Final, 6-1 Red Sox: It’s all over. The Boston Red Sox are world champions.
David Ortiz had a World Series like few others, hitting .688 and driving in six, and was named the MVP of the series.
Here is a look at the key moments of Game 6 in “The Walkoff,” and we’ll have all the celebration and reaction coming up throughout the evening.
End 8th, 6-1 Red Sox: It’s Koji time. The Sox are three outs away from the World Series, they have a five-run cushion, and they have the best closer in baseball to get them there.
Middle 8th, 6-1 Red Sox: Workman gets it done with a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth. Three outs away…
Top 8th, 6-1 Red Sox: Stephen Drew got another hit (hey, how about that?) but that’s it for the Red Sox. Credit to Carlos Martinez for actually being good for St. Louis this series.
On comes Brandon Workman to pitch the eighth. I don’t think he’ll get a chance to bat tonight. Just a hunch.
Six outs left.
Middle 7th, 6-1 Red Sox: Junichi Tazswa gets the job done, getting Allen Craig to ground out to first. Mike Napoli bobbled it but flipped with plenty of time to Tazawa to record the third out.
Top 7th, 2 outs, 6-1 Red Sox: Every single time John Farrell has headed to the mound this season to remove a starter, he has resisted any and all objections from his pitcher. This time, given all that John Lackey’s been through, Farrell conceded an argument.
Following a two-out RBI single by Beltran, Farrell made his way to the mound. The Fenway crowd began to cheer a job well done, but Lackey did not feel finished.
Lackey looked at his manager and clearly said, “This is my guy.” Lackey then covered his mouth with his glove to continue the argument, but he didn’t need to say much more.
Farrell went back to the dugout, and Lackey stayed on to face Holliday. After falling behind in the count 3-1, Lackey got Holliday to foul off a fastball to fill the count.
On the 3-2 count following a foul into the stands, with the crowd chanting “Lack-ey,” the right-hander …. walked Holliday.
It robbed Lackey of his ideal conclusion to the night, and he’ll head to the dugout. Junichi Tazawa is on to face Allen Craig with two outs and the bases loaded. This one’s not over yet.
End 6th, 6-0 Red Sox: The Mighty David has struck out.
If Ortiz is going to strike out, it might as well be in the sixth inning of a 6-0 game, which is what he did here. That ended the night for Siegrist, and on came Carlos Martinez, who struck out Napoli and got Gomes to ground out to shortstop.
John Lackey is back out there at 83 pitches. Still no action in the Boston bullpen, so Farrell is hoping to get one more out of the starter.
Middle 6th, 6-0 Red Sox: John Lackey just keeps mowing them down, finally retiring Allen Craig to start the inning. Dustin Pedroia then made a diving pick to take a hit away from Molina, and Adams struck out to end the sixth.
The Red Sox are now nine outs away from winning the World Series.
End 5th, 6-0 Red Sox: The Red Sox very nearly had their first 1-2-3 inning of the night, but a Matt Carpenter error allowed Ellsbury to reach with two outs. Ellsbury was then picked off but ended up safe in a long rundown. It didn’t matter, because Pedroia flew out to right to end the inning.
Middle 5th, 6-0 Red Sox: Lackey faced Carlos Beltran, St. Louis’ most dangerous postseason hitter, with two on and one out, but he managed to escape trouble to keep the 6-0 lead intact.
Lackey got back-to-back fly balls to right field from Beltran and Holliday to get out of the inning. Jay and Carpenter singled earlier in the inning, with Drew making a diving catch on a Descalso liner to record the first out.
Lackey’s at 77 pitches through five, and with no action in the bullpen, you can bet he’ll be back out for the sixth.
Kevin Siegrist is on to pitch for the Cards in the fifth.
End 4th, 6-0 Red Sox: Bogaerts struck out on three pitches to end the inning, but the damage was done in a big way.
A Stephen Drew homer and RBI singles from Napoli and Victorino, and the Sox are up 6-0.
Bottom 4th, 2 outs, 6-0 Red Sox: Suffice it to say, Lance Lynn didn’t do a very good job tonight.
He allowed an RBI single to Mike Napoli, he walked Jonny Gomes, and then he gave up a line-drive, bases-loaded single to Victorino.
Napoli was held up at third base on a throw from left that went well wide, perhaps robbing the Sox of a run, but that doesn’t matter at the moment.
Seth Maness now comes on to pitch to Bogaerts to try to get the Cardinals out of the inning.
Bottom 4th, 2 outs, 4-0 Red Sox: The night is over for young Michael Wacha, who most certainly did not get the job done this evening.
Following Drew’s homer, Wacha came back to strike out Ross, but Ellsbury followed it up with a double to right field that was just a few feet from getting over the short wall.
