Lester Leads Sox to Game 5 Win, One W needed for WS Trophy

Jon Lester came through again; for the second time in this Series, he out-dueled St. Louis Ace, Adam Wainwright for a 3-1 victory in the pivotal Game Five and the Red Sox are “in the catbird seat”—needing to win just one of two games back home in friendly Fenway.

sox winIf the Sox win the Series, it will be the first time the Boston franchise has celebrated at Fenway Park since 1918.

“World Series. Game 6. Fenway Park. This will be the fourth time that trifecta has come in. The Sox have won each of the previous three.”*

Down 3 games to 2, the Cardinals will once again call upon rookie, Michael Wacha to save their butts vs. John Lackey in Fenway, Game Six, Wednesday.

The rookie, Wacha, got the W in the first meeting of the right-handers, allowing just two runs on three hits in six innings at Fenway, while the veteran, Lackey, threw a Quality Start, just 3 runs in 6 1/3 innings in Game 2,

Michael Wacha, RHP 1-0, 3.00 ERA

Wacha has allowed just three earned runs through 27 innings this October, and he became the 17th pitcher in history to win at least four games in a single postseason. The rookie has limited his opponents to a .122 batting average in the playoffs. [MLB.com]

John Lackey, RHP

0-1, 3.68 ERA

Lackey took a tough-luck loss in Game 2, giving up five hits and three runs over 6 1/3 innings. This will be his first career start in St. Louis. Lifetime in the postseason, he is 5-5 with a 3.18 ERA.  [MLB.com]

If it runs the full course, the 7th game would be played on Halloween and the likely starters would be Peavy and Kelly, a lackluster pairing that is keeping with this Series that featured errors, boners, dumb managerial moves and generally sub-par and sloppy play, not expected from the two best teams in MLB, especially the two best offenses.

2013 POSTSEASON STATS SUMMARY

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

SV

SVO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HB

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

DS 0 0 1.59 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.2 5 1 1 0 0 0 3 .250 0.88 1.00
LCS 0 1 21.00 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.0 5 7 7 0 0 3 1 .357 2.67 3.00
WS 0 0 4.50 1 1 0 0 0 0 4.0 6 2 2 0 0 1 4 .353 1.75 0.33
TOTALS 0 1 7.11 3 3 0 0 0 0 12.2 16 10 10 0 0 4 8 .314 1.58 1.00

Rookie Kelly’s numbers are just slightly better than Peavy’s, but neither will remind anybody of Bob Gibson or Pedro Martinez.

2013 POSTSEASON STATS SUMMARY

W

L

ERA

G

GS

CG

SHO

SV

SVO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HB

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

DS 0 0 3.38 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.1 5 3 2 0 0 4 5 .263 1.69 1.50
LCS 0 1 4.91 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 13 6 6 2 1 2 8 .289 1.36 1.67
WS 0 0 3.38 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.1 2 2 2 0 0 3 6 .111 0.94 2.33
TOTALS 0 1 4.15 4 4 0 0 0 0 21.2 20 11 10 2 1 9 19 .244 1.34 1.75

Tonight, the Sox jumped on Wainwright in the first inning.

With one out, Pedroia, the second batter, in the hole 0-2, drove a hanging curve to LF for a double.

Cards’ Manager Matheny foolishly decided to pitch to the “en fuego” Ortiz and paid the price, as Big Papi turned on  Wainwright’s first delivery, a 91 MPH cutter into RF for a double, scoring Pedroia.

Apparently, Matheny, a former catcher, believed that Wainwright could contain Big Papi with inside cutters.

Wainwright was firmly opposed to pitching around Ortiz.

“I don’t like walking anybody,” Wainwright said. “We’ve got a guy on second already, it’s the first inning. He hit a good pitch. He’s out of his mind hot right now. That was my call before the game; I said, ‘I’m not pitching around Ortiz. I’m going to get him out.’

That was my call before the game. I said, ‘I’m not pitching around Ortiz, I’m going to get him out.’ He hit a good pitch, made a good swing.”

ORTIZ HITS VIDEO: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=bos#gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=video

Sox 1, Cards 0.

