By MICHAEL MORRISSEY
October 13, 2004 -- "I'm not planning on it being an issue."
— Curt Schilling, speaking Monday
Curt Schilling insisted it wasn't wishful thinking that he could beat the Yankees on one good ankle. But everyone knows what they say about the best-laid plans.
Struggling last night with tendinitis in his right ankle, Schilling had one of the worst warm-ups in his life. Things went downhill from there.
Boston's ace left the game after three innings down 6-0, and was tagged with the 10-7 loss in ALCS Game 1. Afterwards, he admitted his ankle was "popping" and said he could be done for the rest of the series.
"If I can't go out there with something better than I had today, I'm not going back out there," he said. "This is not about me, or me being brave. This is about us and winning the world championship.
"If I can't give them better than I gave them today, I won't take the ball again."
Boston's medical staff shot Schilling up with a Novocain-like painkiller and wrapped the ankle. It had a numbing effect, but Schilling knew he couldn't drive off the rubber the way he was used to.
He couldn't hit 94 MPH on the radar gun as he did in the ALDS. He couldn't locate his fastball or anything else. He allowed six earned runs on six hits and two walks.
"It's causing me to, in a nutshell, think about things other than pitching," he said.
Schilling wanted the ball in this situation ever since being dealt from Arizona, and the injury has forced him to spit the bit.
"It was everything I was hoping it would be — until I pitched," Schilling said. "The bell rang, and I couldn't answer it."
Manager Terry Francona told reporters after the game they were getting too far ahead by asking if Schilling would make his Game 5 start.
Schilling has suffered two distinct ankle injuries this year, both of which hamper his push-off.
Earlier in the year, he suffered a bone bruise that caused him to miss the All-Star Game. Then, during a September start against Baltimore, Schilling began feeling the effects of tendinitis.
He aggravated the ailment in the seventh inning of his ALDS Game 1 He felt confident after a dry run Sunday at Fenway.
"I went out there thinking I could do what I needed to do to win this game, and I failed at that," Schilling said. That's the bottom line."
Originally posted by Maxman@Oct 13 2004, 07:51 AM That is why all the talk about Schill coming back on short rest cracked me up. He had nothing tonight. Why would he have more on short rest?
Based on what I saw from him last night, I could see the possibility that he does not pitch again this series. His stride looked shorter, and the gun was reading a few MPH slower.
This would be a major blow to Bosox Nation. The 1 guy you are hinging your success on, the major rock that you counted on to finally beat the Yankees (and that was the only reason he was brought in) not only gets rocked in Game 1, but may not make it out there again.
However, I believe that if he could, he will try again down the line. Maybe he holds out for a week, and hopes that there is a game 7, and he pitches then??