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World Series Strikes Bet Between Boston and St. Louis

World Series Strikes Bet Between Boston and St. Louis

Jim Koch of Sam Adams in Boston and Dan Kopman of Schlafly in St. Louis have a little wager going on for the World Series

Jim Koch and Dan Kopman raise their glasses in honor of the 2013 World Series

This year the World Series might get a little more heated than usual. Two brewers from the competing cities of Boston and St. Louis have started a wager that is quickly gaining popularity in both cities. Jim Koch of Sam Adams is so confident that the Boston Red Sox are going to win this year’s World Series he made a bet with St. Louis’ Schlafly owner Dan Kopman. The wager? If St. Louis wins, Koch will deliver two cases of his flagship Boston Lager and a lobster dinner, and if Boston wins, Kopman will supply his Schlafly Pale Ale and a dinner from Pappy’s Smokehouse.

"Koch may be full of confidence, but that doesn’t mean that Kopman doesn’t have his heart set on his own home team winning" But the bet doesn’t stop there! A recent press release told us that each brewer has also invited the competitor to brew a beer of their choice in their respective breweries in Boston and St. Louis — all expenses paid. Koch said, "Here in Boston, we are lucky to be home to some of the best sports teams in the country. The Boston Red Sox are the epitome of passion and true American tradition. I look forward to seeing the Red Sox bring home the World Series trophy once again — and then toasting with a Boston Lager. May the best team win!"

Koch may be full of confidence, but that doesn’t mean that Kopman doesn’t have his heart set on his own home team winning. Kopman said, "I look forward to our 12th World Series victory and then visiting my good friend Jim and toasting with a Schlafly Pale Ale." It seems like the bet is getting heated!

Who do you think will win the Sam Adams–Schlafly bet? Post your answer in the comments section below! And if you’re not all about slugging back beers during the World Series, we came across a cocktail that might interest fans of both teams, the Hornitos Bro-Mosa, as well as a local Boston favorite, the Green Monster, which you can ask for at local dive bar Mary Ann's in Cleveland Circle.

World Series Game 7 Averages Over 40 Million Viewers

Cleveland – In what will go down as one of the greatest baseball games ever played, the 2016 Chicago Cubs closed the book on the franchise’s 108-year championship drought with a thrilling 8-7, extra-inning victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series, Wednesday night on FOX. The World Series-clinching triumph placed an emphatic exclamation point on a playoff run that captivated the nation and marked the summit of a memorable Major League Baseball postseason that produced impressive audience figures through each of its four rounds. According to data released by Nielsen Media Research, World Series Game 7 delivered a massive 21.8/37 household rating/share with 40.045 million viewers.

Remarkably, last night’s telecast is now the most-watched baseball game of any kind since Game 7 of the 1991 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins (50.3 million viewers) and ranks as the most-watched baseball telecast in FOX Sports’ history.

Compared to World Series Game 7 in 2014 between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals, last night’s game showed a +70% gain on average audience (40.0 million vs. 23.5 million) and a +58% increase in household rating (vs. 13.7/22).

As the intensity and drama grew throughout the deciding, winner-take-all contest, so too did the audience, peaking with a 27.1/48 household rating with 49.9 million viewers between 11:30 PM – 11:45 PM ET.

World Series Game 7 on Wednesday night also outperformed 2014’s Game 7 by a wide margin in all of the key male demographics, including M12-17 (+83% 7.7 vs. 4.2), M18-34 (+81% 12.5 vs. 6.9), M18-49 (+75% 14.9 vs. 8.5), and M25-54 (+72% 16.7 vs. 9.7). In A18-49, Game 7 is up +91% compared to 2014 (12.6 vs. 6.6).

As of last night, FOX is now the No. 1 network among A18-49 this season, with the 2016 World Series ranking as the No. 1 primetime program in all of television (LSD). Last night’s contest projects to be FOX’s best Wednesday night ever in primetime.

2016 World Series – Game 7 Highlights

– FOX Sports estimates that more than 75 million viewers tuned in to see all-or-part of the Cubs’ dramatic Game 7 victory on Wednesday night.

