2013 World Series
|2013 World Series|
|Boston Red Sox
97 - 65 in the AL
|4 - 2
|St. Louis Cardinals|
97 - 65 in the NL
The 2013 World Series featured the St. Louis Cardinals, representing the National League, facing the Boston Red Sox, the American League pennant winners. The AL representative had home field advantage by virtue of the junior circuit having won the 2013 All-Star Game. The match-up was a classic one in series lore, with the Cardinals having defeated the Red Sox in seven games in both 1946 and 1967, while the Sox had ended an 86-year title drought by sweeping the Cards in the 2004 Series. Both teams had won at least one more title since that last encounter.
For the first time since 1999, the series matched the two teams with the best record in their respective league during the regular season.
The Boston Red Sox won the series in six games, with one of the losses, in Game 3, coming on a very controversial game-ending play in which the Cardinals' winning run was scored as a result of an obstruction call. It was the Red Sox's 8th Championship overall, dating back to their winning the first modern World Series in 1903, and their third since ending their long title drought in 2004. David Ortiz was named the Series' MVP after a superlative offensive performance in which he hit .688 with an OBP of .760 and a slugging percentage of 1.188.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox were not at all expected to reach the World Series when the 2013 season started. They had just gone through a monumental collapse that had cost them a shot at the postseason in 2011, and then a horrendous last-place finish under one-year manager Bobby Valentine in 2012. General Manager Ben Cherington had already started the team's necessary rebuild that season, trading front-line players Kevin Youkilis, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett during the season in order to clear some salary space and give the team a new look. The Red Sox did not look for big-name players to fill the holes in their line-up after the season, but instead looked for some players who could contribute in some specific and well-defined areas: slugging 1B Mike Napoli, solid defensive SS Stephen Drew, OFs Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino, and veteran starting pitcher Ryan Dempster were all added as free agents. They came to complement a core of players that was still solid: DH David Ortiz, still a feared slugger in his late 30's and the undisputed team leader, 2B Dustin Pedroia, an excellent hitter who was just as important for his top-notch fielding in the middle of the infield, CF Jacoby Ellsbury a very good lead-off hitter, pitching aces Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz and, to a lesser extent, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia. All of these players contributed to the team in a positive fashion. To guide these players, Cherington brought back former pitching coach John Farrell to serve as manager, after a two-year stint as skipper of the Toronto Blue Jays; Farrell proved to be the right man for the job, calm and knowledgeable and able to maximize his personnel's strengths.
The Red Sox got off to a good start and were already in first place when the tragic events around the Boston Marathon bombings took place on April 15th; the team's performance served as one of the strong points that helped to heal the city. The team was solid all around, leading the American League in runs scored, while posting the 6th best ERA. They finished with 97 wins, most in the league, with the key offensive performers being Ortiz (.309, 30 HR, 103 RBI), Ellsbury (.298 with 92 runs scored and 52 stolen bases), Pedroia (.301 with 42 doubles and 84 RBI), Victorino (.294 with 82 runs scored), Napoli (38 doubles and 23 homers) and Saltalamacchia (.273 with 40 doubles and 63 RBIs). On the pitching side, Lester went 15-8 and Buchholz 13-1, although he missed a good chunk of the second half with an injury. They were complemented by veteran John Lackey, who went 10-13, 3.52 in coming back from Tommy John surgery, while Dempster and Felix Doubront were productive if unspectacular at the back-end of the starting rotation.
Not everything went according to plan for the Sox though. They counted on former All-Stars Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey to form the heart of their bullpen; both went down with early-season injuries ansd contributed little; instead, their replacements, Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and especially closer Koji Uehara were better than anyone could have expected, while rookie Brandon Workman emerged as a solid contributor over the second half. Not entirely confident about his starting rotation, Cherington traded for veteran Jake Peavy in mid-year, giving up defensive whiz (and .330 hitter) José Iglesias in the process. 3B Will Middlebrooks also struggled, hitting .227 although with decent power; by the time the World Series started, he had lost his job to rookie phenom Xander Bogaerts, who at age 20 and with only 18 games of big league experience, showed that he had the tools to become an outstanding all-around performer.