Thanks to Matheny’s questionable strategy to pitch to him, Big Papi continued his offensive rampage, leading off the 4th with a base hit; tying a World Series record; getting a hit in 9 straight WS plate appearances.  He finished the game 3-4 and a .773 World Series batting average.

The Sox batters now hold the Post-season strike out record [156], surpassing the 2010 World Series’Champion Giants [142].

The Red Sox World Series’ team batting average is a paltry .205; Big Papi has one-third of the team’s 33 hits.

Lester shut out St. Louis, until the 4th inning, when Matt Holliday, the Cards’ best hitter in the World Series, hit the second offering, a 93 MPH 4-seam heater, 413 feet for a HR.

Result

MPH

Pitch

NF

BRK

PFX

1         Ball 91 Cutter 50 5.5 7
2        In play, run(s) 93 4-Seam Fastball 39 4.3 9

As he passed the 100 pitch mark, Wainwright sagged in the Sox 7th.  He started falling off to the first base side and his curves, which were the majority of his pitches in the game, turned high and lazy.

On a 1-2 count, Ross stroked a soft line drive down the LF line for a Ground Rule double.

Wainwright’s front door curve had Ross out ahead of the pitch and opening his hips early, but Wainwright’s curve stayed up long enough for Ross to get the bat on it.

“It was hard to tell in the dugout. [I] just wanted to make sure it stayed fair,” said Dustin Pedroia. “It was a great at-bat. Guys did some really special things tonight, this whole series. We’ve had guys step up and find ways to win, which is what teams like this do.”

Ross had served it softly and it touched dirt a foot fair and looped into the stands in the corner of LF.

Bogaerts scored the Sox second run, but Drew was stopped at 3rd by the Ground Rule double.

Ellsbury hit a single that scored Drew from 3rd, but Ross attempting to score from second was gunned out at the plate by CF Shane Robinson.

Recall Ross was on the DL with concussions earlier this season; then, Ross steps out in the biggest game of his life and gets the biggest hit of his life.

“I know David makes it look easy,” Ross said later. “It’s work for me.”

Sitting at his locker after the game, the humble “back-up” catcher expressed the thrill of the moment.

“I’m sitting here talking to you people with a World Series logo behind me–

I’m stoked.”

“The trip I’ve been on this year…I never thought I’d be here. There were times I thought my career is over.”

VIDEO: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=bos#gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=video

Sox 3, Cards 1.

Entering the 7th, with the Sox leading 3-1, Lester had thrown just 69 pitches and allowed just 3 hits and faced a critical inning against Holliday, Beltran, and Molina.

Ross and Lester changed the pattern with Holliday from jamming him inside with heaters to the curve ball.

Beltran hit a routine fly for the second out.

With a 2-1 count against Molina, Ross visited the mound; he seemed to have noticed something in his pitcher’s mechanics.  After the game, Ross said:

“He slipped on that mound a couple of times; his back and his hip…”

Molina slammed his bat down, after hitting a soft liner to Pedroia.

Through 7 innings, Lester had out-dueled the Cards’ Ace, Adam Wainwright, by shutting out St. Louis on 3 hits.

Would Manager Farrell now turn to his “Amazin’ Asians,” his set-up man, Tazawa in the 8th and his closer, Uehara in the 9th inning?

Wainwright went 7 solid innings; he threw 107 pitches/73 strikes, but could not match Lester’s dominant performance:

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Wainwright

7.0

8

3

3

1

10

0

4.50

Wainwright struck out 10 in seven innings, becoming the first Cardinals pitcher to reach double digits in the Series since Bob Gibson did it twice in 1968 against Detroit.

With a low pitch count to his advantage, Lester took the bump in the 8th.  David Freese led off the 8th with a double, only the 4th Cardinal hit against the masterful Lester.

Then, after Lester got two outs, Farrell abruptly decided to pull Lester, even though he was about to face a LHB, Adams.  Farrell sent Napoli to 1b to replace Ortiz and called to the pen for his closer Uehara to get the last out of the 8th and pitch the 9th inning.

Jon Lester had come through with a stellar performance and a win for the Red Sox, with just 91 pitches.

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Lester

7.2

4

1

1

0

7

1

0.59

Uehara dismissed pinch hitter Adams with a 3-pitch KO to end the 8th inning.

