Red Sox-Yanks duel today on MLB Network

May 20th, 2020

There is nothing like a fierce rivalry. And in baseball, there's no rivalry like when the Red Sox and the Yankees clash.

MLB Network will dedicate Thursday to some of the most memorable games between the Sox and the Bombers.

The fun starts at 6 a.m. ET with what baseball fans know as “The Bucky Dent Game”. In truth, the one-game tiebreaker on Oct. 2, 1978, to decide the American League East between two teams who had already won 99 games was so much more than that.

The aging Carl Yastrzemski brought Fenway to its feet by taking Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry deep in the second inning. The light-hitting Dent blooped his three-run homer over the Monster off former teammate Mike Torrez in the top of the seventh inning to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead, then Reggie Jackson hit a tape-measure shot against Bob Stanley in the eighth to give the Yankees a three-run edge.

The Red Sox wouldn’t quit, though. Yaz and Fred Lynn hit RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run game.

And in the ninth, Boston would have tied the game if not for a sun-blinded Lou Piniella sticking out his glove in just the right spot to stop a line drive by Jerry Remy from rolling all the way to the wall.

The showdown finished in epic fashion with two eventual Hall of Famers facing off with the tying run on third base. Goose Gossage got the best of Yaz, who popped up to third, sending the Yankees to the playoffs.

At 9 a.m., Red Sox fans can recover from the agony of 1978 with a classic from July 24, 2004. After Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez squared off early to start a memorable melee, Bill Mueller roped a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to stun ace Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Then, at noon, it's on to Game 3 of the 2003 AL Championship Series, when Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez had a memorable matchup. What most people remember from that day, though, is the late Don Zimmer making a run at Pedro as the benches emptied. The Yankees went on to a 4-3 win. That game will be played again at 11 p.m.

On tap at 2 p.m. is perhaps the most memorable Red Sox win ever: Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Down by a run entering the ninth and on the verge of being swept by the Yankees, Kevin Millar led off with a walk. Dave Roberts pinch-ran for him and stole second, then Mueller drove the speedster home. Finaly, David Ortiz sent everyone home with a walk-off homer in the 12th.

At 5 p.m., Yankees fans get to have their fun again with Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. It's the game when Grady Little left Martinez in a little too long, and Aaron Boone sent the Yankees to the World Series with an 11th-inning shot against Tim Wakefield.

Big Papi and the Red Sox steal the show in the 8 p.m. viewing of Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS. Down 4-2 in the eighth, the Sox again came back to tie it, helped by Big Papi’s monster blast to left against Tom Gordon. In the 14th inning, Ortiz blooped a single into center to score Johnny Damon for the walk-off run.