During the entire postseason, the Boston stood out as almost all of its players had grown beards, many of them rather huge and mangy. It was done to increase togetherness among players.
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals had been among the best teams in the National League for the past few seasons, winning the 2011 World Series in Tony LaRussa's last year as their manager, and then coming within one game of returning to the Fall Classic in Mike Matheny's first year at the helm in 2012. They were the class of the National League in 2013, although they had been pushed to perform at their best by two teams within their own division, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds, who had jockeyed with them for first place in the NL Central Division until the season's last days. In the end the Cards had come out on top, their 97 wins being the most in the circuit. Their 783 runs scored were almost 80 more than the second-place team, while their team ERA of 3.43 was fifth-best in the circuit.
Leading the Cardinals' offense was lead-off hitter Matt Carpenter, the second baseman, who led the NL with 126 runs and 51 doubles in addition to hitting .318. LF Matt Holliday scored 103 runs while hitting .300 with 31 doubles and 22 homers; RF Carlos Beltran pitched in with a .296 average, 30 doubles and 24 homers. The leading run producer was 1B Allen Craig, who drove in 97 in spite of missing most of September and the first two rounds of the postseason with a foot injury; he also hit .315. His back-up, rookie Matt Adams, hit 17 homers and drove in 51 in part-time play, while C Yadier Molina hit 44 doubles, hit .319 and drove in 80 runs in addition to being the best defensive catcher in baseball. The bottom of the line-up had some holes, however: SS Pete Kozma hit only .217, and 3B David Freese disappointed with 9 homers and a .262 average after two excellent seasons.
On the mound, the Cardinals were unable to use veteran starter Chris Carpenter at all during the season, while Jaime Garcia made only 9 starts. However, Adam Wainwright led the league with 19 wins and struck out 219 while walking only 35 in 241 2/3 innings, while rookie Shelby Miller was 15-9, 3.06. Lance Lynn was 15-10, but with a relatively high 3.97 ERA, while Joe Kelly was 10-5, 2.67 as a swingman. The hidden gem was another rookie, Michael Wacha, 4-1, 2.78 during the season and nearly unhittable in the first two rounds of the postseason. In the bullpen, a group of young hard-throwers got most of the key pitching assignments down the stretch: closer Trevor Rosenthal (2-4, 2.63), and set-up men Carlos Martinez (2-1, 5.08), Seth Maness (5-2, 2,32) and Kevin Siegrist (3-1, 0.45), with veteran Randy Choate filling the role of LOOGY. Lost in the shuffle was Edward Mujica, who had made the All-Star team as the team's closer and saved 37 games, but who had been relegated to a bystander role lately. Miller was also among those who were shunted aside, barely pitching during the postseason in spite of his solid year. Clearly, Matheny had chosen to rely on a few key pitchers in his bid to conquer the World Championship, and would live and die by his choices.
