clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

This Date In Red Sox History: October 9 - Brooklyn, Oakland, Brandon Lyon

Boston wins the longest World Series game ever, lose the ALCS, and acquire a piece of a future -- and franchise-changing -- trade.

Tom Szczerbowski - Getty Images

Games of Note: Red Sox left-hander (and part-time slugger) Babe Ruth faces off against Sherry Smith of the Brooklyn Robins -- the Dodgers -- in game two of the 1916 World Series. This would turn out to be the longest World Series game in the history of baseball until game five of the 2005 Series, and Ruth threw up zeroes for almost the entire thing. Ruth gave up a run in the first inning, and then threw 13 scoreless frames in a row, beginning his scoreless streak in the World Series that would eventually reach 29 innings in 1918. The Sox would score in the third, and not again until the 14th, when Boston won on a pinch-hit single by Del Gainer.

The Sox didn't play their home games in the World Series at Fenway Park once again, instead playing at neighboring Braves Field -- the capacity was larger, and that meant more tickets could be sold.

In 1988, the Red Sox were facing the Athletics in an elimination game in the American League Championship Series. The A's had won the first three contests, and they would also come away victorious in the fourth, sweeping the Red Sox and winning their way to a World Series appearance. Former (and future) Red Sox Dennis Eckersley recorded his fourth save in four games, and another future Sox, Jose Canseco, hit his third homer of the ALCS, what was then a record for the AL version of the series.

Transactions: Boston selects Brandon Lyon off of waivers on October 9 of 2002, plucking him from the Toronto Blue Jays. Lyon would pitch for the Red Sox for just one season, in 2003, throwing 59 innings with a 2.6 K/BB and 114 ERA+. This isn't his legacy with the Sox, though: Lyon's more significant contribution to Boston came from leaving the Red Sox. Lyon, along with Casey Fossum, Jorge De La Rosa, and Michael Ross, were sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Curt Schilling. You know how the rest of the story goes.

Birthdays: Former Red Sox reliever Bill Pulsipher turns 39 today. He threw just 22 innings with the Sox, back in 2001, but Pulsipher was supposed to be much more than that he was at that point. The left-hander was one of the members of "Generation K", a group of three Mets prospects who were supposed to be the future of their rotation. The other members, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson, had their own injury and ineffectiveness issues that kept them from ever reaching their original ceilings.

It's not hard to see why Pulsipher's arm exploded at a young age, derailing his career. In 1994, as a 20-year-old, Pulsipher threw 200 innings in the minors. In case you've forgotten, the minor-league season is shorter than the major-league one, and the strike occurred in 1994, and oh yeah, he was 20 years old. A whole lot of red flags, in one Pulsipher-sized package, and it was followed up by 218-1/3 innings the next season, between the majors and the minors. That's well over 400 innings in two years for an arm that was 20 and 21 years old.

Pulsipher had issues besides his arm in his career. In 2000, his wife found him unconscious on their bathroom floor, the result of taking a supplement that included ephedra. There's a reason ephedra was eventually banned by the FDA, but it didn't happen until after Pulsipher's teammate, Steve Bechler, collapsed and died while on the Orioles in 2003.

Pulsipher's major-league career ended years ago, but as recently as 2011, he was pitching in indy ball. It might not be the majors, but it's more than you could have expected from him a decade ago.