From last place to first place, the 2013 Boston Red Sox completed their improbable journey Wednesday night, capturing the World Series in six games with a 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. For Sox manager John Farrell, it was an appropriate ending.
John Lackey, one of the most maligned players from the chicken-and-beer Red Sox of two years ago, pitched 6 2/3 innings for the win, allowing one run before departing to a standing ovation.
"I think it was almost fitting that he's on the mound to close this out," said Farrell. "I think people have seen the turnaround in him, and they've seen the turnaround in us. Very fitting."
Like they've done all series, the Sox patched together a win in Game 6. Outside of David Ortiz, who hit .688 on his way to the MVP trophy, no Red Sox player hit above .250. Shane Victorino sported a .154 average, but he delivered Wednesday's big hit, clearing the bases with a double in the third inning.
"Shane has got a little bit of a flair for the dramatic," said Farrell. "The hits that he did hit in the postseason couldn't have come at a better time."
There was concern coming into the game about young St. Louis starter Michael Wacha, who had been virtually unhittable this postseason. But the Red Sox got to Wacha in their second outing against him, tagging the righthander for six runs in 3 2/3 innings.
"Probably just having some familiarity," Farrell said of his team's success. "As much as you can prepare through video and scouting reports, there's no replacing first-hand experience.
"He's a very good looking young pitcher. But our will to win probably closed out this World Series."
In the end, Farrell said his team bonded during a surprising season that came after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon in April.
"I go back to our players understanding their place in the city," said Farrell. "For the lack of a better description, they get it. ... Our fans got to a point where they appreciated the way we played, the way we supported each other.
"Every guy in this uniform, no matter where they are going forward, will look back on this as a special year."
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