Heartache has been familiar to Red Sox fans. Here are some of the most painful Sox memories from the first 100 years:
Indians 8, Red Sox 3, October 4, 1948
The Sox forced a one-game playoff to settle the pennant by closing the season with four straight wins. However, that left manager Joe McCarthy with limited options for his starting pitcher, and he chose 36-year-old righthander Denny Galehouse. The controversial choice backfired immediately as Lou Boudreau popped a home run to left in the first inning. His final batter came in the fourth, when Ken Keltner rocketed a three-run shot over the left-field wall. Ellis Kinder gave up Cleveland’s other four runs, and the Sox were denied a chance to face the crosstown Braves in the World Series.
From Oct. 5, 1948: Indians beat Red Sox in one-game playoff
Cardinals 7, Red Sox 2, October 12, 1967
For the third time in the World Series, the Sox tried to beat the great Bob Gibson, and for the third time they failed. Gibson, pitching on three days’ rest, allowed only a walk through four innings while striking out seven. The big righthander then gave himself the lead in the fifth by walloping a solo home run off Jim Lonborg (working on two days’ rest), and Roger Maris hit a sacrifice fly. The Sox got a run back, but St. Louis put the game out of reach on Julian Javier’s three-run homer in the sixth. Gibson went the distance, giving up just three hits and finishing with 10 strikeouts.
From Oct. 2, 1967: Red Sox clinch AL for first pennant in 21 years
Reds 4, Red Sox 3, October 22, 1975
Less than 24 hours after their colossal Game 6 victory, the Sox got the jump on starter Don Gullett, scoring three times in the third inning thanks to four walks. Meanwhile, Bill Lee allowed just one runner past second base through five innings. But in the sixth, second baseman Denny Doyle failed to turn an inning-ending double play and Tony Perez followed with a two-run homer on Lee’s lollipop curve. Roger Moret gave up the tying RBI single to Pete Rose in the seventh, and rookie Jim Burton took the loss in the ninth when Joe Morgan looped a two-out, two-strike slider to center field for the deciding run.
From Oct. 23, 1975: Reds erase Red Sox lead, win World Series
Yankees 5, Red Sox 4, October 2, 1978
Given a reprieve after blowing a large division lead down the stretch, the Sox’ task was to beat the nearly unbeatable Ron Guidry in a one-game playoff. They gave it a run, too, as Carl Yastrzemski provided a leadoff home run in the second inning and Jim Rice added an RBI single in the sixth for a 2-0 lead. Boston starter Mike Torrez allowed only two hits before the seventh, when Bucky Dent’s unexpected three-run homer sent shockwaves through Fenway. The Sox pulled within 5-4 against Goose Gossage in the eighth, but the All-Star closer got the job done, retiring Yastrzemski with two on to end it.
From Oct. 3, 1978: Yankees have final say again, beat Red Sox
Mets 7, Red Sox 1, October 21, 1986
Confidence was cresting at Fenway with the Sox on a five-game winning streak, including Games 1 and 2 of the World Series at Shea Stadium. And then, just minutes into Game 3, it was gone. Oil Can Boyd served up a leadoff home run to Lenny Dykstra, and three more hits followed, the last an RBI double by Gary Carter. Danny Heep’s two-run single made it 4-0 in the first inning and the Mets were never threatened. Bobby Ojeda far outshined Boyd over their seven-inning starts, and the hangover carried into the next night, making it two straight home games the Sox failed to hold a lead.
From Oct. 22, 1986: Mets end Red Sox’ talk of World Series sweep