For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Monday, August 15, 2022

Curt Leskanic had short memory over 11 ML seasons; Took pivotal '04 Red Sox ALCS win

Curt Leskanic took the mound in Game 3 of the 2004 American League Championship Series in relief then recorded a single out while giving up three earned runs.

But he came back and pitched better the next night, the historic Game 4, recording four critical scoreless extra-inning outs for the win and new Red Sox life.

"Guys go 4-for-4 one game and 0-for-4 the next, or one guy can give up a home run one night and get the win the next," Leskanic told ESPN afterward. "That's the way the game has been as long as I can remember, probably all the way back to day one. That's why as a reliever, you need to have a short memory."

Leskanic recorded that historic win at the conclusion of a lengthy major league career where he saw regular big league time in 11 campaigns, 603 total major league appearances and one World Series ring. 

Leskanic's career began in 1989, taken by the Indians in the eighth round of the draft out of Louisiana State University. Leskanic was also credited as Curtis Leskanic.

Leskanic started with the Indians in 1990 at high-A Kinston. He went 6-5, with a 3.68 ERA over 14 starts. 

He moved to the Twins system for 1992 and saw AA Orlando and AAA Portland. The Rockies then took him in the expansion draft. He debuted in Colorado in June 1993.

Leskanic picked up his first major league win early that July as he went 6.2 innings while giving up a single hit to beat the Marlins, The Associated Press wrote.

"I had a lot of confidence after the first batter," Leskanic told The AP. "After the first hitter, I got some confidence. Then I got the second hitter, and I said 'OK, let's go.'"

Leskanic went 1-5 over 18 outings, eight starts, with a 5.37 ERA. He returned for eight outings in 1994, then 76 in 1995. He went 6-3 that year, with a 3.40 ERA and 10 saves.

He then appeared in three Division Series games, taking the loss in Game 1 as he gave up a Chipper Jones home run, The AP wrote.

"I got behind with two fastballs, and I wanted to get a cutter up and in on his hands so he couldn't get extended," Leskanic told The AP. "The cutter was down and in and basically, that is where his power is."

Leskanic stayed with the Rockies through 1999, then moved to the Brewers for 2000 and 2001. That stretch from 1995 to 2001 saw Leskanic pitch in no fewer than 55 games each season.

He missed the majors in 2002, but returned for 53 outings with the Brewers and Royals in 2003 and 32 outings with the Red Sox in 2004. His three ALCS appearances that October marked the end of his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,000
Made the Majors:1,331-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,669-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:545-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

No comments:

Post a Comment