In the bottom of the 9th Uehara slammed the bird cage door on the Cards, 1-2-3 [K, 3-1,9]

The save, his 7th of the Post-season, tied the record shared by John Wetteland, Troy Percival, Robb Nen and Brad Lidge.  One more SV in the game the clinches the 2013 World Series would be the elegant final fitting on his historic year.

UEHARA’S 4-OUT SAVE VIDEO: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=bos#gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=video

Lester, who holds the record for Post-season wins at 6, attributed his success tonight thusly:

I kept the fastball down in the zone.”

“I think the biggest thing is me and Rossy have had a good rhythm…Early on, we just went back to our game plan from Game 1 and just fell back on that and really just tried to make them swing the bats early, and we were able to do that.”

“He [Ross] does such a great job of running the game,” Farrell said. “The rapport that he and Jon have continued to refine as we’ve gone through this postseason is the reason why we’ve won the games in which he started. They’ve worked great together.”

“He [Ross] truly had a heck of a game,” Gomes said. “When you’ve got Lester handing the ball to (closer) Koji (Uehara), Ross is definitely involved in that. He’s a huge part of that.”

In five starts this postseason, Lester is 4-1 with a 1.56 ERA, giving up two earned runs or fewer each time out. His only loss was 1-0 in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers.

Referring to his back and hip, Lester explained:

“There’s stuff that you just kind of try to have to battle through. We’ve got 25, 28, however many guys in that dugout that are relying on you to go out and pitch innings, and whatever it is now, you’ve got to put on the back burner, just like [Clay Buchholz] did yesterday. We’ve got three months to recover. The time is now. We’ve got to win now, and that’s all you can really do. That’s all you can really focus on.”

LESTER GAME 5 VIDEO: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=bos#gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=video

“That’s the epitome of what an ace of a staff is all about.” [Ryan Dempster]

“Friendly Fenway Factor”

“I’m telling you, it’s going to get loud out there,” said Ortiz. “Our fans are baseball fans. They love the game and they love how we’ve been going at it every day. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be very loud out there.”

Back in Back Bay Fewnway, the Sox will get their DH back; putting torrid David Ortiz back at DH and Mike Napoli at 1b. And of the previous 62 times a team has taken a 3-2 lead in the World Series, it has gone on to win 66.1 percent of the time.

“This guy right here [Big Papi]  is the epitome of a superstar and a good teammate,” said Lester, “and I don’t think you could ever ask for more out of an individual than what he does on and off the field. The guy’s got a heart of gold, and he goes out there every single night and competes.”

Big Papi returned the admiration:

“Jon, he came up to the big leagues at a time where we were going to the playoffs and winning World Series…And as a young player, he’s always looking around and trying to improve himself and get better. As a player, he told me straight up that he was going to be the future of the organization, the ace. And there he is, doing what he does at his best.”

It appears that the Series’ MVP trophy will go to Lester or Ortiz.

When asked what has been driving him to perform at such a superior level, Big Papi provided an uncharacteristically brief answer:  “The ring.”

 

GAME HIGHLIGHT REEL:  http://www.gammonsdaily.com/mlb-video-recap-world-series-game-5/?utm_source=Gammons+Daily+-+Vol.+21&utm_campaign=Email-LeadershipTrust&utm_medium=email

BOX: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=gameday&c_id=mlb#gid=2013_10_28_bosmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=gameday

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

BIG POPPING

Big Papi reached base safely for a Series-record-tying ninth consecutive plate appearance. The slugger joins Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon (1939-41) and Reds outfielder Billy Hatcher (1990) as the only players to reach safely in nine straight World Series trips to the plate, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ortiz has now reached base safely in all 13 of his World Series games dating back to 2004.

World Series production is nothing new for Ortiz, who entered this October with a .321 average, one home run and six walks in 34 career Fall Classic plate appearances.

Ortiz also has a chance to break the records for batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in a single series. His fourth-inning single on Monday moved him into sole possession of first place for batting average (.769) and second in OBP (.778), and tied for second in slugging (1.385), though he slipped slightly in all three categories after going 1-for-2 with a single in his final two at-bats. Ortiz now ranks second (.727), second (.750) and fourth (1.364) in those three categories, respectively.

