Baseball; The Long Season Ends, Not With a Bang But a Whimper

The Boston Red Sox won the sixth and final World Series game of 2013 when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1. It seemed that the Cardinals, who out hit the Red Sox 9-8, just couldn’t win this important game as the key moments all belonged to the Red Sox. The prime moment came in the third inning, when, after Dustin Pedroia singled, Series MVP, David Ortiz was walked intentionally. He batted .688 for the Series. With two on and two out, Michael Wacha hit Jonny Gomes, loading the bases, setting the stage for the big hit. Shane Victorino then cleared the bases with a hit off the wall in left. The key element here was that Wacha hit Gomes. This indicated that his control was off, he didn’t have the command that had allowed him to pitch superbly in post-season games resulting in a 4-0 record. That he was not the master this night was evident earlier as well as he allowed runners in the first two innings. This lack of command then produced the big hit when he fell behind Victorino 2-0. Victorino guessed fast ball and got it and it was up in the zone and inside, but not far enough. His hit off the Green Monster, as the left field fence in known in Fenway Park, was the game. A homerun by slumping Stephen Drew and RBI singles by Mike Napoli and Victorino, again, in the fourth ended Red Sox scoring, but it was enough.

The Cardinals never got it going in this game, or, for that matter, the last three. Their win in game three on the rarely used obstruction call (See explanation here) was their high point. After that, they were flat and lost. There is always hope in Baseball where there is no clock to end the game and a team always has a chance to continue play. Here, the final inning went in few pitches and two fly ball outs and a final strike out of Matt Carpenter on a 2-2 pitch by Koji Uehara, the Red Sox closer, ended it, not with a bang, but a whimper.

The long season that begins in the first week of April and ends the last week of October, is now over. I wrote many posts on this season that are available in the archives and can only wait for 2014. A year ago, the Red Sox finished last and now join the 1991 Minnesota Twins as the two teams who have gone from worst to first in one year. I have little hope that will happen soon. Go Cubs? Maybe not this year.

2 thoughts on “Baseball; The Long Season Ends, Not With a Bang But a Whimper

  1. Because of what happened to Boston (not just in Boston, but TO Boston) on Patriot’s Day, this team made up of teammates in the true sense of the word, had the emotional momentum all season. That, in the end, was what separated them from every team they faced all year long and particularly in the post-season.

    The beauty of sports, and what makes all team sports as compelling as they are, is the impact they have on people’s lives away from the field. Until 2004, a few generations of Red Sox fans hungered…ACHED…for a World Championship, and that win was so deeply fulfilling.

    This year, for Boston, it was all about using sports, and the Bruins and Red Sox in particular, to help heal their city from a large, gaping wound. The sight of Red Sox fans kissing the finish line at the Boston Marathon (touchingly left in place forever in honor of those wounded and killed on that horrible day) a mile or so from Fenway Park says everything that needs to be said about why this World Championship means so very, very much.

    The World Series ending with a whimper? Maybe for the rest of the country, but not in Boston. This title was the result of fulfilling a long, grinding, determined mission. In many ways, it is more gratifying than even the end of the 86-year drought in 2004. It was about overcoming a horrible, unspeakably painful day….and showing that teamwork and determination can overcome anything.

    Winning it in Boston, in front of the people in that scarred city for the first time in 95 years, made it all the more beautiful and satisfying.

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