– Game 7 netted a 21.8/37 rating/share and an average audience of 40.045 million viewers.

– Between FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO, World Series Game 7 delivered a combined average of 40.9 million viewers.

– Marked FOX’s highest-rated and most-watched telecast of any kind since the NFC Championship in January 2016.

2016 World Series – Seven-Game Totals

– Combining average audiences for each of the seven games, more than 115 million viewers watched all-or-part of the 2016 World Series on FOX and FOX Deportes.

– The 2016 World Series on FOX averaged an astounding 13.1/23 rating/share and 23.4 million viewers, ranking as the highest-rated and most-watched World Series since 2004’s 15.8/26 and 25.4 million viewers for the Boston Red Sox-St. Louis Cardinals series (four games).

– Compared to the 2014 World Series that also went a full seven games, the 2016 Fall Classic showed a +60% increase over 2014’s average rating/share (13.1/23 vs. 8.2/14) and a +70% gain in average audience (23.4 million viewers vs. 13.8 million viewers).

– This year’s World Series audience also delivered significant increases among younger viewers, including males 12-17, a demographic that produced a +105% increase over last year’s performance (3.9 vs. 1.9) and was Fox’s best rating in the demo during the World Series since 2007 (4.0).

– Game-by-game ratings/shares and audience average figures for this year’s World Series are as follows:


Boston Red Sox Edit

The "Impossible Dream" Red Sox were led by triple crown winner Carl Yastrzemski (who won the Most Valuable Player award for his 1967 performance) and ace pitcher Jim Lonborg, who won the American League Cy Young Award. The Red Sox reached the World Series by emerging victorious from a dramatic four-team pennant race that revitalized interest in the team after eight straight losing seasons. Going into the last week of the season, the Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago White Sox were all within one game of each other in the standings. The White Sox lost their last five games (two to the lowly Kansas City Athletics and three to the similarly inept Washington Senators) to fall out of the race. Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Twins met in Boston for the final two games of the season, with Minnesota—who won the AL Pennant two years earlier—holding a one-game lead. Boston swept the Twins, but needed to wait out the result of the Tigers' doubleheader with the California Angels in Detroit. A Detroit sweep would have enabled them to tie the Red Sox for first place. The Tigers won the first game but the Angels won the nightcap, enabling the Red Sox to claim their first pennant since 1946.

St. Louis Cardinals Edit

Pitching dominated this World Series, with Bob Gibson leading the Cardinals. Lonborg pitched the decisive final game of the regular season for Boston, so he was unable to start Game 1. Facing José Santiago, Gibson and St. Louis won the Series opener, 2–1. Maris (obtained from the New York Yankees in December 1966) knocked in both of St. Louis' runs with third and seventh-inning grounders. Santiago pitched brilliantly and homered in the third inning off Gibson for the Red Sox' only run.

Gibson cemented his reputation as an unhittable postseason pitcher in this series, allowing only three total runs over three complete games. His efforts allowed the Cardinals to triumph despite the hitting of Yastrzemski (.500 OBP, .840 SLG), and pitching of Lonborg, who allowed only one run total in his complete-game wins in Games 2 and 5. In Game 2, Yastrzemski belted two homers but the story was Lonborg. The Boston ace retired the first 19 Cardinals he faced until he walked Curt Flood with one out in the seventh inning. He had a no-hitter until Julián Javier doubled down the left field line with two out in the eighth. Lonborg settled for a one-hit shutout in which he faced only 29 batters.

Going for the clincher at Fenway Park in Game 6, the visiting team took a 2–1 lead going into the fourth inning when Dick Hughes (who led the National League with a .727 winning percentage and won 16 games during the regular season) gave up a record three homers in a single inning. Yastrzemski led off the inning with a long drive over the wall in left center and, two outs later, rookie Reggie Smith and Rico Petrocelli hammered consecutive shots. Brock tied the game with a two-run homer in the seventh, but Boston responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of that inning and went on for the 8–4 triumph to tie the series at three games all. The Cardinals set a World Series record using eight pitchers.