|1||St. Louis Cardinals 1 Boston Red Sox 8||October 23||Adam Wainwright (0-1) Jon Lester (1-0)||8:07 pm|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals 4 Boston Red Sox 2||October 24||Michael Wacha (1-0) John Lackey (0-1)||8:07 pm|
|3||Boston Red Sox 4 St. Louis Cardinals 5||October 26||Jake Peavy (0-0) Joe Kelly (0-0)||8:07 pm|
|4||Boston Red Sox 4 St. Louis Cardinals 2||October 27||Clay Buchholz (0-0) Lance Lynn (0-1)||8:15 pm|
|5||Boston Red Sox 3 St. Louis Cardinals 1||October 28||Jon Lester (2-0) Adam Wainwright (0-2)||8:07 pm|
|6||St. Louis Cardinals 1 Boston Red Sox 6||October 30||Michael Wacha (1-1) John Lackey (1-1)||8:07 pm|
Game 1 @ Fenway Park
|WP: Jon Lester (1-0), LP: Adam Wainwright (0-1)|
|Home Runs: STL - Matt Holliday (1); BOS - David Ortiz (1)|
- Attendance: 38,345
The Red Sox started the World Series with a bang, taking advantage of some iffy defensive work to score five runs in the first two innings of Game 1 and cruise to an 8 - 1 win. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright got in trouble early when he walked lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury to start the bottom of the 1st. After Shane Victorino made an out, Dustin Pedroia hit a single, then David Ortiz hit a grounder to second that was fielded by Matt Carpenter who flipped the ball to SS Pete Kozma, who dropped it. Umpire Dana DeMuth originally called Pedroia out at second, but then after Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue, he reversed his call after conferring with his colleagues, ruling that Kozma had not held the ball. The Red Sox turned that break into a huge advantage when Mike Napoli followed with a double to center, clearing the bases for a 3-0 lead. But Boston didn't stop there. In the 2nd inning, Stephen Drew and David Ross led off with singles, Drew's a harmless pop-up that fell between Wainwright and C Yadier Molina as the two couldn't decide who should catch it. Ellsbury made an out but Victorino grounded to Kozma, who muffed the ball for his second error of the game. Pedroia singled in a fourth run, a balled that skipped past 3B David Freese, leaving the bases still loaded for Ortiz, who drove one of Wainwright's pitches towards the bullpen behind the right field fence; but RF Carlos Beltran reached over the fence to make a great catch and deprive Ortiz of a grand slam, although Ross came in to score another run. Worse, Beltran had to leave the game an inning later with bruised ribs sustained on the catch, his long-awaited World Series debut ending early.
The game settled down after that early outburst, but the Red Sox were firmly in control, as Red Sox starter Jon Lester was pitching an excellent game, preventing the Cardinals from chipping away at the lead. Their best chance came in the 4th, when they loaded the bases with one out, but Freese hit a comebacker to Lester who threw home to start an inning-ending double play Wainwright gave way to John Axford in the 6th, then in the 7th, Freese threw away Pedroia's ground ball with two out for the Cards' third error; LOOGY Kevin Siegrist replaced Seth Maness to face the left-handed hitting Ortiz, but the Big Papi was not daunted, homering to right-center field for a 7-0 lead. After getting the first two outs in the 8th, Lester gave way to Junichi Tazawa, ending his night of work with no runs allowed on 5 hits and a walk while striking out 8. The Red Sox added a last run in the 8th when Daniel Nava doubled against Carlos Martinez, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Xander Bogaerts. Ryan Dempster came on to pitch the 9th for the Red Sox and gave up a lead-off homer to Matt Holliday before retiring the next three batters, making the final score 8-1 in favor of Boston.
Game 2 @ Fenway Park
|WP: Michael Wacha (1-0), LP: John Lackey (0-1), SV: Trevor Rosenthal (1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - David Ortiz (2)|
- Attendance: 38,436
The Red Sox celebrated their 2004 championship before Game 2, calling on some key members of that team - Pedro Martinez, Trot Nixon, Derek Lowe, Keith Foulke, Jason Varitek and Kevin Millar - to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park. That team had swept the World Series, as had its 2007 successor, so combined with the previous night's win, the Red Sox were working on a nine-game winning streak in the Fall Classic. The last hero of the 2004 Series still with the team, David Ortiz, did his part to try to extend the streak by one more game, hitting a two-run home run in the 6th that put the Red Sox temporarily in the lead, but in the end, it was the Cardinals' night.
