Athletics defeat Red Sox
4 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 6||OAK 9||BOS 1|
|2||Oct. 7||OAK 4||BOS 1|
|3||Oct. 9||OAK 4||BOS 1|
|4||Oct. 10||OAK 3||BOS 1|
Managers: La Russa, Tony, OAK; Morgan, Joe, BOS
MVP: Stewart, Dave
The defending World Series champion A's were 15 games better than Boston during the regular season, and it showed in this four-game sweep. Other than Wade Boggs' .438 average (7-for-16), there was little to show for the Red Sox's appearance. Oakland won the first two games at Fenway Park, and then took the next two at home. The Boston dream was deferred again.
The 1990 ALCS was extremely bizarre for three reasons:
1) Tony La Russa's A's were Dr. Jekyll in this series, holding Boston to one run in each game of a lopsided sweep and seemingly in good position to repeat as World Series winners. In hindsight, the 4-for-24 combined performance by Bash Brothers Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire perhaps might have been an omen for what would happen next, but it sure seemed unlikely that Oakland would be subsequently swept by Cincinnati. And by all means, no one could have known it would be Oakland's last postseason series win until 2006 -- 16 long years later.
2) Boston's best pitcher, Roger Clemens, was absent when he was needed the most in two separate games.
3) The Red Sox took 1-0 leads in each of the first three games, yet will be remembered for a lopsided series loss.
The struggles by Canseco and McGwire were well-masked in the Boston series. Oakland starters Dave Stewart (2-0), AL Cy Young Award winner Bob Welch (1-0) and Mike Moore (1-0) clamped down on everyone but Boggs. Boston batted a combined .183 in the series, and Oakland had an 0.81 WHIP.
A's leadoff hitter and center fielder Rickey Henderson, the star of the previous year's ALCS against Toronto, did most of his damage this time in the 9-1 Game 1 victory, going 2-for-5 with his only three RBIs and his only run of the series. Oakland's top three hitters each stole a base that game. Boston had a 1-0 lead entering the seventh, as Clemens was in control. But after 97 pitches over six innings he was suddenly replaced by Larry Andersen, who recorded a blown save as everything fell apart. Without Clemens in the game, Oakland scored once in the seventh, once in the eighth and then seven times in the ninth.
Perhaps the epitome of the Boston frustration happened in the finale. Clemens, starting in hopes of preventing a sweep, gave up consecutive singles to Carney Lansford and Terry Steinbach, and both advanced on Mike Greenwell's throwing error. Lansford scored on a fielder's choice by McGwire. Willie Randolph batted next and drew a walk on a 3-and-1 pitch. Clemens began mouthing a long strand of words to home plate as he looked in for the signs against Mike Gallego, and umpire Terry Cooney heard enough of it to promptly eject the Rocket. It was one of the most unexpected ejections in recent postseason history, as aces aren't often tossed with the season on the line. Manager Joe Morgan and second baseman Marty Barrett were ejected as well, and water coolers and litter were tossed from the Red Sox dugout onto the field in the surreal Game 4 scene.
Clemens' replacement, Tom Bolton, promptly surrendered a two-run double to Gallego, making it 3-0 on the way to a clincher.