The decisive Game 7 featured Gibson and Lonborg facing each other for the first time in the series, but Lonborg was starting on only two days' rest and was unable to compete with Gibson, who allowed only three hits over the course of a complete game. Going into Game 7, both pitchers were 2–0 in the series with Gibson giving up four hits in 18 innings and Lonborg surrendering a single run and four hits in his 18. Something had to give—and it was Lonborg. The Cardinal ace clearly dominated the finale, allowing only three hits, striking out 10 batters and even adding a home run blast of his own in the fifth. Javier added a three-run shot off Lonborg in the sixth and Gibson cruised to the decisive 7–2 victory. He now boasted a 5–1 record and a 2.00 ERA in two World Series, with 57 strikeouts in 54 innings and only 37 hits allowed.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 4 St. Louis Cardinals – 2, Boston Red Sox – 1 Fenway Park 2:22 34,796 [1]
2 October 5 St. Louis Cardinals – 0, Boston Red Sox – 5 Fenway Park 2:24 35,188 [2]
3 October 7 Boston Red Sox – 2, St. Louis Cardinals – 5 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:15 54,575 [3]
4 October 8 Boston Red Sox – 0, St. Louis Cardinals – 6 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:05 54,575 [4]
5 October 9 Boston Red Sox – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:20 54,575 [5]
6 October 11 St. Louis Cardinals – 4, Boston Red Sox – 8 Fenway Park 2:48 35,188 [6]
7 October 12 St. Louis Cardinals – 7, Boston Red Sox – 2 Fenway Park 2:23 35,188 [7]

Game 1 Edit

Wednesday, October 4, 1967 1:00 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 10 0
Boston 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0
WP: Bob Gibson (1–0) LP: José Santiago (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: None
BOS: José Santiago (1)

In attendance for the opening match-up were Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, both Massachusetts natives and supporters of the Red Sox. [8]

Ace Bob Gibson (13–7, 2.98), who sat out July and August with a broken leg, started Game 1 for the Cardinals while 21-year-old José Santiago (12–4, 3.59) started for the Red Sox. Santiago, starting because Sox ace Jim Lonborg had pitched the final day of the regular season, won seven straight second-half games helping Boston stave off the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins to win the pennant by one game in a tightly fought race.

Pitching was prime as Gibson and Santiago seemed to have their best stuff for this afternoon game at Fenway. The Cards got on the board in the top of the third on a leadoff single to center by Lou Brock, a double by Curt Flood, and a Roger Maris groundout to first scoring Brock from third. The Sox came right back to tie the score in the bottom of the same inning. After Bob Gibson struck out Red Sox catcher Russ Gibson, Santiago helped his own cause by homering to left center field.

However, Bob Gibson was masterful the rest of the way finishing with ten strikeouts, allowing just six hits with one walk. Santiago matched Gibson until the top of the seventh when Brock again led off with a single to right (his fourth hit), promptly stole second base, and eventually scored on back-to-back groundouts by Flood and Maris. That run would hold up for a 2–1 Cardinal win, but Lonborg was waiting in the wings to start Game 2.

Game 2 Edit

Thursday, October 5, 1967 1:00 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Boston 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 X 5 9 0
WP: Jim Lonborg (1–0) LP: Dick Hughes (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: None
BOS: Carl Yastrzemski 2 (2)

Carl Yastrzemski provided more than enough offense by homering in the fourth and adding a three-run shot in the seventh (scoring Jose Tartabull and Dalton Jones.) The other Red Sox run came in the sixth inning on walks to George Scott and Reggie Smith and a sacrifice-fly by shortstop Rico Petrocelli. The final score was 5–0 to even up the series at one game apiece with an upcoming journey to St. Louis for Game 3.

