Top 50 Sox Seasons #34: Keith Foulke, 2004

2.17/0.940/.212, 83 IP, 72 G, 32 SV, 82.1 SV%, 79 K, 15 BB, 8.6 K/9, 5.3 K/BB, 225 ERA+
Postseason: 0.64/1.071/.143, 14 IP, 11 G, 1 W, 3 SV, 19 K

The regular season aside, Foulke’s performance in the 2004 ALCS may have ruined his career and defined it at the same time. For his role in the 0-3 comeback alone, Foulke gets bumped up the list.

One of the Sox’ two major acquisitions after the terrible end of 2003, Foulke didn’t blow a save until May 30, then saved 16 straight over 25 games between July 20 and Sept. 20 as the Red Sox roared back to take control of the Wild Card race. Upon reaching the playoffs, Foulke was again intricately involved in the historic ALCS rally, throwing 100 pitches in five innings over Games 3, 4 and 5. Foulke then appeared in every game of the World Series, throwing another 85 pitches in another five innings, allowing just four hits, one walk and one run, while striking out eight.

Key games:
Oct. 17, 18, 19. Coming into Game 4 of the ALCS with the Sox down by one in the seventh, Foulke allows just two walks in 2.2 shutout innings as the Red Sox come back to tie the game and send it into extras. Foulke is called on again during the eighth inning of Game 5, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings as the Sox again rally to tie the game. Finally, in Game 6, a clearly exhausted Foulke strikes out Tony Clark, representing the winning run with two on in the ninth, on his 100th pitch of the previous 36 hours.

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