Thursday, October 31, 2013

Shane Victorino stars as Red Sox complete World Series victory

It was pretty clear the St. Louis Cardinals were not going to let Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz beat them in Game 6 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Ortiz, who entered Wednesday's play batting .733 for the series, went 0-for-1 with four walks -- three of them intentional -- in Game 6. However, the St. Louis strategy failed, thanks to Boston outfielder Shane Victorino.

Victorino went 2 for 3 with four RBIs as the Red Sox beat the Cardinals 6-1 and claimed their third World Series title since 2004.

The decisive moment came in the bottom of the third inning. With Jacoby Ellsbury on second base and one out, Ortiz was intentionally walked for the first time. After Mike Napoli struck out and Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch, the table was set for Victorino. With the bases loaded and two away, the right fielder ripped a 2-1 fastball from St. Louis starter Michael Wacha off the Green Monster in left field for a bases-clearing double. The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead with one swing of the bat, and well, that was pretty much your ballgame.

Boston tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning, another frame that featured an intentional walk to Ortiz. Napoli and Victorino both foiled the strategy with RBI singles, and Boston had a 6-0 advantage.

I can't fault the Cardinals for going around Ortiz. They were bound and determined to make someone else swing the bat. Other Boston hitters stepped up and got the job done in RBI situations, so give them credit.

St. Louis, meanwhile, failed miserably in the clutch. The Cardinals were just 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position in Game 6 and could not capitalize against Boston starter and winning pitcher John Lackey. The best opportunity for St. Louis came in the seventh inning. Trailing 6-1, the Cardinals had the bases loaded with two outs for their leading RBI man, Allen Craig. But Boston reliever Junichi Tazawa retired Craig on a routine grounder to first. The Red Sox lead was never threatened again.

The Cardinals hit a major league record .330 with runners in scoring position this season, but their greatest strength failed them at an inopportune time on Wednesday night. They could get runners on. They just couldn't get them in.

When the Red Sox had scoring opportunities, they delivered. And that's why they are partying in Boston right now.

7 comments:

  1. Before the game, the analcysts at ESPN were saying "Boston fans deserve to see their team win a World Series at home." WHAT?! Winning 2 WS the past decade isn't enough? They have to see them win at home? And the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics all winning championships the past decade aren't enough for Boston sports fans? GIVE ME A BREAK.

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    1. And that is the precise reason why I find it impossible to cheer for Boston and its teams. Why do the fans there "deserve" more than fans of other teams? Other fans around the country love their teams just as much as the Boston fans love theirs. Why do these ESPN people think Boston is so damn superior? It's insufferable.

      I remember when the White Sox swept Boston in the 2005 ALDS. That was one of my favorite parts of that World Series run, just because it caused Chris Berman and other ESPN personalities to weep for the poor Bostonians, who "deserved" to have back-to-back championships. Whatever.

      And I have to tell you, over the last eight years, the White Sox have won one championship and the Blackhawks have won two. All three of those championships were clinched on the road, and I'm totally cool with that. Clinching at home doesn't add any significance for most fans.

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    2. This probably sums it up.

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/red-sox-fan-dedicates-garbage-can-hes-lighting-on,34399/

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    3. I can't figure out why all these Red Sox fans are using the word "dynasty." Do they not know that dynastic teams usually don't go six years in between championships?

      The Bulls won six titles in eight years from 1991 to 1998. That was a dynasty.

      The New York Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983. That was a dynasty.

      The New York Yankees won four World Series in five years from 1996 to 2000. Also a dynasty.

      The Red Sox have had a good 10 years -- three titles. But that's not a dynasty.

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    4. Lol. Just saw this reply.

      " At press time, Ferrante was hunched over on Boylston Street, vomiting roughly 800 yards from the marathon’s finish line."

      The Onion is so good.

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  2. Ironically enough, all of those "Boston Strong" tributes made me want to vomit as well. It's one of my pet peeves when people claim a sports team's victory is healing a city or country after some unspeakable tragedy. Easy to say when you're not one of the victims. If I were maimed in a bombing, I don't think it would make my life any easier if one of my favorite teams won a championship the following season. I would still have no arms or no legs or whatever. I think I'd rather keep all my limbs and have my team lose.

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