|Home > Departments > 2004 World Champions > Players > Bill Mueller|
Born: March 17, 1971; Maryland Heights, MO Height: 5'10" Weight: 180
Mueller started the season slowly, then missed half of May and all of June after having arthroscopic knee surgery. When he returned, healthy, he led the Sox' second-half surge toward the playoffs. While playing mostly at third base, he also made 14 starts at second when Mark Bellhorn went on the D.L.
There's no higher compliment that can be paid to a Red Sox player than being called a Yankee-Killer, and Bill started earning that title in April. He went 8-for-15 with a homer, three RBI, and four runs scored in a four-game series against the Yankees in April. Later in the month, he hit his 200th career double in a game at Yankee Stadium.
Less than a week after returning from the disabled list, Mueller was the hero in an extra-inning win over Oakland. After the Sox had blown a 7-1 lead, Mueller came to the plate in the bottom of the tenth with two outs and Johnny Damon on first. He hit a double off the Green Monster to knock in the winning run.
The game on July 24 was an instant classic and became one of the turning points in the season. After Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez brawled, the Sox found themselves down 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth with closer Mariano Rivera on the mound and a man on base. Mueller launched a homer into the Red Sox bullpen to give the Sox a dramatic 11-10 walkoff win. He hit five of his twelve home runs against the Yankees in 2004, giving him eight career homers against them, his most against any team.
Bill matched his career high with four hits against Baltimore on September 21, including two doubles, one of which set up Mark Bellhorn's game-winning single in the ninth.
Bill batted .333 in the Division Series, with two hits and a run scored in Game 2 and two hits and two runs in Game 3.
In the ALCS, Billy Mueller Yankee-Killer was at it again. He had only one RBI in the series, but it was one of the most important in team history. Trailing 4-3 in the ninth inning of Game 4, and down 0-3 in the series, Kevin Millar had walked, and pinch-runner Dave Roberts had stolen second. Mariano Rivera was on the mound to try to close out the series, but Mueller grounded a hit straight back up the middle. Roberts scored, tying the game and making the rest of the comeback possible.
Mueller batted .429 in the World Series. He was 1-for-3 with an RBI in Game 1, 2-for-3 with a run scored in Game 2, and 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored in Game 3.
Mueller signs autographs in spring training.
|Home Departments Features Archives More Info Interact Search|