3. Game 6, 1975 (Red Sox 7, Reds 6 in 12 inn.)
Widely thought to be the greatest game in Red Sox history, even if it didn’t win them a title, Game 6 of the 1975 World Series turned out to be one of the most dramatic and iconic games in baseball history. Things started off well for Boston, with Fred Lynn teeing off for a three-run homer in the first inning, but it went downhill starting in the fifth. There, the Reds’ Ken Griffey drove a pitch to deep center with a couple men on, and despite Lynn’s best efforts out in center field, he crashed into the wall and came up empty-handed. The hit went for a two-run triple and Griffey was knocked in by Johnny Bench two batters later, tying the score at three.
Cincinnati added three runs in the seventh and eighth innings, putting Boston’s backs against the wall for the last of the eighth. Eventually, with two on and two out, the Sox sent in pinch hitter Bernie Carbo, who heroically tied the game with a three-run blast to straightaway center. Despite a couple great scoring opportunities for each team, it remained 6-6 when Carlton Fisk led off for Boston in the bottom of the twelfth. Lining the second pitch high down the left field line, Fisk wildly waved his arms, willing the ball to stay fair. The crazy gestures worked, as the ball smashed off the foul pole over the Green Monster for a home run, giving the Red Sox a 7-6 win to force a Game 7. Still, it wasn’t enough to shift the course of the Series, as the Reds came back from a 3-0 deficit in the next game for a 4-3 series-ending win.
4. Game 6, 1986 World Series (Mets 6, Red Sox 5 in 10 inn.)
More World Series heartbreak came to the Red Sox in 1986, when they came just about as close as any team to taking the championship before letting it slip through their fingers. The game may not have ever reached extra frames had it not been for Roger Clemens being replaced with a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth (he allowed one earned run through the first seven innings), as the Sox manager looked to add to a 3-2 lead with a man on. The move failed, as pinch hitter Mike Greenwell struck out and Boston reliever Calvin Schiraldi allowed the Mets to tie it up in the bottom half of the inning.
Regardless, the Red Sox built up an even better shot to win the Series in the tenth, scoring twice to take a 5-3 lead before retiring the first two New York hitters in the bottom half. Then, down to their last out, the Mets came back from the dead with consecutive singles by Gary Carter, Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight, cutting the Sox lead to 5-4, putting the tying and winning runs on base, and knocking Schiraldi out of the game. Boston brought in Bob Stanley to face Mookie Wilson, who had an epic at-bat. Several pitches in, the pressure came off significantly as Stanley tossed a wild pitch, scoring Mitchell to tie the game and moving Knight up to second. From there, we all know what happened – Wilson hit a ground ball to Buckner, right through the legs for the win. The next day, the Mets finished off the Sox with an 8-5 win in Game 7.