They've done it again. The Red Sox have won their third World Series title in less than a decade.
Back at Fenway Park last night for Game 6 of the series, the Red Sox easily beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1.
The game was all but over as closer Koji Uehara took the mound in the 9th inning, but there was still plenty of excitement inside Fenway Park's 101 year old walls. Fans had barely sat down since Carlton Fisk and Luis Tiant, the Red Sox heroes of 1975's World Series Game 6, threw out the first pitch.
Fans crammed into every possible viewing perch as Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter for the final out. Even though the Sox had lead for the entire game, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said everyone was on edge as that pitch was thrown.
"Oh man, I mean sitting just there watching it, nerve-wracking but having that cushion of a lead and Koji on the mound, you're just waiting for that last out to be able to run," said Saltalamacchia.
As Uehara showed off the 2013 World Series trophy to the press corps from Japan, catcher David Ross tried to make his way to the clubhouse, where champagne celebrations were waiting…. But ran into an obstacle—the throng of reporters looking for a sound bite.
After saying hi to his friends and family back home, Ross was asked about what this victory meant to the city. "I think the city loves us. We love the city. I think it's special. Boston Strong," he said. "I mean we've come a long way since that marathon, haven't we?"
From the start, the atmosphere in Fenway Park was anything but quiet. The game was still scoreless in the bottom of the third. But, with two outs and bases loaded, Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha found himself in trouble. Catcher Yadier Molina came out to have a chat with his 22-year-old pitcher, who seemed to be feeling the pressure of the post-season for the first time in his young career.
Whatever Molina said, it didn’t work. The crowd went crazy as Shane Victorino hit a big double off the Monster, to send three Red Sox runs over home plate.
The Sox scored three more runs in the 4th, and the Cardinals needed two pitching changes to get out of the inning. Sox pitcher John Lackey gave up the Cardinals lone run in the 7th, causing a few tense moments. But long before the final out it began to feel like Fenway Park was hosting a victory party instead of a ballgame.
A fan favorite is the MVP of the series. Slugger David Ortiz had a remarkable batting average of .688 in the six games with two home runs and six runs batted in. Asked how he felt about winning his third World Series ring, and Big Papi was stumped.
"I don’t know yet. Tomorrow I can answer that question," he said.
Ortiz was more prepared to talk about how Boston had managed to go from last place in 2012 to first in 2013. He gave credit to his teammates who he said all contributed to the win. And he singled out Sox manager John Farrell.
"A body can’t function without having a good head and our manager was outstanding," said Ortiz. "He showed all of us since Day 1 that he was the masterpiece that we need to get to this level."
Ortiz and many of his teammates also spoke of how the season began, with tragedy at the Boston Marathon. They say that day's events helped pull the city, and the team, closer together. The World Series celebration is only beginning. The Duck Boat parade and public celebration will be held on Saturday.