In 2004 the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in the regular season series 11-8,but the Yankees finished three games ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East to clinch home field advantage. That did not matter now, this was the American League Championship Series and whoever won this best of seven series earned the right to play in the World Series.
The last time the Red Sox won the World Series was 1918(88 years ago), the last time Boston made it to the World Series was 1986(18 years ago). New York made it to the World Series the year before(2003). The Yankees were in the World Series 6 times in the last 8 years, winning 4 times, most recently 2000.
The Yankees won the first game, 10-7 and the second game, 3-1 at home. Then they went to Fenway Park and beat the Red Sox 19-8. It looked as if the series was over. New York needed to win only one of the last four games to go to the World Series. No baseball team had ever come back from down 3-0.
In the bottom of the ninth in game four, the Yankees were winning 4-3 with the best closer in baseball, on the mound, Mariano Rivera. The Yankees were only 3 outs away from winning the pennant. But than Kevin Millar walked and Dave Roberts pinch ran for him, stole second and than scored on a single by Bill Mueller to tie the game! In the bottom of the 12th, David Ortiz homered off Paul Quantrill to win the game 6-4.
In game five, Mariano Rivera had a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th again, and Dave Roberts tied it up again, this time on a sacrifice fly by Jason Veritek. David Ortiz” Big Papi” hit a walk off for the second game in a row. This time a single off Estaban Loaiza scoring Johnny Damon for a victory.
In game 6, Curt Shilling pitched the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory despite having a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle. This game is remembered as the “bloody sock game.”
In game 7, there was never any doubt that the Red Sox were going to win. Big Papi hit a 2 run homer in the top of the first off Kevin Brown. In the top of the second, Johnny Damon hit a grand slam to win 10-3.
The Red Sox were going to the World Series!