Monday, October 11, 2010

ESPN 30 for 30: Four Days in October

Four Days in October is the twenty-fourth film in ESPN's 30 for 30 series. The documentary looks at the last four games of the 2004 Amercian League Championship series between the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Losing the first three games of the series and trailing 4 to 3 in the bottom of the ninth in Game Four, the Red Sox rallied to win the series in seven games. It was the first time that a team had ever come back from a 3 to 0 deficit to win a baseball playoff series.

The games were literally played over four successive days: October 17, 18, 19 and 20. Starting at 8:20 p.m. EST, Game Four lasted until 1:22 a.m.

There are a number of amazing moments in series, including:
  • David Ortiz's home run to win Game Four in the bottom of the 12th inning;

  • David Ortiz's single to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning in Game Five;

  • Curt Schilling pitching seven innings in Game Six on an ankle with a temporary stitch holding a tendon in place and leading to the bloody sock; and,

  • Alex Rodeiguez being called for interference when he knocked the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's hand in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game Six.

There is some amazing footage of David Ortiz just as he goes to bat in Game Four. The look of determination and focus on his face is incredible.

I find it a little odd that there is almost no footage of Manny Ramirez. I only saw a brief shot of him getting out of car at Yankee Stadium. It is almost like Major League Baseball wants to pretend that he does not exist...

Like House of Steinbrenner, Four Days in October is a solid, straightforward documentary. I rank it somewhere in the middle of the 30 for 30 films that have been shown so far.

Bill Simmons makes a couple of appearances in the film; he is sitting in a bar talking to someone else about key sequences of the game. Simmons talks to Kevin Hench about the documentary at the end of his podcast looking back on the Red Sox's 2010 season.

The film is available on Amazon.

Four Days in October is also available on iTunes.

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