Games of Note: Boston won Game Four of the 2004 ALCS, granting them the chance to at least make the series look competitive. Then they won Game Five in extra innings as well, a result that left the scales tipped in New York's favor, but all of a sudden made things interesting for Boston. There was a significant problem, though: who was going to start Game Six? Curt Schilling was slated to go, but his ankle was still a problem. Red Sox doctors performed a procedure on him, though, to make it so he could pitch, suturing together his ankle in a way that if it was described in detail, would cause you to wince. But the point was to keep his mechanics from being off, as they had been.
The surgery worked, with Schilling throwing seven innings against New York in New York, allowing just one run. Schilling had received help from a controversial Mark Bellhorn home run, which hit a fan in the chest and was originally ruled still in play by Jim Joyce (that poor guy just can't escape controversy). Bronson Arroyo came in after seven frames, leading to the moment that photoshop enthusiasts love: Alex Rodriguez slapping the ball out of Arroyo's hand on a play at first base. Rodriguez was called out for interference, and Derek Jeter was sent back to first base after scoring on the play. Sadly, police in riot gear then covered the field, as a response to all of the debris thrown out by those in attendance following the reversal of the call.
The Red Sox won when Keith Foulke ended a scoring threat in the ninth, and Boston became the first team to ever force a Game Seven after being down three games to none. That decisive game Seven was scheduled for the very next day.
Transactions: Tony Pena -- yes, the same Tony Pena who has been interviewed for Boston's vacant manager gig -- was granted free agency on this date in 1993. Pena had just wrapped up his fourth season with the Red Sox, his worst as a major-league backstop to that point: he hit just .181/.246/.257. You know, in case you forgot why his 1995, game-winning homer against Boston in the first-ever ALDS was so disheartening.
Birthdays: The aforementioned Keith Foulke, one of The 25, turns 40 years old today. Foulke threw 83 innings in the regular season for Boston, then another 14 in the playoffs en route to the club's first World Series championship in 86 years. He would never be the same again, as he spent much of 2005 pitching through injuries, and retired four years later, after a comeback stint with the Athletics.
That wasn't the only season in which Foulke pitched often, so don't take it as 2004 being solely responsible for ruining him. Foulke averaged 87 innings per year from 1999 through 2004, and had prior postseason experience as well.