Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!
The obstruction call is now but a footnote. The Cardinals never won another game.
The Sox beat the Cardinals 6-1 on Wednesday night to win the Fall Classic in six games. It is the Sox third World Series title since 2004 and eighth in franchise history. This is the first time an American League team has won the World Series since the Yankees won it in 2009. It also marks the first time the Sox have clinched a World Series at Fenway Park since 1918.
This game was Boston’s all the way. Michael Wacha was no mystery to the Sox. After missing two games with a bad back, Red Sox Nation welcomed Shane Victorino by singing along with Bob Marley every time he came up to bat. Victorino hit a bases loaded double in the third to give the Sox a 3-0 lead.
The Sox then batted around in the fourth. Up until tonight, Stephen Drew had contributed with his glove. His offense, however, had been another story. Drew had been 1-for-15 in the World Series and 4-for-50 in the post-season. But he joined the party by hitting a solo home run off Wacha to give the Sox a 4-0 lead. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny took out Wacha soon after in favor of Lance Lynn. However, Lynn was even less effective giving up RBI singles to Mike Napoli and to Victorino who drove in his fourth run of the game. The Red Sox now had a 6-0 lead.
If you had told me that Red Sox Nation would be chanting John Lackey’s name in the clinching game of the World Series, I would have said impossible. Eleven years after clinching the World Series for the Anaheim Angels, Lackey pitched 6 2/3 strong innings. The only jam he got into took place in the seventh. After retiring the first two hitters, Lackey gave up a single to Daniel Descalso, a double to Matt Carpenter and a single to Carlos Beltran which drove in Decalso.
It appeared that Sox manager John Farrell would take him out. But you could see Lackey mouth to Farrell, “This is my guy!!! This is my guy!!!” Well, this wasn’t Grady Little leaving in Pedro Martinez. Farrell stuck with Lackey. Unfortunately, he ended up walking Matt Holliday to load the bases. Nevertheless, Lackey left the mound to a standing ovation. Junichi Tazawa got Allen Craig to ground out to end the inning.
To give you an idea of how this game belonged to the Sox consider what happened with Jacoby Ellsbury in the fifth inning. He reached base on an error by Matt Carpenter. It appeared that Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist had picked off Ellsbury to end the inning. But Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams missed him. So Adams throws the ball to Carpenter who missed Ellsbury. Carpenter throws the ball back to Adams and he still can’t get Ellsbury. Adams tosses the ball to Descalso and he can’t get him. Finally, Decalso tosses the ball back to Siegrist and Ellsbury again eludes the tag. Ellsbury becomes a free agent and is not expected to wear a Red Sox uniform next season. If that is the case, he has ended his Red Sox career on the highest of high notes.
Harmony was realized when Koji Uehara struck out Carpenter. Joy and merriment ensued. The obstruction call was but a footnote.
To the surprise of no one, David Ortiz was named World Series MVP. Big Papi went 12-for-16 with 2 HR and 6 RBIs. Cardinal pitchers wanted no part of Ortiz tonight as they intentionally walked him thrice. Ortiz becomes the first non-Yankee to win three World Series rings with the same team since Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer did so with the Baltimore Orioles (1966, 1970 & 1983).
While I do not feel the level of exhiliration that I did when the Sox won it in 2004, this year has been a most pleasant surprise. After the collapse of September 2011, the Bobby Valentine debacle in 2012, the last thing I expected was a World Series parade in 2013. Sure, I thought things would be better under John Farrell. But not this much better. As for me, I underestimated the team every step of the way and am delighted they exceeded my expectations.
As it turned out, the Red Sox spent their money wisely last off-season by adding the likes of Victorino, Napoli, Drew, Uehara, Jonny Gomes and David Ross. Big Papi, Pedroia, Lester, Lackey and Clay Buchholz returned to form and Daniel Nava hit over .300. Farrell presided over the team as a father figure and the result was a much happier family. Of course, a team that never loses more than three games in a row is a happy team.
Not that the Red Sox were lacking in determination, but it must also be said that the Boston Marathon Bombings played no small role in galvanizing the team and the city embraced the team in that time of trouble.
Although the 2013 Red Sox were not expected to succeed in this way, I must say that this city exuded a quiet confidence. They were neither delirious nor despondent about the team as I have seen in years past. When your team wins a couple of World Series you can say, “We’ve been through this before.” Boston has learned not to worry about a thing. Boston knows that every little thing is gonna be alright.
In baseball, as in life, there are no guarantees. What worked this year might not work next year. But the fact the Red Sox could go from the cellar to champions in a single year is not only a tribute to the team, it illustrates the beauty and wonder of baseball. It shows that anything, however improbable, is possible.
A couple of days ago, I indicated that I was hoping the Series would go seven games because I feared that if the Sox won it in six then there would be a World Series parade on Friday instead of Saturday. Well, according to Fox 25, the parade will take place on Saturday. However, Mayor Menino (in one of his last acts in office) will make an official announcement tomorrow. But if the report is accurate then I have a parade to attend on Saturday. There’s nothing like being at a World Series parade.