By Ron Griffitts
In a rematch of the 1946 World Series, in which Stan Musial and Ted Williams led their respective clubs, the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals 97-65 managed by Mike Matheny with general manger John Mozeliak met the Boston Red Sox 97-65 managed by John Farrell with general manger Ben Cherington.
The Cards had dispatched the Pittsburgh Pirates (3-2) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2) to get the fall classic for the nineteenth time and were led by catcher Yadier Molina (80 RBI, .319 BA), Allen Craig (97 RBI, .319 BA), Matt Carpenter (.318 BA, 126 RS, 199H) and Matt Holliday (22 HR, .300 BA, 103 RS).
Adam Wainwright 19-9, 2.94 ERA led the pitching staff which also included Lance Lynn 15-10, Shelby Miller 15-9 and Edward Mujica in the bullpen with 37 saves and an 2.78 ERA.
Boston got past the Tampa Bay Rays (3-2) and the Detroit Tigers (4-2) for their thirteenth pennant and the right to face the Cardinals. They were led by David Ortiz (30 HR, .309 BA, 103 RBI, 84 RS), Mike Napoli (23 HR, 92 RBI), Dustin Pedroia (.301 BA, 84 RBI, 91 RS, 193 H), Daniel Nava (.303 BA) and Jacoby Ellsbury (.298 BA, 92 RS, 52 SB).
Their pitching staff was led by Jon Lester 15-8, Felix Doubront 11-6, and Clay Buchholz 12-1 and in the bullpen had Koji Uehara with 21 SV and a 1.09 ERA.
The series opened in historic Fenway Park in Boston and the Red Sox got out to good start with a three-run double by Mike Napoli in the first inning on their way to an 8-1 victory. David Ortitz had a home run for Boston and Matt Holliday had a solo home run for the Cards’ only run.
In game two, St. Louis bounced back behind six innings of two run baseball from starter Micheal Wacha and relievers Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal to win 4-2 and even the series at 1-1.
David Ortitz added his second home run of the series with a two-run shot in the sixth inning.
Game three was closer than the two previous games as the two teams were tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning. The Cards had runners aboard on second and third with one out when Dustin Pedoisa fielded a ground ball and threw to catcher Jerrod Saltalamacchia for the force at home and who threw to third to try and get the runner coming to third base.
But the throw was wide and third baseman Will Middlebrooks fell down as Allen Craig slid into third with Craig scoring the winning run on an obstruction call as Middlebrooks got in his way as he tried to score, giving the Cards the lead in the series 2-1 with the 5-4 victory.
Still in St. Louis game four was another closely contested contest as the teams were tied 1-1 after five innings. In the top of the sixth, Johnny Gomes belted a three run home run and that was all the Red Sox relievers needed as they went on to a 4-2 win to tie the series at two games each.
In game five Jon Lester outpitched Adam Wainwright for a 3-1 Boston win as Wainwright gave up RBI doubles to Dustin Pedroia, David Ortitz and David Ross and the Red Sox need only one more win for the title.
Matt Holliday contributed a solo home run for the Cards.
In game six Boston got another good pitching performance, this time from John Lackey as the Red Sox won the game 6-1 and the World Series four games to two.
David Ortiz got the series MVP and the Red Sox returned to the World Series in 2018 while St. Louis has not been back since 2013.
Statistics for this article were from baseball-reference.com, baseball-almanac.com and YouTube.com.
Ron Griffitts is a contributing columnist for The Daily Advocate.