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The Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 to claim the franchise’s eighth World Series crown. But out of all eight of those World Series titles, this one was different.
This one stands out.
As the Red Sox players hoisted the trophy at Fenway, they finished their ascent from the dregs of Major League Baseball to the very top.
After giving its fans a mere 69 wins to celebrate in 2012, the Sox won a total of 108 game in 2013 and now stand alone as the kings of baseball who delivered a title to a town that needed it the most.
It was a season that started off far from a sure bet, and the Sox had to work hard until the very last out.
Cardinals’ starting pitcher Michael Wacha entered the night seemingly unbeatable with a record of 4-0 and an ERA below 1.00.
As expected, he and Boston starter John Lackey were in the midst of a heated staring contest through most of the first three innings.
After retiring the first three Cardinals he faced, Lackey maintained his composure and kept the Cardinals bats scoreless while striking out three.
Meanwhile, Wacha was very sharp as well as he methodically worked out of a jam in the second inning and seemed to have things under control in the third inning with two men on and two men out and Jonny Gomes in the box. Gomes had only one hit the entire series up to that point.
But with a 1-1 count, Wacha hit Jonny Gomes with a fastball to load the bases and what happened next followed a trend that started for the Red Sox back in February when players began reporting for Spring Training.
They found a way.
Shane Victorino dug in for his second at bat of the night and crushed a fastball off the Green Monster to unload the bases.
From that point forward, things only got worse for the young righty.
Stephen Drew, who was batting .058 throughout the entire post season, led off the fourth inning with a solo shot into the Boston bullpen.
Drew picked a big spot to break out of his horrid slump, just like many of his teammates had throughout the post season. After an Ellsbury double and an Ortiz walk, Mike Napoli kept up his heroics with an RBI single to right.
Then, Victorino came through again with a base hit to left that drove in his fourth run of the game and put his team up 6-0.
Despite his counterpart faltering, Lackey continued to mow down Cardinals hitters and inched his team closer and closer to the finish line.
Through 6.2 innings of work, Lackey surrendered just one run while striking out five to cap off a string of post season starts that will go down as lore in Fenway history.
Junichi Tazawa and Brandon Workman combined for 1.1 innings scoreless bullpen work and with three outs to go, ALCS MVP Koji Uehara took over.
After inducing a couple of quick fly outs to left field, Uehara put a golden seal on the 2013 season by striking out Matt Carpenter and sending Fenway park into delirium.
David Ortiz was named World Series MVP after maintaining an unheard of batting average .688 while hitting two home runs, racking up six RBI, and drawing eight walks.