Game 3 Edit

Saturday, October 7, 1967 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 7 1
St. Louis 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 X 5 10 0
WP: Nelson Briles (1–0) LP: Gary Bell (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Reggie Smith (1)
STL: Mike Shannon (1)

After "Sleepwalking in Boston", the St. Louis Cardinals came out of their hitting slumber and tagged Boston starter Gary Bell for three runs on five hits in the first two innings of Game 3. A former 16-game winner for the Cleveland Indians, Bell was an early-season pickup who pitched well in 29 games for the Sox going 12–8 with an ERA of 3.16. But he didn't have his best stuff against the Cardinals' starter, 23-year-old Nelson Briles. Briles, after losing 15 games in 1966, alternated between middle-relief and starting pitching in '67, and finished with a neat 14-win, five-loss record (.737 winning percentage—best in the N.L.) and an even neater 2.43 ERA.

The great table-setter Lou Brock started things rolling in the first with a triple to left-center. Curt Flood followed with a single to center scoring Brock for the game's first run. In the second, Tim McCarver led off with a single to center followed by a Mike Shannon home run to left. Ineffective Gary Bell was pinch-hit for in the third inning, replaced by Gary Waslewski. Waslewski pitched three perfect innings, striking out three before leaving in the sixth for relief pitcher Lee Stange.

Boston scored their first run in the sixth with Mike Andrews, (pinch-hitting for Bell), singling to center. Andrews took second on a Tartabull sacrifice, immediately scoring on a Dalton Jones base hit to right. But the Cards added some insurance in the bottom of the frame with the disconcerting Brock bunting for a hit, eventually going to third when Stange, attempting a pick-off, threw wild into right-field. Roger Maris, in his next-to-last season, would have a good Series with ten hits and a home run, scored Brock with a single to right-center.

In the seventh Reggie Smith hit a lead-off home run for Boston, trimming the score to 4–2 but the Cards stifled any further Sox comeback scoring their fifth run in the bottom of the eighth when Maris beat out an infield tap for a single and Orlando Cepeda muscled a double off the wall in right-center making the score 5–2. Briles would finish his complete-game victory with a 1–2–3 ninth, the second out recorded when Reggie Smith would interfere with McCarver who was trying to catch his pop-up foul down the first-base line. Up two games to one, St. Louis would send Bob Gibson back to the mound, a championship within reach.

Game 4 Edit

Sunday, October 8, 1967 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
St. Louis 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 X 6 9 0
WP: Bob Gibson (2–0) LP: José Santiago (0–2)

54,000 plus fans packed Busch Memorial Stadium in anticipation of yet another Bob Gibson post-season, pitching gem. Again, all St. Louis needed was a spark from Lou Brock and this time four runs crossed the plate in the first inning. Brock started things rolling with a slow-roller to third—nothing Dalton Jones could do could match Brock's speed, for an infield-hit. Curt Flood singled to shallow left and Roger Maris powered-up going the other way, doubling into the left-field corner scoring both base-runners. Orlando Cepeda then flied out, Maris advancing to third. Tim McCarver hit a clutch single to right to score Maris. After Mike Shannon fouled out to Rico Petrocelli for the second out, Julián Javier would single in the hole between short and third followed by .217 lifetime hitter Dal Maxvill's run-scoring single to left for the Cardinals' fourth run. That would be it for Game 1 starter José Santiago who would only last two-thirds of an inning this time out. Gary Bell would relieve, getting the ninth batter of the inning, Bob Gibson to fly out to left.

Gibson would be on cruise-control the remainder of the game while the Cards would add two more runs off reliever Jerry Stephenson in the third. Cepeda would double into the left-field corner and move to third on a wild pitch. McCarver would add a second RBI on a sac-fly to center scoring Cepeda. Shannon would walk and score on a Julián Javier double just inside the third-base line. That would be it for the scoring as Gibson would win his second Series game, a five-hit complete-game that put his Cardinals up, three games to one.

Game 5 Edit

Monday, October 9, 1967 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 6 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 2
WP: Jim Lonborg (2–0) LP: Steve Carlton (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: None
STL: Roger Maris (1)

With their backs up against the wall, manager Dick Williams again put his trust in the dependable Jim Lonborg. The 25-year-old righty was faced by Steve "Lefty" Carlton. Carlton was 14–9 in 30 games with a 2.98 ERA, striking out 168 in 193 innings during the regular season.

