10/17/2003 12:24 AM ET
ALCS Score Tracker: Game 7
Yankees AL Championship Gear
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com
TOP 2nd: BOS 3, NYY 0: When Roger Clemens looks back on his Hall of Fame career,
he'll have a truckload of merry memories to keep him content with his decision to retire.
Unfortunately, the second inning of Game 7 of the ALCS against the Red Sox won't be among
them. After retiring the first batter of the inning, the Yankees' right-hander gave up a
single to right-center field off the bat of Kevin Millar. Trot Nixon, who helped seal
Boston's Game 6 victory with a two-run homer in the ninth, followed with a blast into the
right-center field bleachers to give the Red Sox an early advantage. The Rocket would
surely take the blame for the first two runs, but the next one could hardly be considered
his fault. After fanning Bill Mueller, Clemens surrendered a double to Jason Varitek but
appeared to be out of the inning when Johnny Damon rolled an easy grounder to third. Not
so. Third baseman Enrique Wilson, who was making his first ALCS start in place of Aaron
Boone because of Boone's struggles with the lumber, threw the ball into the photographer's
pit near the Yankee dugout, allowing Vartiek to come home for the inning's final run.
TOP 4th: BOS 4, NYY 0: Millar made sure Clemens won't remember the fourth inning
with any more fondness than the second when he belted the Rocket's first pitch into the
left-field bleachers for his first home run of the series and a four-run Boston lead.
Nixon followed by drawing a six-pitch walk and took third on a hit-and-run play when
Mueller singled through the hole vacated by Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter, who had left
to cover the bag. That was it for Clemens. New York skipper Joe Torre pulled the
six-time Cy Young Award winner in favor of Mike Mussina, who kept Clemens' hopes of seeing
another World Series start alive with a strikeout and an inning-ending double play.
BOT 5th: BOS 4, NYY 1: While Mussina was doing his part to keep the Red Sox from
extending their lead, Jason Giambi cut into it for the first time. Boston ace Pedro
Martinez had held New York scoreless over four innings, but Giambi finally got to the
right-hander. The Yankees' designated hitter, who was moved from third to seventh in the
batting order for the series-deciding game, hit his second homer in as many days on a
first-pitch changeup from Martinez.
BOT 7th: BOS 4, NYY 2: Moving down in the order proved a pick-me-up for Giambi
again with two outs in the seventh. This time the Yankee slugger belted a 2-2 fastball
from Martinez over the wall in straightaway center field to the delight of the Yankee
Stadium crowd. Wilson followed by beating out an infield single and Karim Garcia brought
the go-ahead run to the plate with a base hit to right, but Martinez struck out Alfonso
Soriano for the fourth time in four at-bats to end the New York threat.
TOP 8th: BOS 5, NYY 2: Boston designated hitter David Ortiz delivered another
clutch hit for the Red Sox. After right-hander Jeff Nelson got Manny Ramirez to ground
out for the first out of the inning, Torre elected to play the percentages by bringing in
left-hander David Wells to face the left-handed hitting Ortiz. It took exactly one pitch
for Torre to find out that it was a bad move as Ortiz drove Wells' first offering a few
rows into the right-field seats for a crowd-silencing solo home run.
BOT 8th: BOS 5, NYY 5: The silence soon ended. Jeter once again showed why he's the
new "Mr. October" by driving a one-out double to the wall in right field and Bernie
Williams brought him home with a single to center. That prompted a mound visit from Boston
manager Grady Little, who chose to stick with his ace despite a pitch-count that had
reached 115. Three pitches later, Hideki Matsui ripped a ground-rule double into the
right-field corner to put the tying runs at second and third. Little stuck with Martinez
and Yankees' catcher Jorge Posada stuck it to the Red Sox by flaring a broken-bat, two-run
double into shallow center field. With the score now tied, Boston finally decided to go
to its bullpen. As they had all series, the Red Sox relievers came through. Alan Embree
got Giambi to fly out to shallow center before giving way to Mike Timlin, who issued an
intentional walk to pinch-hitter Ruben Sierra and an unintentional pass to Garcia. With a
trip to the World Series hanging in the balance, Timlin got a little help from the Yankee
Stadium mound. Soriano ripped a roller back through the box. The ball jumped off the
mound into second baseman Todd Walker's glove, allowing him to flip to shortstop Nomar
Garciaparra at second base for the inning's final out.
BOT 11th: NYY 6, BOS 5: Despite all the Pedro vs. Clemens hype, the series came down to Mariano Rivera vs. Tim Wakefield. And Rivera was better. The Yankees' closer tossed three shutout innings to pick up the win thanks to an unlikely source. Boone, who came into the series hitting a meager .125, belted a walk-off home run on Wakefield's first pitch in the 11th inning deep into the left-field bleachers to send the Yankees to the World Series against the Florida Marlins and giving Clemens a chance to add some more memories.
Todd Lorenz is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.