WORST TO FIRST: Red Sox win eighth World Series crown
A redemption dream including a World Series title back on April 1, Opening Day for the 2013 Boston Red Sox, was a fool’s thought. But way back on that April Fools Day, the Red Sox planted a title seed at Yankee Stadium that eventually turned into the most unlikely Boston sports championship since the city’s recent magical run of titles began back in 2002.
Last night, Boston’s dream became a reality. A year after trudging through their worst season in 47 years, the Boston Red Sox became the 2013 World Champions of baseball.
Fenway Park rocked all night, taking in the first Red Sox World Series clincher at home since 1918, as the Red Sox slammed the Cardinals, 6-1, in Game 6 to win the series, 4-2.
To close it out in the ninth, Koji Uehara first got Jon Jay to fly out to Jonny Gomes. He then got Daniel Descalso to fly out to Gomes for out No. 2. And finally, he got Matt Carpenter to strike out swinging before being mobbed by his teammates on the infield grass.
In a season filled with comeback wins it was fitting for the Red Sox that Shane Victorino, coming back after missing Games 4 and 5 of the Fall Classic, got the party started on Yawkey Way. In the third inning with the bases juiced, Victorino belted a 2-1 fastball from Michael Wacha high up the Green Monster to plate Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz and a sliding Gomes on a three-run double.
The fourth inning featured three more runs for the Sox, starting with Stephen Drew’s surprise of a home run to right-center. Ellsbury kept the crowd raucous, hitting the small wall in right to record a double with one out.Wacha was then taken out by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, having given up four earned runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out five on 76 pitches.
Mike Napoli wasted little time getting to Wacha’s replacement, Lance Lynn, as he blooped a singled into center, scoring Ellsbury to put the Red Sox up, 5-0. Victorino struck again to add to the fourth inning onslaught, plating Ortiz on a single to left.
John Lackey outperformed Wacha by all accounts this time around in the series, working 6.2 innings, allowing nine hits but just one earned run. He struck out five on 105 pitches. The big righty was taken out by John Farrell in the seventh inning as the Cardinals had the bases loaded with two outs. But Junichi Tazawa stifled St. Louis’ final thoughts of a comeback, getting Allen Craig to ground out to first to end the threat.
With last night’s victory, the Red Sox became the first MLB team to win three world championships this century. Strangely enough, the Sox began the 1900s as the best team in baseball, winning championships in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 before the famed 86-year drought that ceased in 2004.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS