Four Days in October is one of my personal favorite 30 for 30’s. The ESPN documentary dialogues the extraordinarily impossible story of the 2004 Boston Red Sox coming back from a 3-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees and axing the "Curse of the Bambino."
Texas Tech is now facing a similar situation, needing four wins in the next four games otherwise their 2016 season will come to a close. Granted, the stage is obviously not as big as the ALCS, and there is no known curse on the line, but the situation and the dilemma that the Red Raiders are facing is on par with the ’04 Sox.
The best moment of Four Days in October in my mind comes at the beginning of the film when Kevin Millar, the first baseman for the Red Sox, is talking with the notorious Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe prior to Game 4. Millar is known as an easy-going, open guy, and Shaughnessy is known as an open criticizer and usually has negative views of the Red Sox, even being a Red Sox beat writer.
Shaughnessy was using phrases to Millar such as "This is embarrassing" and "C’mon you guys are better than this." Millar played him off, and simply used the words "Don’t let us win today."
Don’t let us win today.
Millar continues to talk about how they have Pedro Martinez on the bump in Game 5, Curt Schilling in Game 6, and in Game 7 "Anything can happen."
Now, Tech does not have future Hall-of-Fame pitchers going out on the mound for them. However, the matchups are easily comparable.
Taking down a Florida team that is ranked number one in the land according to USA Today will not be easy. Alex Faedo, the starting pitcher for Florida tomorrow afternoon, is 13-2 with a 3.25 ERA and a .220 batting average against this season. Hell, that’s good.
If the Red Raiders can get past Faedo and the Gators, they would then face a rematch of a TCU team they had on the ropes on Sunday, or a Coastal Carolina team that beat that Gators team on Sunday. I like the Red Raider's chances against either one.
Don’t let us win today.
If the Red Raiders are going to pull this off, they are going to need everyone to do their job. From pinch hitters to back-of-the-bullpen pitchers, everyone is going to need to step up at some point. The Red Sox threw out eleven different pitchers, committed just one error, and scored six runs after the 7th inning while the Yankees scored just one in those four games. Everyone stepped up.
Just in the two games against East Carolina when the Red Raiders were facing elimination lots of guys stepped up and did their job. Tyler Neslony hit a massive three-run-homerun in Game 1 against the Pirates to pull within two runs when the Red Raiders were down and out of the game. Jacob Patterson pitched 3 1/3 innings with no runs allowed, which gave the bullpen a big boost for the next two games. Even though Robert Dugger had a rough outing against the Horned Frogs Sunday, he still stepped up and pitched one of the most remarkable relief pitching performances I have ever seen in Game 2 against the ECU Pirates. Eric Gutierrez went from being hitless to plating home two runs for the game-winning hit in that same game. Erikson Lanning pitched the game of his life in Game 3, allowing two hits and no runs in seven innings. Several Red Raiders had multiple hits in that same game. Tyler Floyd played crazy good defense behind the dish in that series and against TCU.
If there is any group that I believe can comeback from this deficit, it is these guys. This is a dangerous team, and winning the Big 12 this season was no fluke.
Why not us?