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Varitek has the right stuff
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10/18/2004 6:25 PM ET
Varitek has the right stuff
Boston catcher changes things up against Mussina
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Jason Varitek draws a walk from pitcher Mike Mussina with the bases loaded in the first inning. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

BOSTON -- Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek was looking for the right stuff and he found it in the first inning.

The switch-hitting slugger faced Yankees starter Mike Mussina in the first inning with the bases loaded and the Sox up 1-0 from the right side and drew a walk.

Strange? Indeed. Varitek rarely faces right-handed pitchers from the right side of the plate, but needed to do something against the Moose because he entered the at-bat 4-for-44 against Moose.

Something special is exactly what he did.

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Varitek battled through a six pitch at-bat, fouling off the second pitch and watching a called strike on the fifth, before taking the free pass to cap off a two-run inning.

Earlier in the first, Orlando Cabrera reached base on a one-out single and scored on a single by Sunday night's hero David Ortiz to put the Sox up, 1-0. The next batter, Kevin Millar, walked and Trot Nixon reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for Varitek.

Left up to the veteran, he did the right thing.

Not a bad move considering Varitek has nine postseason home runs and five in LCS play, both Boston records. He came into Monday's game hitting . 333 and chose to walk instead of swing away.

In his second at-bat, Varitek fanned.

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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