The game played out very tentatively, with just one early run scored by Boston in the top of the third. After Lonborg struck out leading off the inning, Joe Foy struck a single to left field. Mike Andrews reached safely at first after a sacrifice attempt was fumbled by Cardinal third-baseman Mike Shannon for an error. With two on and one out, team hero Carl Yastrzemski looked at a third strike for the second out, but Ken Harrelson followed with a clutch single to left, scoring Foy. This would be enough to saddle Carlton with the loss.

Pitching with a slight cold (and a paper horseshoe in his back pocket) Lonborg again sparkled, at one point retiring 12 straight. After a Roger Maris single in the fourth, the next batter to reach base was Julián Javier, who got on base in the eighth on an error by Rico Petrocelli. Carlton was just as good but left after six innings of work and would take the loss despite having no earned runs (the run in the third was unearned). He was replaced by Ray Washburn, who then pitched two scoreless innings.

St. Louis Manager Red Schoendienst brought in Ron Willis to pitch the ninth. The Red Sox greeted Willis by loading the bases on a George Scott walk, a Reggie Smith double, and an intentional walk to Petrocelli. Jack Lamabe relieved Willis after a 1–0 count on Elston Howard who promptly popped a single to right scoring Scott. Maris threw high to the plate, allowing Smith to score the second run. With the score 3–0, St. Louis came to bat in the last of the ninth in a last attempt comeback bid. But Lonborg's luck continued, getting Brock and Flood to ground out to second and third respectively. Maris spoiled the shutout bid by homering over the right-field fence but Orlando Cepeda ended the game on a ground-out to third. The Red Sox were now back in the Series, although still down three games to two.

Game 6 Edit

Wednesday, October 11, 1967 1:00 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 4 8 0
Boston 0 1 0 3 0 0 4 0 X 8 12 1
WP: John Wyatt (1–0) LP: Jack Lamabe (0–1) Sv: Gary Bell (1)
Home runs:
STL: Lou Brock (1)
BOS: Rico Petrocelli 2 (2), Carl Yastrzemski (3), Reggie Smith (2)

Pivotal Game 6 matched rookie Gary Waslewski (2–2, 3.21) who had only pitched in 12 regular season games, versus one-year wonder Dick Hughes (16–6, 2.67) who pitched three seasons, winning only twice more in 1968 before retiring due to arm problems.

Rico Petrocelli gave the Red Sox an early lead with a second inning blast over the Green Monster in left field. St. Louis came back with two runs in the top of the third when Julián Javier hit a lead-off double off that same Green Monster. After retiring the next two batters, Waslewski gave up a single to Lou Brock, scoring Javier. Then after a Brock steal, Curt Flood singled to left, scoring Brock.

In the Sox half of the fourth, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Smith, and Rico Petrocelli would all go long setting a new World Series record with three home runs in the same inning. A demoralized Hughes wouldn't finish the inning and Ron Willis would be summoned from the bullpen to get the last out, an Elston Howard groundout to third.

Waslewski was very workmanlike, but started to tire in the sixth inning when, after giving up two walks, was replaced by John Wyatt who would get out of the jam retiring Mike Shannon on a popup to short and Javier on a fly to short right. The Cards would come back and hit Wyatt hard in the seventh. After pinch-hitter Bobby Tolan walked, Lou Brock hit a homer into the right-center field bleachers. Flood and Maris hit long fly-outs to center but their hits stayed in the park to end the inning, St. Louis had tied the score at four apiece.

The Red Sox would send ten batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning and regain the lead. Elston Howard would lead off making both the first and last outs but four runs would cross the plate in-between. After all was said and done, the Cardinals would send four pitchers to the mound in the inning and when Hal Woodeshick would come into pitch the eighth, a Series record would be tied with eight (8) pitchers used also setting a two team record of 11 pitchers used. St. Louis had one more good chance to win the game loading the bases in the eighth, but highlighted by a great Yastrzemski catch in left-center, the Cards couldn't push one across and wouldn't score again going quietly in the ninth with Gary Bell pitching the last two innings for the save. The Red Sox survived to play another day and the Series was now tied at three games apiece. Wyatt took the win and Jack Lamabe, who was the first pitcher for the Cardinals in the eighth, would be given the loss.