FROM: http://www.gammonsdaily.com/david-ortiz-this-guy-is-on-fire/

Ortiz will have either one or two games to enter into the elite territory of batters who have had 12 or 13 hits in a single Series

 

Rank Player H PA Series/Year
1. Marty Barrett 13 35 1986 WS
Bobby Richardson 13 33 1964 WS
Lou Brock 13 31 1968 WS
4. Buck Herzog 12 34 1912 WS
Shoeless Joe Jackson 12 33 1919 WS
Sam Rice 12 33 1925 WS
Bill Skowron 12 33 1960 WS
Willie Stargell 12 32 1979 WS
Lou Brock 12 31 1967 WS
Roberto Clemente 12 31 1971 WS
Robin Yount 12 31 1982 WS
Phil Garner 12 28 1979 WS
Marquis Grissom 12 28 1996 WS
Paul Molitor 12 28 1993 WS
Roberto Alomar 12 27 1993 WS
Pepper Martin 12 26 1931 WS
Billy Martin 12 25 1953 WS

The Cardinals have tried everything

St. Louis has been unable to find a way to befuddled the Red Sox inspirational leader.

During the regular season Ortiz had a 14.7% strikeout rate with 5.9 AB/SO ratio and a 1.16 SO/BB ratio.

In 20 plate appearances this World Series, Papi has not struck out once.

Ortiz hitting zones

Cards pitches

The Cards have used every pitch in their arsenal:

David Ortiz’ World Series
 Split PA AB H 2B HR Swng# Miss# ClStk# Foul# InPl# BB AVG
Gms 1-4 20 15 11 2 2 30 3 7 11 16 4 .733
Fastball 10 7 7 1 1 16 2 2 6 8 2 1.000
Change 3 2 1 0 1 3 0 2 1 2 1 .500
Curve 3 3 1 0 0 4 0 1 1 3 0 .333
Slider 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 -
Cutter 2 2 1 1 0 4 0 1 2 2 0 .500
Sinker 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 1.000
Righties 17 12 8 2 1 26 2 6 11 13 4 .667
Lefties 3 3 3 0 1 4 1 1 0 3 0 1.000
Created by BaseballAnalytics.org on 10/29/2013

BEST TRADE, THE ONE YOU DID NOT MAKE

Last season, with Lester running a career-worst 4.82 ERA,  the Sox considered an off-season trade: trading him to Lester to the Kansas City Royals for touted outfielder Wil Myers.

HISTORY STREET*

Paul Hagen / MLB.com | 10/29/2013 12:52 AM ET

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_30_slnmlb_bosmlb_1&mode=preview&vkey=preview_web_home&c_id=bos

In 2004, the Red Sox celebrated their Fall Classic title in St. Louis. In ’07, they did it in Denver. This will be the first time anyone currently with the team has had a chance to win the World Series at Fenway. Wacha admitted he expects the atmosphere to be frenzied.

World Series. Game 6. Fenway Park. This will be the fourth time that trifecta has come in. The Sox have won each of the previous three.

Wednesday night will echo 1967, when the Red Sox, down 3-2, needed to beat the Cardinals to force a deciding seventh game. St. Louis scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the score, but Boston responded with four in the bottom of the inning to win.

The Red Sox last celebrated clinching a World Series championship on the historic parcel of land surrounded by Lansdowne, Van Ness and Ipswich Streets, and what is now known as Yawkey Way in 1918. That happened when they beat the Cubs, 2-1, in Game 6. And there are a few interesting notes that came out of that game.

GAMMONS

ST. LOUIS—They had beaten one Cy Young Award winner, David Price, in the second game of the ALDS, in Fenway Park.

They lost the first game of the ALCS 1-0 to the Tigers, then were no-hit into the sixth inning by this year’s Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer, in Game Two when David Ortiz hit a grand slam and raised his fist to remind one and all that Boston is his (—) city.

They went into Detroit against arguably the best pitcher of this generation, Justin Verlander, and John Lackey beat him 1-0.

They beat Scherzer again in Boston, then when the Cardinals came in with Adam Wainwright, they beat him in the opener of the World Series.

