The Boston Red Sox completed their worst-to-first turnaround by achieving their ultimate goal. On Wednesday, they defeated the St. Louis 6-1 to win their eighth world championship in franchise history. But this one holds a little extra meaning for the fans of Boston. For the first time since 1918, the Red Sox celebrated a world championship in front of their home fans at Fenway Park.
Snapping their 86-year drought in 2004 against the same St. Louis Cardinals was a big moment in the franchise's history. Winning a second World Series three years later was a big moment. But something was always going to be missing until Boston clinched at home.
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It's not missing anymore.
The Red Sox got to celebrate with the home fans on Wednesday night. It was their ultimate moment, but it was far from their only great moment during the postseason. There were several highs and lows along the way, but the Red Sox also had an answer for their adversity. Those answers were built on moments that will live in Boston lore forever.
Here's a look back at the best, biggest and most important of those moments from Boston's incredible run.
1. Wil Myers' loses fly ball in ALDS Game 1
It didn't take long for Boston to get their first break of the postseason. If took even less time to take advantage of it. After Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers allowed David Ortiz's routine fly ball to land and then bounce into the bullpen, Boston's offense erupted for five runs in the inning and 12 unanswered to win 12-2.
2. David Ortiz's grand slam in ALCS Game 2
The Red Sox season was teetering on the brink thanks to masterful performances by Detroit Tigers right-handers Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer, but Big Papi's big swing brought them back to life. The eighth-inning grand slam tied the game 5-5, and then Boston went on to even the series 1-1 with a ninth-inning walk-off. It was a larger-than-life moment thanks in part to Torii Hunter's over-the-fence effort, and it may well be Boston's signature moment in the postseason.
3. Mike Napoli's solo home run in ALCS Game 3
Justin Verlander continued Detroit's string of dominant of starting pitching in Game 3, but one momentous swing by Mike Napoli gave Boston all the offense it needed. Napoli's solo home run landed deep in shrubbery at Comerica Park, and it served as a statement in Boston's 1-0 victory. The Red Sox were always one swing away from the changing the game.
4. Koji Uehara's ALCS performance
Boston's sensational closer earned MVP honors in the ALCS on the strength of two extended saves. In Game 3, he got the final four outs for Boston in its 1-0 win. In Game 5, John Farrell called his number with Boston leading 4-3 with one out in the eighth inning, and Uehara answered the challenge by retiring all five batters he faced. His save and a big home run from Jonny Gomes helped the Red Sox take a 3-2 series lead back to Fenway Park.
5. Shane Victorino's grand slam in ALCS Game 6
Ortiz’s grand slam made a strong statement, while Victorino’s provided the punctuation in the ALCS. The seventh-inning slam over the Green Monster gave Boston its first lead and took all the wind out of the Tigers’ sails. Boston went on to a 5-2 series-clinching victory.
6. David Ortiz's rousing dugout speech in World Series Game 4
The Red Sox were coming off an emotionally deflating loss in Game 3 and were struggling to get on track in Game 4 when David Ortiz stepped to the forefront. In the middle of the game, the respected veteran called his Boston teammates in for a huddle to remind them of the opportunity they had and the difficulties they faced just to get that one opportunity. It proved inspirational. After Ortiz helped tie the game in the fifth inning, Jonny Gomes provided the difference in Boston's 4-2 win with a three-run sixth-inning homer.
To make the moment even better, Gomes wasn't even included in John Farrell's original lineup. He was a last-minute addition for an injured Shane Victorino. Some things were just meant to be for Boston.
7. Clay Buchholz's outing in World Series Game 4
Speeches and home runs aside, perhaps the biggest key to Boston's Game 4 victory and eventually World Series triumph was Clay Buchholz's gutsy performance. We knew Buchholz wasn't 100% going in, and even questioned if it was wise to let him make such an important start in Boston's season, but Buchholz dug down and pulled through. With a fastball clocked well below his average and little command, Buchholz gave John Farrell four innings of one-run ball. The importance of those four innings cannot be overstated.
8. David Ross delivers go-ahead double in World Series Game 5
You can call David Ross an underdog or journeyman if you want, but you can also call him hero. With the scored tied 1-1 in the seventh inning, Ross laced an Adam Wainwright curveball down the left-field line for an RBI ground-rule double. It wasn't the most likely outcome, but it provided a tremendous boost to the Red Sox's championship dreams. With Jon Lester dealing into the eighth inning and Uehara in the ninth, it gave Boston all it needed in a pivotal 3-1 victory.
9. Shane Victorino unloads the bases in World Series Game 6
With the Fenway Park crowd singing his walkup song, Victorino delivered another postseason dagger. This time it was straight through the heart of St. Louis and rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, who up until that point had been untouchable in the postseason. Victorino's bases-clearing double smacked high off the Green Monster, allowing Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz and Jonny Gomes to race around with the game's first three runs. The Cardinals mounted a fight, but never recovered.
10. The celebration at Fenway Park
It was 95 years in the making, and the Fenway faithful didn't disappoint with their passion and energy. The reaction when Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter with the final out was spine-tingling, and that continued throughout the postgame festivities. It was a wonderful night in one of baseball's greatest cities.
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