Game 7 Edit

Thursday, October 12, 1967 1:00 pm (ET) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 2 0 2 3 0 0 0 7 10 1
Boston 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 3 1
WP: Bob Gibson (3–0) LP: Jim Lonborg (2–1)
Home runs:
STL: Bob Gibson (1), Julián Javier (1)
BOS: None

The seventh game finally matched up the aces, Bob Gibson against Jim Lonborg. Lonborg was pitching on two-days rest, while Gibson had rested an extra day since his last outing. Only once before had a seventh game of a Series brought together starting pitchers who both had 2–0 records in the Series—in 1925, when the Washington Senators' Walter Johnson pitched against the Pittsburgh Pirates' Vic Aldridge. St. Louis catcher Tim McCarver said the Boston newspapers made the Cardinals angry with their headline "Lonborg and Champagne" that basically declared before Game 7 that Lonborg would win. [9]

From the start, it was apparent that Lonborg was struggling. Three Cardinal hits and a wild pitch put St. Louis ahead 2–0 in the third inning. Two more scored in the fifth on a home run by Gibson, Lou Brock's single and two stolen bases (his seventh steal—a new Series record), and a Roger Maris sacrifice-fly to right. A Boston run in the fifth cut the score to 4–1, but the Red Sox dream was abruptly halted in the sixth on a three-run homer by Julián Javier off the arm-weary Lonborg. With the 7–2 defeat, Boston's "Impossible Dream" ended one win short, and the St. Louis Cardinals were World Series Champions for the second time in the 1960s, and eighth overall.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis Cardinals 5 2 7 0 2 4 3 1 1 25 51 4
Boston Red Sox 0 1 2 4 1 2 8 1 2 21 48 4
Total attendance: 304,085 Average attendance: 43,441
Winning player's share: $8,315 Losing player's share: $5,115 [10]

Records and notables Edit

  • This series marked the first time that the Commissioner's Trophy was presented to the World Series-winning team. [11] stole three bases in Game 7 for a record seven thefts in a seven-game series. [12]
  • The Cardinals tied a World Series record by using eight pitchers in their Game 6 loss. , the older brother of George Brett, became the youngest pitcher in World Series history. [13] Aged 19 years, 20 days, when he pitched one inning of relief at the end of Game 4. He also pitched
  • + 1 ⁄ 3 of an inning at the end of Game 7. He gave up no hits or runs in either appearance. He was the only left-hander on the Boston pitching staff. gave up only 14 hits in his three complete games, tying Christy Mathewson's record for fewest hits given up in winning three complete World Series games. [14]
  • The Cardinals are one of only two teams to take a 3–1 World Series lead, then lose the next two games and still win the series in Game 7. [citation needed] The other was the Oakland Athletics in their victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 World Series.

The 1967 Series was the first non-exhibition meeting between Major League Baseball teams from St. Louis and Boston since the departures of the Boston Braves and St. Louis Browns following (respectively) the 1952 and 1953 seasons ended regular season meetings between teams from those cities (Braves vs Cardinals, Browns vs Red Sox). It also marked the last time that a St. Louis-based team defeated a Boston-based team in the championship round of any professional sport until 2019 when the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4 games to 3 in the Stanley Cup Finals. In the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals the Bruins swept the Blues with Bobby Orr scoring the memorable series-winning goal in overtime in Game 4. The New England Patriots followed suit by defeating the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" team 20–17 in Super Bowl XXXVI after the 2001 NFL season, with kicker Adam Vinatieri scoring the game-winning field goal on the final play. In the 2004 World Series, the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in four to break the Curse of the Bambino, then bested them again in six games nine years later. In the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks met four times in five years, with the Celtics winning in 1957, 1960 and 1961 and the Hawks winning in 1958. (The Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968.)