Pedroia then put a charge into one to right field, which Beltran was able to catch. Ellsbury advanced to third on the fly ball, and up stepped Ortiz … who was intentionally walked.
That was it for Wacha, who was pulled in favor of Lance Lynn, who will face Mike Napoli with two on and two out. If Napoli can get into one here … oh boy.
Bottom 4th, 0 outs, 4-0 Red Sox: Stephen Drew was about a month overdue for a hit, and he made it a big one.
Batting left-handed, Drew put a charge into the first pitch from Wacha in the fourth inning. As Jay and Beltran slowed to a light jog near the Red Sox bullpen, it became apparent that Stephen Drew not only got a hit, but he got himself a home run.
It’s 4-0 Red Sox, and Fenway Park is feeling it.
Middle 4th, 3-0 Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia booted a surefire double play ball that would have again gotten Lackey out of an inning in very few pitches. Rather than let it affect him, Lackey mowed down Matt Adams (soft line-out to left field) and David Freese (strikeout on a check swing) to get himself out of the inning.
The error cost Lackey just six extra pitches, and he’s now at 57 through four.
End 3rd, 3-0 Red Sox: Shane Victorino hasn’t played since Saturday, but he was thrust into an awfully big spot in the bottom of the third on.
Victorino stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out, following an Ellsbury single, an intentional walk to Ortiz and Gomes getting hit by a pitch.
Napoli struck out two batters earlier, so the pressure was all on Shane to come through.
Victorino got ahead in the count 2-0, taking a curveball and a low fastball. Molina then went out to the mound to talk with Wacha, whose next pitch was a called strike.
With a 2-1 count, Victorino unloeaded on an offering from Wacha, sending it high and deep off the Green Monster in left field. Jonny Gomes put on his afterburners to just beat the throw to the plate to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.
Welcome back to the lineup, Mr. Victorino.
Bogaerts stepped up with two outs and Victorino on third (he advanced on the throw) and the rookie smoked a line drive, but it was right at David Freese for the final out.
Fenway absolutely erupted when that ball left the bat of Victorino, and this place is already in a state of pandemonium.
Middle 3rd, 0-0: John Lackey gave up a one-out line drive single to Matt Carpenter, but Beltran grounded into a 6-3 double play on the first pitch of his at-bat to end the inning. Lackey kicked off the inning by striking out Descalso on three pitches. So that was a five-pitch inning for him, which helps keep that pitch count down and also forces Wacha back onto the mound after about two minutes of rest.
End 2nd, 0-0: Michael Wacha faced the same exact situation as Lackey in the top of the inning, and Wacha got out of it just the same.
Jonny Gomes led off with a fisted single into shallow center before Victorino walked on five pitches without ever having to swing the bat.
Bogaerts then stepped up and swung at the first pitch, but he popped it up behind the plate, where Molina easily made the catch. Stephen Drew followed that up with a sky-high pop-up into shallow right, and Matt Carpenter made the catch for the second out.
Up stepped David Ross, who delivered the big hit in Game 5. This time, however, Ross struck out swinging, and the game heads to the third in a 0-0 tie. Wacha has thrown 35 pitches to get through two, and Lackey’s thrown 37. Given the intensity of each and every pitch, don’t expect either guy to throw much more than 100 pitches tonight.
Middle 2nd, 0-0: It was a much tougher inning for John Lackey the second time around, but he was able to recover and get out of it.
Allen Craig laced a line drive off the Monster but only got a single out of it due to his bad foot. Yadier Molina then followed that up with a hot shot to the right of Drew at short. Lackey left that pitch up, and he’s lucky Molina only got a single on it.
But then Lackey went to work. Matt Adams gave one a ride to left field, but Gomes made a leaping catch in front of the Monster. Lackey then got Freese to hit a can of corn into right field for the second out before getting Jon Jay to flail at a curveball for strike three to end the inning. That strikeout came after a wild pitch allowed the runners to advance to second and third, so it was especially huge.
It took Lackey 27 pitches to get through the second, but he kept the Cards off the board.
Gomes, Victorino and Bogaerts are coming up for Boston.
End 1st, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia hit a bomb on the first pitch he saw, but it curled just foul around the left-field foul pole. With Carlton Fisk in the building, Pedroia clearly didn’t wave hard enough for that one to change course for him.
Pedroia grounded out on the next pitch, bringing up David Ortiz, who fell behind 0-2. But Ortiz doesn’t make outs in this series, and he eventually worked a nine-pitch walk. That means he’s now reached base 16 of the 21 times he’s stepped to the plate in the World Series. That is unbelievable.
Mike Napoli struck out, following Ellsbury’s lead from earlier in the inning, and the Sox couldn’t score.
