2004 World Series

16 12 2015

Both the 2004 Championship Series were notable series that went 7 games.  The Cardinals came back from 3 games down, beating Roger Clemens in game 7.  And, of course, the Red Sox came back from 3 games down to win the last 4, something that had never been done.

You also had one of the few situations where you could say the 2 best teams in each league were playing.  The Cardinals scored the most and allowed the fewest runs in the NL, which has to be extremely rare in the expansion era.  And while the Red Sox were the AL Wild Card, they actually had the largest run differential in the AL by nearly 50 runs.

2004 World Series programWorld Series:

Cardinals at Red Sox

Unfortunately, the World Series didn’t live up to they standard set in the two Championship Series.  One way this series did match those 2 – game 1 was a complete slugfest.  David Ortiz smashed a 3-run homer off Woody Williams to cap a 4-run first inning, and the race was on.  The Cardinals got 2 runs back off of Tim Wakefield in the 2nd and 3rd, but Williams couldn’t get anyone out in the bottom of the 3rd, as the Sox scored 3 more.  Wakefield then walked the first 4 batters of the 4th inning; an error and a passed ball got the lead down to 2 runs.

Bronson Arroyo relieved Wakefield, and gave up 2 more runs 2 innings later in the 6th.  Shockingly, the Cardinals came back from 5 runs down to tie it at 7.  An Ortiz smash put Boston back up by 2 runs an inning later, but then Manny Ramirez committed errors in consecutive plays to allow the Cardinals to tie the game again, this time at 9-9.  Mark Bellhorn gave the Red Sox the lead and ended the scoring at 11-9.

Curt Schilling came out in game 2.  He still had a torn tendon in his ankle, and after considerable medical treatment was able to give it a go.  He pitched very well, giving up a lone unearned run in 6 innings.  A triple by Jason Varitek in the 2nd and a double by Bellhorn in the 4th knocked in 2 runs each, which would be all the Red Sox needed in their 6-2 victory.  Amazingly, Boston had made 8 errors in the first 2 games, yet still led the series 2-0.

Pedro Martinez was the star of game, throwing 7 shutout innings while allowing only 3 hits.  It was a fitting moment for a guy who had been a historically great pitcher for the Red Sox in the late 90’s and early 00’s.  In 2004, Pedro was still an excellent pitcher.  If he was no longer the dominant pitcher he had been, he did win the game that all but officially ended the 86 year drought of the Red Sox.

Game 4 felt like a formality.  Johnny Damon led the game off with a homer, and doubles by David Ortiz and Trot Nixon put 2 more runs on the board.  That was all Derek Lowe needed – like Pedro he also went 7 innings with no runs.  Bronson Arroyo and Alan Embree worked through a tight 8th inning, and Keith Foulke sealed the 9th inning to end 86 years of Boston misery.

2004 Red Sox World Series

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