Young Michael Wacha, fresh off three brilliant starts in the first two rounds of the postseason, was starting for the Cardinals, facing John Lackey, making his first World Series appearance since starting and winning Game 7 of the 2002 World Series as a rookie for the Anaheim Angels. Although the two teams managed to put some runners on base in the first three innings, none of them got past first base. The Cards broke through first in the 4th, when Matt Holliday led off with a triple and Yadier Molina drove him in with a ground out. That's how things stood until the bottom of the 6th, when Dustin Pedroia drew a one-out walk and Ortiz followed with a long ball to left-center to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
The game was decided in the 7th, however. Lackey started off the inning by striking out Allen Craig, but then walked David Freese, who was replaced by pinch-runner Pete Kozma. Jon Jay followed with a single and Lackey gave way to Craig Breslow. He was trying to induce a ground ball from Daniel Descalso when the two runners pulled off an audacious double steal, changing the strategy; going for a strikeout, Breslow walked Descalso, loading the bases. Matt Carpenter followed with a fly ball to left field. Kozma decided to challenge LF Jonny Gomes' arm; his throw was seemingly in time to retire Kozma, but C Jarrod Saltalamacchia let it get past him, allowing the tying run to score; Breslow, backing up his catcher, picked up the ball and tried to gun down Jay at third base, but threw the ball into left field, allowing a second run to score and Descalso to make it to third base. Both Saltalamacchia and Breslow were charged with errors on the game-turning play. Carlos Beltran followed with a single, and St. Louis held a 4-2 lead. Junichi Tazawa then got the last out of the inning. Carlos Martinez retired the Red Sox in order in the 7th, but put a couple of men on, on an error and a single, in the 8th; however, Boston was unable to score. Trevor Rosenthal then came out for the 9th and struck out the side, ending with pinch-hitter Daniel Nava to seal the win. The two teams were now tied heading to St. Louis.
Game 3 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Trevor Rosenthal (1-0), LP: Brandon Workman (0-1)|
|Home Runs: - none|
- Attendance: 47,432
Game 3 at Busch Stadium turned out to be a thriller, decided on a rare call on the last play of the game. 1982 World Series hero Willie McGee threw the ceremonial first pitch, while young Joe Kelly faced veteran Jake Peavy on the mound. It was the veteran, making his first Series appearance, who was nervous in the early going. After Kelly kept the Sox from even getting the ball out of the infield in the top of the 1st, Peavy allowed a lead-off single to Matt Carpenter. Trying to take advantage of the extreme defensive shift used against him, Carlos Beltran followed by dropping a bunt towards the left side of the infield; however, Peavy managed to field it and it was recorded as a sacrifice bunt. Matt Holliday followed with a single to open the score, and Matt Adams and Yadier Molina hit singles as well to make it 2-0 with two on and only one out. With action already under way in the Sox's bullpen, David Freese hit a hard liner to right, but Shane Victorino caught it on the fly, and Jon Jay grounded to second; the Red Sox were lucky to be only down by 2 after that rough inning. Kelly continued to mow down the Sox over the next two innings, facing the minimum 9 batters after three, while the Cards' only othre runner was Holliday, whose pop-up to center dropped out of Jacoby Ellsbury's glove for an error, but he was immediately doubled at first base, as he had carelessly wandered off the bag while watching the play unfold.
The Red Sox got a first baserunner when Ellsbury led off the 4th with a single, but the next two batters made outs. Kelly pitched around the red hot David Ortiz, starting at first base with the designated hitter not in use, walking him on four pitches, but struck out Daniel Nava to end the threat. Peavy got into much deeper trouble in the bottom of the inning though, as Molina singled, Freese walked and Jay singled to load the bases with nobody out. Peavy managed to strike out Pete Kozma then force harmless pop-ups from Kelly and Carpenter, and the Cardinals had wasted a chance to put the game away early. The Red Sox replied immediately as young Xander Bogaerts led off the 5th with a triple. Two batters later, Mike Carp, pinch-hitting for Peavy, hit a high bouncing ball on which the Cards were unable to turn a double play, and Bogaerts scored a first run for Boston. Felix Doubront, normally a starter, took over on the mound and after two quick outs allowed a double to Adams. He then walked Molina semi-intentionally before getting Freese to fly out, stranding two more runners. The Sox then tied the game as Victorino led off the 6th with a walk; Pedroia smoked a ball down the third base line, but a perfectly positioned Freese caught it, robbing him of a potential double. With Ortiz coming up, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called on lefty Randy Choate, but Big Papi hit a solid single to right, putting runners on the corners. Seth Maness relieved Choate, but he allowed a single to Nava, which tied the score at 2, after which Bogaerts grounded into an inning-ending double play.
