Red Sox win World Series
At the end of the fourth inning Wednesday night, the Boston Police Department issued a statement reporting that the bars in the Kenmore Square area were filled and telling people not holding game tickets to leave the area.
The sense of anticipation wasn’t lost on a community ready to celebrate the Red Sox’s first World Series clincher at Fenway Park since 1918.
After finishing in last place in the American League East in 2012, the stunning transformation of the Red Sox to World Series champion was on the verge of becoming completed in a convincing manner.
They knocked out rookie postseason sensation Michael Wacha by the fourth inning, and John Lackey harnessed a Cardinals lineup en route to a 6-1 victory in Game 6 as the Red Sox took the series 4-2.
The Red Sox won their third World Series title in 10 seasons and their first under John Farrell, their first-year manager.
This Red Sox team carved its own niche with a massive makeover starting midway through 2012 and carrying over to spring training with major contributions from newcomers Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes, all of whom played significant roles in knocking out Wacha, who had allowed three runs in 29 previous playoff innings.
Victorino, who missed Games 4 and 5 because of lower-back stiffness, ripped a three-run double off the Green Monster to snap a scoreless tie in the third and singled to cap a three-run fourth.
Napoli, who drove in 92 runs during the regular season, had an RBI single in the fourth. Gomes reached base safely in his first three appearances, including getting hit by a pitch before Victorino’s double.
It marked the first time Wacha hit a batter in his professional career (200.1 innings). And Victorino’s double was the first hit off Wacha in his major league career.
Stephen Drew, in a 4-for-51 postseason slump, hit a leadoff home run in the fourth.
Lackey, who pitched a scoreless inning in Game 4 in his first relief appearance since 2004, blanked the Cardinals through the first six innings.
The Cardinals, who batted .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season, didn’t get a clutch hit until Carlos Beltran had an RBI single with two outs in the seventh. The Cardinals also botched a rundown.
Meanwhile, the collective contributions of the Red Sox mirrored the unselfishness that Farrell detected after the Boston Marathon bombing in April, when five groups of players went to local hospitals to visit victims.
They also didn’t have to rely on David Ortiz, who had four walks, three intentional, after an 11-for-15 performance in the first five games.
“We feel good about the state of the organization, but you can never be complacent or comfortable,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said before the game. “We have to keep the pedal down and look for talent to bring in.”