Todd Jones, Alan Embree, Mike Timlin and Scott Williamson effectively shut the Yankees down. They combined to work a total of four innings and allowed just three hits and a walk.
Trot Nixon: After striking out three times in four at-bats, Nixon drilled an upper-deck home run off lefty Gabe White in the ninth inning. The two-run shot gave the Red Sox a three-run lead and allowed them to relax just a little going into the bottom of the ninth at Yankee Stadium.
Nomar Garciaparra: He made an error in the fourth inning that transformed a two-run inning into a four-run inning for the Yankees. But Garciaparra made up for it by finally breaking out of his horrendous slump at the plate. He had four hits in five at-bats, including a triple in the seventh on which he scored after a bad throw. That started the three-run rally that put the Red Sox ahead for good.
David Ortiz: Boston's big man came through with two hits and three RBIs, and he scored on a bases-loaded walk in the fateful seventh. Key hits for Ortiz this season are nothing new.
Jason Varitek: He got the scoring started with a solo homer in the third. And when he wasn't hitting, he was playing dugout leader, helping his Red Sox teammates try to keep their focus.
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
Nick Johnson: Johnson came alive with three hits in four at-bats, including a ground-rule double that started the scoring in the fourth and eventually chased Boston starter John Burkett. The Yankees need Johnson to come up big again in Game 7.
Jorge Posada: The Yankees' leading hitter in the series (.318) stoked the fire again with two hits, including a solo homer in the fifth that made the score 6-4.
Andy Pettitte: In giving up eight hits and two walks in five innings, he looked a little tired and off his game. Pettitte weathered the four-run third and did a great job avoiding more trouble in the fifth. But, overall, it was not a good outing. What a shame if it was his last as a Yankee.
Jose Contreras: He started out striking out three of the first four batters he faced but got the Yankees in trouble in the seventh.
Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.