With both teams turning to their bullpens early, a lot of substitutes would see action in the second half of the game. The next stirring came in the bottom of the 7th, after Red Sox manager John Farrell had decided to pinch-hit for Doubront with two outs and none on in the top of the inning, even though Doubront was pitching well. Craig Breslow came in to pitch but was victim of two unlucky breaks : Carpenter got an infield single on a checked swing, and Beltran took first after a pitch barely glanced his elbow. Junichi Tazawa replaced Breslow and was greeted by a double by Holliday which scored both runners for a 4-2 lead, with Holliday advancing to third on the throw home. Tazawa then showed some poise, striking out Adams and Molina back-to-back, and then after a walk to Freese, getting Jay on a fly to center to prevent Holliday from scoring and keeping his team in the game. Boston then started the 8th as the Cards had done in the bottom of the 7th, with Ellsbury getting a lead-off single against Carlos Martinez and then Victorino getting plunked, full in the leg this time, however. Pedroia grounded out, moving both runners into scoring position and pushing Matheny to call for an intentional walk to Ortiz. Matheny then made a double switch, bringing in his closer, Trevor Rosenthal, early and inserting rookie Kolten Wong to play second base. Wong was immediately tested by a tough ground ball by Nava, which he fielded and flipped to second for the second out. Ellsbury had scored however, and Bogaerts followed with a single, tying the score at 4 with runners on the corners. However Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded out to Wong to end the inning.
In the bottom of the 8th, Wong singled and stole second after two outs against Brandon Workman, but that just led to Beltran receiving an intentional pass and Holliday flying out to end the inning. Rosenthal breezed through the top of the 9th while Farrell elected to have Workman bat, with predictable results: he struck out on three pitches in his first big league plate appearance. Workman struck out Adams to lead off the bottom of the inning but allowed a single to Molina. Farrell now called on his closer, Koji Uehara, to face pinch-hitter Allen Craig, batting for Rosenthal. Craig lined the first pitch into the left field corner for a double with Molina stopping at third base. Jon Jay was next, and Farrell elected to face him rather than load the bases. With the infield drawn, Jay hit the ball directly to Pedroia at second base, and he threw home, retiring Molina easily. But Saltalamacchia tried to press the play, throwing to third where the gimpy-legged Craig was heading; the ball sailed past 3B Will Middlebrooks and into left field as Middlebrooks and Craig became entangled near the bag. That gave enough time to LF Nava to pick up the ball and throw home before Craig could touch the plate. However, home plate umpire Dana DeMuth did not hesitate a moment in calling Craig safe, pointing to his colleague Jim Joyce at third base, who ruled there had been obstruction. On that very rare - but obviously correct - decision, a thrilling game ended with a 5-4 win for the Cardinals.