And Monday night, in the pivotal fifth game of the World Series, they again faced Wainwright, the Verlander of the National League. In a game that demanded an ace, Jon Lester was, indeed, that ace. In only 91 pitches, Lester got the Red Sox within four outs of the critical victory, got them to Koji Uehara for four outs of protection of a 3-1 lead that had been scratched and etched against Wainwright on an Ortiz double in the first inning and a two run seventh inning rally of a Xander Bogaerts single, Stephen Drew walk, David Ross double and Jacoby Ellsbury single.

“That is the performance of an ace,” said Ross. “He is an ace. He’s one of the great pitchers in the game. Pure and simple.”

As he has brought the Red Sox home with the opportunity to clinch a World Series in Fenway Park for the first time since, yes, 1918, Lester indeed has been that premier franchise pitcher. He has made five starts in this post-season, and allowed six runs. He opened the playoffs beating Tampa Bay. The one game he lost, 1-0 to the Tigers, was nearly an Anibal Sanchez no-hitter. But he  came back to beat Sanchez in the ALCS, has allowed two runs winning the first and fifth games of the World Series, and if we look back to the 2007 clincher in Denver—15 months after being diagnosed with Lymphoma—he now has a 2.11 earned run average in the post-season. Four pitchers in baseball history have better career post-season earned run averages.

He has pitched in 13 post-season games, 11 as a starter. He has thrown 76 2/3 innings, allowed 59 hits, won six, had a 65-21 strikeout-walk ratio. “There came a point this season when he stood tall and carried this team on his back,” says John Farrell. “He’s focused, he’s in command on everything.”

There was a time when every spring we talked of his winning the Cy Young, then somehow it didn’t happen. He had the bad final month in the 7-20 collapse in 2011, came to spring training and accepted accountability, then went through a 2012 season that befitted the chaos that surrounded him. There was a rough six week stretch during the season when all of a sudden people questioned why he wasn’t traded in the off-season, then the last two months he stood tall, got his fastball and angle and curveball and tilt on his cutter back and when the playoffs began every fastball he threw in the first two innings against the Rays was clocked at 97 MPH. When it came to the World Series, he started it touching 97 and threw 10 of his 15 curveballs for strikes.

Jon Lester doesn’t talk about himself, he knows too much to argue or to judge. “I’m not someone who’s comfortable talking about myself,” he says. “I’m one of 25 players on this team. We win as a team. I don’t win by myself.”

If the Red Sox win, this will be remembered as The Year of Big Papi. From the Marathon Bombings Address, which in Boston will be remembered like Lincoln at Gettysburg, to his grand slam off Joaquin Benoit to his astounding performance against the Cardinals, it has been the season and the post-season that if he has won his third ring in a decade will elevate him to a place in Boston baseball history behind only Ted Williams.

October is the month of heroes, but it is also the month of the great power pitchers, guy named Gibson, Koufax, Schilling, Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Morris…Jon Lester has started three World Series games, he has won them all with this line: 21 12 1 1 4 18.

The Red Sox are a win from clinching a World Series at Fenway Park for the first time since Carl Mays beat Lefty Tyler and the Cubs 2-1 on Sept. 11, 1918, a game ending with Babe Ruth in left field as a defensive replacement. Ruth, of course, won three World Series games for the Red Sox, and until Monday night, no Red Sox pitcher had won that many World Series games.

Now it’s Lester, like Ruth. Game Five was his game, and John Farrell wasn’t going to take it out of his hands until it was time for Uehara, who has the best career WHIP and strikeout/walk ratio of any pitcher. Ever.

You wouldn’t pinch hit for Gibson with a two run lead. You wouldn’t pinch hit for Koufax or Schilling or Randy Johnson in the seventh inning with a two run lead. And Farrell wouldn’t hit for Lester, and the Red Sox arrived home Tuesday morning one win away from beating the best team in the National League and making history, history Jon Lester has had a major hand in crafting.

http://www.gammonsdaily.com/peter-gammons-lester-crafting-red-sox-history-from-the-mound/?utm_source=Gammons+Daily+-+Vol.+21&utm_campaign=Email-LeadershipTrust&utm_medium=email

Topics: 2013 World Series, Boston Red Sox Vs. St. Louis Cardinals, David Ortiz, Game Five, Jon Lester

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