Ten Years Gone: 2004 Red Sox blast Angels in Game One; Schilling hurt


Despite finishing with six more regular season wins than the Anaheim Angels, the Boston Red Sox kicked off the 2004 postseason on the West Coast as the Wild Card team.

After not meeting in the postseason since Dave Henderson‘s heroics in 1986, the series would be the first of four October meetings between the two teams over six years.

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The Angels had won their first World Series as a franchise just two years prior with slightly different personnel; their star player was now free agent thumper Vladimir Guerrero, who hit .337 and slammed 39 home runs with 126 RBI during the regular season.

Curt Schilling took the ball in Game One and gave the Red Sox exactly what they had envisioned when they traded for the veteran ace the previous offseason. But the lasting image of a game the Red Sox comfortably won, 9-3, would be the righty limping off after tweaking his ankle in the seventh and allowing an RBI double to Troy Glaus.

More on that later.

The big inning for the Red Sox was the fourth, when Anaheim starter Jarrod Washburn showed why he allowed eight homers in 36 and 2/3 innings of mediocre postseason pitching during his career.

He threw around David Ortiz, who had struck for an RBI single in the first. Then, Kevin Millar made Washburn pay, blasting one out to left for a 3-0 lead. With the sacks jacked, two more runs scored on an error by Chone Figgins, and Manny Ramirez wrapped up the scoring with a blast for an 8-0 Boston lead.

While Boston cruised in Game One and eventually the series, Schilling’s ankle was the talk of the town by Friday, when he was spotted favoring it in a mound session.  The veteran experienced trouble with the ankle throughout the season and had received Marcaine shots to dull the pain. This time, it would take a shot, a brace, and God knows what else to get him back in the game to lead the Red Sox through the 2004 postseason.