Middle 1st, 0-0: The home crowd is pumped, and the team on the field clearly feels the same.
Lackey seemed to take an extra second to soak it in before his first pitch of the inning, and he geared up to touch 94 mph on his fastball in the inning.
He was able to retire the side in order, with a little help from his fielders.
Carpenter got into a 2-2 pitch and sent it to left field, but Jonny Gomes made the catch while backing into the scoreboard on the Monster.
Beltran than smoked a single to right field, where Dustin Pedroia was positioned perfectly. Still, he had to field a hard-hit short hop, and he did before firing on to first for the out.
Up stepped Matt Holliday, who sent a high chopper to Mike Napoli at first. Napoli left his feet to field the ball and then beat Holliday in a race to the bag to retire the side in order. Just 10 pitches for John Lackey that inning.
Ellsbury, Pedroia and Ortiz are due up in the first.
The entire crowd remains standing all around the park. A lot of people paid a lot of money to be here tonight, and they’re showing they’re hoping to see a celebration tonight.
Top 1st, 0-0: John Lackey’s first pitch to Matt Carpenter is a called strike, and Game 6 is under way at Fenway Park.
8 p.m.: The Dropkick Murphys put on an encore performance from the ALCS, as they just finished the national anthem and an live version of “Shipping Up To Boston” behind the plate to get the crowd ready for baseball.
“Helter Skelter” by the Beatles is now blaring, and first pitch is minutes away.
7:53 p.m.: Luis Tiant and Carlton Fisk just took the field for the ceremonial first pitch. As Fisk didn’t draw enough applause on his own, he tied on a fake beard to show his appreciation of this year’s team.
We’re closing in on first pitch now. Here’s a look at Fenway just a few minutes ago.
7:38 p.m.: Here’s something you may be interested in — it’s the Cardinals’ lineup for Game 6, which is tonight, in about a half-hour. How about that?
1. Matt Carpenter, 2B
2. Carlos Beltran, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Allen Craig, DH
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. Matt Adams, 1B
7. David Freese, 3B
8. Jon Jay CF
9. Daniel Descalso, SS
Michael Wacha, P
Not too much of note there. Shane Robinson and Pete Kozma find themselves on the bench tonight, which isn’t too surprising. If the Cardinals want to score some runs, they’ll need some contributions from more than just Beltran and Holliday.
7:28 p.m.: The field has been cleared, the stands are filling up, and there’s a buzz in this ballpark. We’re closing in on the 30-minute mark until first pitch. The Dropkick Murphys will be back to perform the anthem, which worked to fire up the crowd in the ALCS.
6:08 p.m.: The Red Sox finished up their batting practice several minutes ago, and they all had the determined look of a team that still has plenty of work to do.
The Cardinals are out on the field now, getting the rust off after they didn’t work out yesterday.
Here’s a look from field level of some Sox BP.
4:30 p.m.: The lineups are out, and Shane Victorino is back for the Red Sox.
But the Flyin’ Hawaiian isn’t in his normal two-spot in the lineup, instead batting sixth.
Here is the full Boston lineup for tonight’s Game 6:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Perdoia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Jonny Gomes, LF
6. Shane Victorino, RF
7. Xander Bogaerts, 3B
8. Stephen Drew, 3B
9. David Ross, C
— John Lackey, P
3:30 p.m.: If the Red Sox end up closing out this World Series and emerging victorious, the city of Boston — and Fenway Park, specifically — is set to have one of the biggest baseball parties in its history. The Sox won in ’04, but they did it in St. Louis, and when they won it all in ’07, they were in Colorado.
Tonight, the Red Sox have a chance to celebrate a World Series victory at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918. And they have some room for error, as even a loss tonight would give them one more crack at it tomorrow night in Game 7.
But the Red Sox don’t want it to get that far, so they’ll need to have a better showing the second time around against rookie right-hander Michael Wacha. He was nearly dominant back in Game 2, until David Ortiz launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, but we’ll see how Boston batters adjust in their second time seeing him. Experience may not necessarily be helpful for the Red Sox, as Wacha uses his mid-90s fastball and mid-80s changeup to keep hitters off balance.
For the Sox, it will be John Lackey, fittingly getting the chance to complete his 2013 redemption tour in the best possible way. He too pitched well in Game 2, but he was charged with three runs, two of which scored after he left the game in the seventh.
John Farrell has already said that David Ross will start behind the plate and that Shane Victorino is expected to be a full go in right field.
We’re still four and a half hours away from first pitch, but I’ll have all the updates from the pregame scene at Fenway Park leading up to that point, as well as live updates throughout the game. It’s sure to be a good one, as the Red Sox have an opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in nearly 100 years.