10/09/2003 11:55 PM ET
ALCS Game 2 game balls
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" -- or, in this case, red socks, like the lads from Boston wear, and taxis, in honor of the New York City traffic -- for performances in this year's American League Championship Series.
Five cabs: VIP, police escort
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
Four cabs: Green lights, little traffic, life is good
Three cabs: Clean backseat, no accidents
Two cabs: Your driver takes "the scenic route"
One cab: Gridlock, 102 degrees in the city, no AC, missing window crank
Andy Pettitte: The normally solid lefty struggled through the first two innings, allowing six hits, a walk and a run. But he knows better than to panic. Pettitte gave up just three hits and a walk in the next 4 2/3 innings. How can the Yankees even consider letting Pettitte get away?
Jose Contreras: He came on in the seventh with two outs and a runner on and got Nomar Garciaparra to pop out on the first pitch. He definitely provided the bridge to Mariano Rivera the Yankees have been hurting for.
Hideki Matsui: He drove in an important run, the fourth, with two out in the fifth and then came right back with a nice running catch in deep left field at the start of the sixth. Matsui is one cool customer.
Jorge Posada: Posada's throw to nail Gabe Kapler, who was trying to steal second, helped keep the Red Sox from scoring despite plenty of opportunities in the first inning. But it was Posada's big two-run double with two outs in the seventh that put this game on ice.
Nick Johnson: After going 0-for-3 and leaving two runners stranded in scoring position in Game 1, Johnson started strong in Game 2. He drilled his first career postseason home run, a two-run shot, in the second inning. The Yankees have shown a lot of patience with Johnson and he is starting to pay off.
Five Socks: A perfect fit
Four Socks: Clean and comfortable
Three Socks: Has a couple of holes
Two Socks: Needs a washing
One Sock: Giving off a foul odor
Derek Lowe: Lowe clearly dedicated every ounce of energy he had to his effort on Thursday night. He did not pitch badly but seemed to show a little wear from his appearances in the ALDS. A little more run support and just a few different pitches early in the game and Lowe might have sent the Red Sox home with a 2-0 advantage.
Jason Varitek: "Tek" contributed two hits, including a laser-like home run, and did his best to get his teammates fired up on the bench. The very valuable catcher is hitting .500 in the series and is one of Boston's unsung heroes.
Damian Jackson: Substituting for Todd Walker at second base, Jackson had an up-and-down game. He had a clutch hit in the second inning to drive in the first Boston run. Then he made a fielding error in the third, but it ended up not hurting.
David Ortiz and Kevin Millar: The usually productive duo went a combined 0-for-7 with a strikeout and three runners left on base. Chances are that won't happen again in this series.
Paul C. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.