There was nothing easy, or even normal about it, but the Boston Red Sox went into Busch Stadium and managed to take two out of three from the St. Louis Cardinals for a commanding 3-2 series lead.
For the first time since 1918, the Fenway Faithful will have an opportunity to watch their beloved Sox clinch the Fall Classic, and capture their 8th championship.
Let’s take a look at the series for the Red Sox by the numbers:
The number of saves this postseason for closer Koji Uehara.
Uehara is making a case to be the most influential and impactful free agent the Red Sox have ever signed.
So far this postseason, Uehara has a 0.71 ERA with 15 strikeouts, and, yes, you guessed it, zero walks.
The pure reliability factor alone he brings to the table is astounding. The Sox have won 10 games so far this postseason, Uehara has closed the door on 7 of them, and was given the victory in another. Without him, this team is probably lucky to get into the ALCS, and more than likely doesn’t get past the Rays in the first round.
Number of total errors committed by both teams through 5 games of the World Series.
Not very typical of the two best teams in the MLB, but nonetheless, the series has been a bit sloppy so far.
The Cardinals got it started early with three errors in Game 1, but they’ve only made 1 since. The Red Sox have been messy throughout, with 7 errors to this point. The reason this series has been so strange is because of the nature of these miscues.
Things like Pete Kozma booting an easy ground ball, or Jacoby Ellsbury misplaying a single to the outfield are just bizarre considering their defensive history; Ellsbury, a gold glover, and Kozma, one of the better defensive shortstops in the National League this year. But Game 5 was played rather cleanly, so it’s probably safe to assume that we won’t see this many errors going forward.
The number of innings pitched for Red Sox ace Jon Lester.
By far the most on the team this postseason, Lester has been one of the most dominant starters in October. He’s seemingly come up huge every single time Boston’s needed him to, grabbing wins in Game 1, and Game 5.
Coming off a so-so first-half of the season, Lester looked rejuvenated after the All-Star Break and pitched his best baseball in September (2.57 ERA). He carried that into October and has been sensational for a team that desperately needed an ace to stand out.
In two starts this World Series, Lester has posted a 0.59 ERA with 15 strikeouts and a 0.65 WHIP. His availability from the bullpen is still in question if the Cards can force a Game 7, but I’d assume Lester would go on one day’s rest if you asked him to.
The OPS for David Ortiz as it stands entering Game 6.
Every time FOX brings up David Ortiz’s stat graphic, I laugh because of how completely nuts it looks. The guy is hitting .773, that’s 11-for-15, if you were interested. If it weren’t for a robbed grand slam, Ortiz might be having the best World Series known to man.
Bottom line, Ortiz is completely locked in at the dish right now and at this point, I don’t understand why any manager would even consider throwing a pitch within 15 feet of the plate to him.
The number of wins the Red Sox need to send Boston into a frenzy.
Previously: Red Sox: Fact or Fiction
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