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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Red Sox Win Game 5 3-1 to Take 3-2 World Series Lead Back to Boston

So here we are, a moment that nobody on the outside could have reasonably expected when the season began in April: the Red Sox lead the Cardinals 3-2 in the 2013 World Series and they're coming back to Boston for two chances at their eighth World Series crown in franchise history. Boston took two out of three at Busch Stadium (the only loss being Game 3 aka Obstructiongate), including tonight's 3-1 pitcher's duel as Jon Lester (2-0) certified his place in MLB postseason history and Adam Wainwright (0-2) simply couldn't match his brilliance.

Game 6 is Wednesday (8:07, NESN) at Fenway Park with John Lackey facing Michael Wacha. Obviously Mr. Redemption himself will be able to deliver the first World Series title for the home team at Fenway since 1918 (vs. the Cubs); talk about a storybook/movie ending if that's how it goes down.

Tonight belonged to Lester: he went 7.2 dominant innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. All season, we've joked about Jacoby Ellsbury cashing in this offseason but Lester has also earned a juicy extension with his legendary October (4-1, 1.56 ERA, 29 strikeouts, 8 walks). Holy shit!

Speaking of postseason icons, David Ortiz (3 for 4, double, RBI) is 11 for 15 in the World Series with two doubles, two homers and six RBIs. If the Red Sox win, how do you choose between those two for World Series MVP? Boston had nine hits compared to only four for St. Louis. Xander Bogaerts was 2 for 4 with a run.

Wainwright (7 innings, 3 earned runs, 8 hits, 10 strikeouts, 1 walk) was way better than Game 1 but he still couldn't find a way to beat Lester or Boston. Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz had back-to-back doubles in the first as Boston got out to an early 1-0 lead for a change. Matt Holliday tied it with a long home run to center in the fourth but the Red Sox answered with two runs in the seventh on a double by David Ross and single by Ellsbury.

Lester only threw 91 pitches but John Farrell put closer Koji Uehara in with two outs in the eighth. He promptly struck out fat slob/pinch hitter Matt Adams on three pitches, stranding David Freese (2 hits, double) at second base. Uehara recorded his seventh save of the postseason with a 1-2-3 ninth including a strikeout of leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter.

As a Red Sox fan, we couldn't ask for anything more than this. They play great at home and these last two wins in St. Louis had to have taken their toll on the Cardinals' psyche. None of that matters if Lackey gets shelled or Wacha is lights out but who would bet against this team at this point?

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