October 24, 2014

Ten Years After: 2004 World Series 2: Red Sox 6, Cardinals 2

Sunday, October 24, 2004
Cardinals - 000 100 010 - 2  5  0
Red Sox   - 200 202 00x - 6  8  4
Curt Schilling, from Don't Let Us Win Tonight:
That was one of the scarier mornings of my career. I woke up at about 7 a.m. in one of those mindsets where you know something's wrong. I looked around and wondered, why am I up? It's 7 a.m. I would normally sleep until 10 or 11, given game time. And as soon as I turned to my left, I felt like my leg was in a fireplace. I rolled the cover back and my right ankle was swollen as thick as my right calf. And it was red, very red. It was so sensitive. Just the covers touching it hurt. Shonda woke up and she was in shock: "Oh my God. What is that?"

I got on the phone and I called Chris Correnti, and I said, "You've got to get ahold of Derek Lowe immediately, because there's absolutely no possible way I can pitch. I don't even know if I can drive to the park." I couldn't step on it. I couldn't walk. Nothing. I waited a while and nothing changed. They called Derek. I drove to the park an hour earlier than normal, around noon or one. I was trying to drive with my left foot because I couldn't use my right foot. As soon as I hit the end of my driveway, there was like 200 signs on the way in from Medfield.

There were signs on fire stations, on telephone poles, wishing me luck. I was listening to WEEI and everybody was talking about the game. "What do you expect from Schilling tonight?" I thought, "These people have no idea that I'm not going to pitch tonight."

When I left the house, I told Shonda not to rush to the game because there was no way I was going to pitch. I got to Fenway and Doug Mirabelli was in the parking lot, filming with his handheld video camera. He was taking pictures of guys showing up at the park for Game Two. I opened the car door and he's got the camera on and he started making a joke, and I said, "Turn it off." He said, "Dude. . ." and I said, "Turn it off." I stepped out of the car and he said, "Oh, my God. What happened?" I said, "I have no idea." Doug helped me get into the clubhouse. They called Dr. Morgan and he said, "Ah, I know what it is. I'll be there in a minute."

This is like 2 o'clock, 2:30-ish, and I've got it in my head that I'm not pitching. Dr. Morgan comes in, looks at it, and goes into the training room. He'd put an extra stitch in this time, to hold the tissue down, and the extra stitch had punctured a nerve. Once he popped out that stitch, you could literally see my foot – in real time – shrinking. Immediately. And I'm walking around going, "What the hell?" He said, "Yeah, that was my fault, blah, blah." And I was like, "Oh, my God, I'm fine! I can pitch!"

Now I panicked! I'm a routine guy. I'm doing email and getting my notes together. I've got to hurry up. That Cardinal lineup wasn't something to laugh at. Pujols, Renteria, Rolen, Larry Walker. So now I'm going to pitch. I completely disregard calling my wife. I'm not even thinking of any of that. I'm just trying to hurry up and get ready.