BOSTON — When Boston Red Sox fans in right field started chanting Stephen Drew's name during the second inning of Wednesday night's World Series clinching victory, you had to take a second to make sure they weren't mocking him.
They had, after all, been giving it to St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha with a "Waaa-cha, Waaa-cha" chant. And Stephen Drew was, after all, a guy with one hit in 15 at-bats during the World Series. But no, there was no mockery. Just fans trying to encourage their shortstop. He had been more than apt in the field, but was having a rough stretch offensively.
Drew popped out in that at-bat. But the next time he was up, he almost hit the ball to where those fans were chanting his name. In the fourth inning, Drew hit a solo homer off Wacha into the Red Sox bullpen. It started the inning that would chase Wacha from the game and it ended Drew's World Series on a high note.
Hitting 1-for-15 in the first five games? Meh, he hit a homer in the clincher. In fact, Drew had two hits Wednesday night, which was as many as he had in the postseason between Game 3 of the ALDS and Game 5 of the World Series.
"To do it the last night, it's awesome," Drew said, as Boston's clubhouse celebration was winding down. "It's not about me, it's about the 25 guys in here and pulling out this win."
Earlier in the day, teammate Dustin Pedroia was talking about how important Drew is to the Red Sox, even though he's been criticized for his offense lately.
"Defensively he's been unbelievable. I know what the numbers say offensively, but he's had at‑bats that have changed the games for us," Pedroia said, referring to Drew's walk in Game 5 that led to David Ross' go-ahead double.
"If he strikes out, he's still out there trying to make a great play to get us back in and score some runs," Pedroia said about Drew. "He does the little things that make our team go. And you guys don't see that as much as we do. We see it every day. He's a huge part of this whole thing."
Almost as if it were cue, Drew came out and had that big hit. His last name is Drew, so it's almost like he couldn't make it through a postseason without a big homer. His older brother, J.D. Drew, hit a few memorable postseason homers in his career with the Red Sox— including a grand slam in the 2007 ALCS, a go-ahead homer in the 2008 ALDS and a big homer in a Boston comeback in the 2008 ALCS.
Stephen Drew's success Wednesday also underscored one of the main threads of this postseason for the Red Sox — they've had plenty of heroes, expected and unexpected. There's David Ortiz, of course, but there were also guys like Shane Victorino and David Ross.
"Heck, I ain't the hero," Drew said. "I just helped out a little bit tonight and that's a good feeling."
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