Game 4 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Felix Doubront (1-0), LP: Lance Lynn (0-1), SV: Koji Uehara (1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Jonny Gomes (1)|
- Attendance: 47,469
The Red Sox came back to tie the series with a 4-2 win in Game 4, overcoming the letdown of their deflating loss the previous night; it did take uncontested team leader David Ortiz gathering his teammates in the dugout after a few listless innings and giving them a heated pep talk before the offense got on track. The parade of former World Series greats continued before the Game, with Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, hero of the Cardinals' 1967 win over Boston, throwing the ceremonial first pitch. The Red Sox kept Ortiz in the line-up at first base, but Shane Victorino bowed out because of lower back tightness, forcing John Farrell to play Daniel Nava in right and return Jonny Gomes to left; he also replaced Jarrod Saltalamacchia with back-up catcher David Ross. The Cardinals had Daniel Descalso starting at shortstop in place of Pete Kozma. On the mound, Clay Buchholz, owner of a 13-1 record in the regular season but whose health had been iffy of late, was facing Lance Lynn, a big winner without being dominant the past two seasons, whom Mike Matheny had preferred to rookie Shelby Miller for a spot in the postseason starting rotation. As it turned out, Buchholz could only go four innings while battling shoulder fatigue which affected his velocity.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the 3rd inning when Matt Carpenter singled then took second when Jacoby Ellsbury briefly fumbled the ball; Carlos Beltran immediately followed with a single to drive in Carpenter. Buchholz struggled a bit in the 4th as well, walking Jon Jay and putting him on second with a wild pitch, but he was able to get his opponent Lynn to line out to right to end the inning. Ortiz then opened the top of the 5th with a double and Gomes and Xander Bogaerts drew walks to load the bases with nobody out. Stephen Drew, mired in a deep slump, managed to hit a sacrifice fly to left to score the tying run but Ross struck out swinging. With a chance at a big inning, Farrell pulled Buchholz in favor of pinch-hitter Mike Carp, but he grounded out to end the inning. Felix Doubront came to pitch and retired the Cards in order, then Boston did have the big inning it was looking for in the 6th. Lynn retired the first two hitters, but then allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia and walked the dangerous Ortiz, with none of his four pitches even coming close to the strike zone. With Gomes due up, Matheny called for righty Seth Maness, a ground ball specialist; what followed was far removed from a ground ball, as Gomes lifted a hanging sinker beyond the left-centerfield wall for a three-run homer. Boston had a 4-1 lead, but St. Louis still had four turns at bat.
Doubront retired the Cardinals in order in the 6th then was left to bat in the top of the 7th, striking out against Maness. He retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning before pinch-hitter Shane Robinson doubled to left. Farrell called on lefty Craig Breslow at that point, but Breslow allowed a single to Carpenter that made the score 4-2. He then walked Beltran and exited in favor of Junichi Tazawa, making it the second straight outing during which he had failed to retire a single batter. Tazawa got Matt Holliday to ground out to end the inning. Ortiz singled against lefty Kevin Siegrist with two outs in the 8th and gave way to pinch-runner Quintin Berry. The speedy Berry had never been caught stealing in his major league career, but he was trying to steal against perhaps the best throwing arm among major league catchers in Yadier Molina; Berry won that battle, then Gomes walked against John Axford, but Bogaerts struck out to end the inning. Farrell made an unusual move at that point, replacing the dependable but heavily-used Tazawa with starter John Lackey, who had volunteered to pitch an inning given the last two Boston starters had left early. Pitching in relief for the first time since 2004, Lackey got Matt Adams on a ground ball, then Molina hit a ball down the third base line; the young Bogaerts made a nice diving stop, but his throw to first base was wild, putting Molina on second. Lackey then dug his hole a little deeper with a wild pitch but recovered by forcing Jay to pop-up and getting David Freese on a ground ball. Koji Uehara started the bottom of the 9th by retiring Descalso, but Allen Craig came in to pinch-hit for Axford and singled to right. Rookie Kolten Wong ran for him. He had to stay put as Carpenter popped up for the second out, then with Beltran batting, he was caught wrong-footed by Uehara and picked off to end the game.
