In 2004, the Boston Red Sox made major history in the world of Major League Baseball by winning the World Series for the first time since 1918, and did so against the St. Louis Cardinals. The two teams would trade titles between 2006 and 2007. The Cardinals would claim the championship again in 2011. After being dormant for five years, the Sox would make headlines again by being tied for having the best record this season. Boston tied with St. Louis, and with that, the next chapter of the rivalry had begun.
The Cardinals fought their way through the 2013 playoffs only to drop three straight games to Boston as the Red Sox would become champions for the third time in the past decade.
“For the Cardinals, the series turned into a story of missed opportunities,” said L&C alumni, Jon Kleeman of 107.1 WEAI. “I think the swinging point of the series happened in Game 4. Cards threatened several times with a not-so-healthy Clay Bucholz on the mound for Boston and simply just couldn’t pull away.”
The iron fist of the Red Sox pitching and defensive combination often put a stranglehold on games early and meant for the Cardinals that the smallest mistakes would make the biggest impact in this series. A prime example of this would be the pick-off play at first base on the Cards Kolten Wong to end the decisive Game 4.
“Scoring opportunities also eluded the Cards early on in Games 5 and 6,” Kleeman said. “They had a chance to put some early pressure on Boston in both games but couldn’t get the timely hits. Boston outplayed them because they had the timely hits when the Cards didn’t.”
“They had no defense to back the pitcher up,” L&C freshman, Beau Blackorby said. “They made silly errors and just couldn’t score any runs.”
There were victories on the Cardinals’ road to the trophy that ended with final scores of 6-1 against the Pittsburgh Pirates and 9-0 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 6 was just not the game it was in 2011 for the Redbirds, as they were blown out 6-1.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Pitcher Michael Wacha to the Associated Press. “Everyone on this club wants that ring. I didn’t want to win it for myself. I wanted to win it for these guys in this clubhouse who have been working all year, working their tail off all year. Whenever I have a poor outing like that, it hurts even worse. I feel like I just let the team down. It’s not a very good feeling, that’s for sure.”
Now it’s time to prepare for 2014. “For the Cards’ future, I like where they’re going,” Kleeman said. “They have a plethora of young talent, especially on the pitching staff. They’ve found an up and coming star in Michael Wacha, and [Mike] Matheny said Trevor Rosenthal will have the closer role entering Spring Training.”
Spring Training is where the hunt will begin, again.