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Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 World Series after posting a spectacular batting line over the six games. Ortiz finished the Series with a .688 average and a ridiculous .760 on-base percentage, slugging 1.188 for an OPS of 1.948. He hit two home runs and had six runs batted in, while striking out just once.
Needless to say, Ortiz led all World Series players in every batting category (only Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday tied him with two HRs of his own). In fact, the Red Sox overall hit just .211 in the Series, the lowest batting average by a World Series team since the 1974 Oakland A’s beat the L.A. Dodgers in five games while also hitting .211. Boston’s next best batter was center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit .250 but had just one RBI.
Ortiz was a nightmare for the St. Louis pitchers, who never stopped trying to get him out but were burned time and time again. Big Papi recorded at least one hit in each of the first five games, including back-to-back three-hit outings in games 4 and 5. In Wednesday’s clincher, the Cardinals finally gave in and made him the seventh player in history with four bases on balls in a World Series game, the last three coming on intentional walks.
Ortiz was so good that he stayed in the lineup for the three games at Busch Stadium, manning first base in place of Mike Napoli. While his batting has typically taken a hit when he plays 1B at National League ballparks, that was not the case in this Series, as he continued to give opposing pitchers fits while playing competent defense.
While Ortiz was without a doubt the best offensive player in the Series, two pitchers made compelling MVP cases as well. With John Lackey providing a major storyline with his remarkable resurgence, Jon Lester cemented his position as the Sox’ ace, twice outdueling his Cards counterpart Adam Wainwright. Lester pitched into the eighth inning in both games 1 and 5, and finished with an ERA of 0.59 and a 2-0 record.
The breakout star of the Red Sox’ season and ALCS MVP, closer Koji Uehara, was also stellar, making appearances in five of the six games and recording two saves, with no earned runs allowed and a 0.43 WHIP. In the end, it was Ortiz’s success in contrast to his teammates’ struggles at the plate that made him the very definition of an MVP.