Game 5 @ Busch Stadium
|WP: Jon Lester (2-0), LP: Adam Wainwright (0-2), SV: Koji Uehara (2)|
|Home Runs: STL - Matt Holliday (2)|
- Attendance: 47,436
The Red Sox moved within one win of the title with a 3-1 win in Game 5, with Jon Lester once again prevailing over Adam Wainwright in a battle of aces, as had been the case in Game 1. The Cardinals brought out another legend from their past to throw the ceremonial first pitch, this time SS Ozzie Smith, but pitching and a few clutch hits would determine the outcome of this game, not defense. Red Sox manager John Farrell stuck with the same 8 starting players as in Game 4, except for moving RF Daniel Nava down from second to 5th in the batting order and having the previous night's hero, Jonny Gomes bat clean-up behind the unstoppable David Ortiz. For the Cardinals, Mike Matheny tried to get more offensive production by inserting Allen Craig, although still hobbled by a foot injury, into the starting line-up at first base and Shane Robinson in center field in place of Jon Jay; as a result, Carlos Beltran batted clean-up, while Pete Kozma was back at shortstop.
If the moves were meant to generate more runs, they did not really pay immediate dividends. The two starting pitchers pitched like the aces they were, and the score was still only 1-1 after 6 innings. Boston scored its first run in the 1st inning, when Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz hit back-to-back doubles after one out. Ortiz's hit was part of a string of nine straight plate appearances in which he reached base on a hit or walk, tying a World Series record held by Joe Gordon and Billy Hatcher. The streak ended when he lined out to center in the 6th. The veteran slugger was building his legend with every turn at bat, and the Cards' pitchers had absolutely no idea how to get him out. The rest of the Red Sox line-up was less incisive however: Wainwright struck out the side in the 2nd after striking the last two batters in the 1st, then when Ortiz singled to lead off the 4th, he was wiped out in a double play. Meanwhile, Lester was mowing down the Cardinals as well, until Matt Holliday tied the score with a solo homer in the 4th. The Red Sox put a couple of men on base via singles with one out in the 5th, but Wainwright struck out Lester on a bunt attempt and Jacoby Ellsbury swinging to end the threat. Nobody reached base in the bottom of the 5th or in the 6th, but the Red Sox mounted their game-winning rally in the 7th. After Nava struck out, Xander Bogaerts singled and Stephen Drew walked. Up came the catcher David Ross, and he hat the key hit of the game, a long drive that bounced into the seats in left field for an automatic double. Bogaerts scored but Drew had to stop at third. Wainwright got Lester to ground out for the second out, with the runners staying put, but Ellsbury had another clutch hit, a single to center that scored Drew; Ross tried to score from second base, but Robinson's throw cut him down at the plate for the third out. The Red Sox led, 3-1, with nine outs left for the Cardinals.
As Lester had batted in the top of the 7th, he came out to pitch the bottom of the inning and it was the right decision, as he retired the Cardinals in order. Carlos Martinez came out to start the 8th, and while he gave up Ortiz's third hit of the game, bringing Big Papi's batting average in the World Series to a stratospheric .733, he did not allow a run. In the bottom of the 8th, the Cards stirred a bit as David Freese doubled with one out; Lester got Kozma to fly out, then Matheny called on David Adams to pinch-hit for Martinez. Farrell replied by bringing closer Koji Uehara, who struck out the Cards' big man to end the inning. He then struck out Matt Carpenter to start the 9th, after whichn Matheny sent in Jay to pinch-hit for Robinson. Jay grounded out to first for the second out and Holliday flied to Nava in right to end the game. For Uehara, it was his seventh save of the postseason, tying a record. The Red Sox were headed back to Boston needing one more win to claim the title.
