Biggest Comebacks: Curt Schilling overcomes ankle injury to dominate Yankees in 2004 ALCS

Aaron Halford
October 26, 2018 - 10:51 am

After falling behind the Yankees 3-0 in the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox were able to scrape out two nerve-wracking extra-inning victories, pushing the series to a Game 6 at Yankee Stadium. 

The Sox turned to Curt Schilling, who was shelled in Game 1 of the series while being hobbled by an ankle injury suffered in the previous round. There were serious questions about whether Schilling was going to be able to pitch again in the series, and whether he'd be effective even if he did.

But the day before Game 6, Schilling underwent an unprecedented procedure to suture his torn tendon to the skin, something that had to be practiced on a cadaver to make sure it would work. Before the contest even started, Schilling’s right sock was visibly soaked through with blood. Would he even be able to get through the first inning? 

Schilling was locked in, however. Despite a gimpy pivot foot, the right-hander had all of his pitches working—especially the splitter. Through seven innings, Schilling was dominant, only allowing one run on four hits on fewer than 100 pitches. 

As the Red Sox amassed four runs, Yankee Stadium became quieter as the game wore on, and looks of disbelief swept over the stadium. 

Schilling’s stellar performance propelled the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory and eventual series win, marking the 2004 Red Sox as the first and only MLB team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit. Schilling’s perseverance also helped end an 86-year World Series drought, breaking the “Curse of the Bambino” once and for all.


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