As you know, Curt Schilling is the Red Sox scheduled pitcher for Game Six of the ALCS. With that start comes the opportunity to become a true elimination master and join Whitey Ford as the only other man with three superior elimination starts (Schilling, Bob Turley, Josh Beckett, Danny Jackson and Dave Stewart all have two each). True, this is a different Schilling than the one who temporarily saved the Phillies in ’93 and gave the Red Sox a heroic jolt three years ago. Is he still capable of a dominant performance or is the best case a keep-‘em-close caretaker outing that bridges the team to the bullpen while the bats take care of business?
While working on today’s piece on pitchers who have excelled in elimination games, I compiled a list of every starting pitcher who managed a Game Score of 67 or better while pitching for a team on the brink of eradication. While I didn’t give Curt Schilling a special entry of his own, I probably should have. It would look like this:
Best Elimination Game Performance by a Pitcher with a More Famous Elimination Game Performance to His Credit
Curt Schilling, Philadelphia Phillies; 1993 World Series Game Five (9 5 0 0 3 6)
If we are gauging best on the basis of blood expended, Schilling’s outing in Game Six of the 2004 ALCS would trump his effort that kept the Phils’ hopes alive in 1993. He went the route in this game and didn’t allow any runs, while his line from the Bloody Sock game was 7 4 1 1 0 4. The hell with numbers, though, we know which game was the more impressive accomplishment – especially with the added bonus of hindsight because we know the Red Sox went on to triumph while the Phillies were Cartered in the very next game.