Game 6 @ Fenway Park
|WP: John Lackey (1-1), LP: Michael Wacha (1-1)|
|Home Runs: BOS - Stephen Drew (1)|
- Attendance: 38,447
For the first time since 1918, the Red Sox had a chance to clinch a World Championship at home, and they wasted no time in making sure that would be the joyous outcome in Fenway Park. For the first time of the postseason, opponents got to Cardinals rookie sensation Michael Wacha, and by the end of the 4th inning, the Red Sox were cruising home with a 6-0 lead. Wacha's opponent, John Lackey, had been there before, winning Game 7 of the 2002 World Series as a rookie with the Anaheim Angels, so he was unfazed by the high stakes, cruising through 6 2/3 innings while giving up a single run to earn the win. With the designated hitter back in order, David Ortiz moved back to his familiar spot while Mike Napoli claimed first base back for Boston, and for the Cards, Allen Craig was the DH with Matt Adams returning to play first base. David Ross was still the catcher for Boston, Shane Victorino was healthy again and back in right field, while Daniel Descalso replaced Pete Kozma as St. Louis' shortstop and 9th-place hitter. Carlton Fisk, the hero of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, threw the ceremonial first pitch; he had been on call to do so in both 2004 and 2007, but both years, the Red Sox swept the Series before they could hold a Game 6 at home.
The Cardinals actually had the first serious scoring chance of the game, when Craig and Yadier Molina started the 2nd with singles, but they couldn't advance further as Adams and David Freese both flied out. Advance they did when Lackey threw a wild pitch, but Jon Jay struck out, stranding both in scoring position. Boston then had a very similar bottom of the 2nd, with its first two batters, Jonny Gomes and Victorino, respectively singling and walking. However, they could go no further as Xander Bogaerts and Stephen Drew popped up and Ross struck out for the third out. In the 3rd, however, Wacha was unable to wiggle out of trouble. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a single and Dustin Pedroia moved him to second with a ground out. Having already pitched around Ortiz in the 1st, resulting in a walk, this time Wacha walked Ortiz intentionally, as the Cards had no idea how to tame his scorching bat; Wacha then deepened his troubles after striking out Napoli by plunking Gomes to load the bases. Victorino hit a bases-clearing double, and Boston was up, 3-0. St. Louis placed a couple of men on base in the 4th, in part due to a rare fielding error by Pedroia, but could not score. But Boston managed to score again. Drew led off the inning with a solo homer, then Ellsbury doubled after one out. Pedroia flied out, but Ellsbury moved to third. Wacha again walked Ortiz, again intentionally, and gave way to Lance Lynn, but Napoli hit a single for run number 5. Gomes walked to load the bases and Victorino had another clutch hit, a single to left that scored Ortiz for a 6-0 lead. The decision to use Lynn in relief had not paid any dividends and Seth Maness had to be brought in to finish the inning.
Given the quality of their pitching all postseason, the Red Sox could now breathe easily and count down the outs until a massive celebration. St. Louis stranded a couple more runners in the 5th - Lackey did allow 9 hits during his stint, but only one for extra bases - but went down in order in the 6th. Meanwhile, young Kevin Siegrist and Carlos Martinez kept the Sox from increasing their lead. In the 7th, after two outs, Descalso singled and Matt Carpenter doubled. Carlos Beltran followed with a single to score a run and Lackey walked Matt Holliday. That was the cue for John Farrell to call on Junichi Tazawa, who got Craig to ground out to end the Cards' best chance of getting back in the game. Brandon Workman came out to pitch the 8th and got a 1-2-3 inning, showing the poise of a veteran. The Cards manage to issue yet another intentional walk to Ortiz in the bottom of the 8th, sending his on-base percentage to even more stratospheric heights: he ended the series at .760, to go along with a batting average of .688 - the second highest in World Series history - and a slugging percentage of 1.188, and was honored with the World Series Most Valuable Player Award after the game. Koji Uehara then came out to pitch the 9th and he did not give St. Louis a chance: Jay and Descalso flied out weakly to left, then Carpenter struck out and the Red Sox were World Champions.
- The Boston Globe: For Boston: From Worst to First, the Improbable Dream Season of the 2013 Red Sox, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2013. ISBN 978-1600788925.
- The Boston Globe: Livin' the Dream: A Celebration of the World Champion 2013 Boston Red Sox, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2013. ISBN 978-1600789854
- Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: From the Babe to the Beards: The Boston Red Sox in the World Series, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2014. ISBN 978-1-6132-1727-6
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