This was the first year since 1948 that neither the Yankees, nor the Giants, nor the Dodgers played in the World Series. It would be another seven years before the Dodgers would return to the series and nine before the Yankees came back. The Giants would not play again in a World Series until 1989.

This was the Cardinals' first World Series that was not played in Sportsman's Park, which had closed partway through the 1966 season. It was the first of six played in Busch Memorial Stadium, also known as Busch Stadium II, which opened in 1966 to replace Sportsman's Park (which had been renamed Busch Stadium in 1953).

This would be the Cardinals second and final World Series win of the 1960s. The next year, they lost to Detroit in seven games. St. Louis wouldn't get back to the World Series until 1982 when they beat Milwaukee.

2013 World Series Boston Red Sox over St. Louis Cardinals (4-2)

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Boston Red Sox Edit

The Red Sox had lost in the previous season's ALCS against the New York Yankees. The loss was mainly blamed on the decision by then-manager Grady Little to keep starting pitcher Pedro Martínez in the game in the 8th inning of Game 7, that resulted the win (and the 2003 American League championship in genaral) to rival New York via a walk-off home run, then Little was fired two weeks later. [4]

During the off-season, the Red Sox hired Terry Francona as their new manager. [5] They also signed Keith Foulke as their closer [6] and traded for Curt Schilling as a starting pitcher. [7] The Red Sox played two particularly notable games against the Yankees during the regular season. A game on July 1, in which they came back from a 3-run deficit to force extra innings, is best remembered for an incident in the 12th inning, when Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter made a catch on the run before hurling himself head-first into the stands. The Yankees won the game in the next inning to take an 8-game lead in the American League East. [8] In the 3rd inning of a game on July 24, Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez with one of his pitches. As Rodriguez walked towards first base, he began shouting profanities at Arroyo. Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek positioned himself between the two players. After a brief argument, Varitek pushed his glove into Rodriguez' face, causing a bench-clearing brawl. [9] The Red Sox eventually won the game thanks to a home run by Bill Mueller in the 9th inning. [10] On July 31, the Red Sox traded shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs after he had spent eight years with the team. They acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz in this trade. [11] They won the wild card to earn a place in the post-season for the second year in a row. [12]

In the divisional round of the playoffs, the Red Sox faced the Anaheim Angels in a best-of-five series. They won Game 1 largely thanks to a 7-run 4th inning, and went on to sweep the series. In the 7th inning of Game 3, with the Red Sox leading by 4, Vladimir Guerrero tied the game for the Angels with a grand slam. However, David Ortiz won the series with a game winning home run in the 10th. [13] In the American League Championship Series, the Red Sox lost the first three games against the New York Yankees, including a 19-8 drubbing in Game 3, and were trailing 4-3 in Game 4 when they began the 9th inning. Kevin Millar was walked by Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. [14] Dave Roberts then came into the game to pinch run for Millar and stole second base. Mueller then singled to enable him to tie the game. Another game winning home run by Ortiz won the game 6-4 for the Red Sox in the 12th inning. [15] Ortiz' single in the 14th inning of Game 5 scored the winning run for the Red Sox, in what was, then, the longest post-season game in baseball history. [16] Despite having a dislocated ankle tendon, Schilling started Game 6 for the Red Sox. [17] He pitched for seven innings, and allowed just one run, during which time his sock became soaked in blood. [17] In the eighth inning, Yankees third baseman Rodriguez slapped a ball out of pitcher Arroyo's hand, allowing the Yankees to score a run. However, after a discussion the umpires called Rodriguez out for interference and canceled the run. Fans then threw debris onto the field in protest and the game was stopped for ten minutes. [18] [19] The Red Sox won the game 4-2 and became the first baseball team to ever force a Game 7 after having been down 3 games to none. [18] A 10–3 win in Game 7 brought the Red Sox to the World Series for the first time in 18 years. [20]

St. Louis Cardinals Edit

Having failed to make the playoffs the season before, and with their division rivals (the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros) expected to be strong, the Cardinals were generally expected to finish 3rd in the National League Central. [21] [22] However, strong offensive seasons from Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Jim Edmonds—during which they each hit more than 30 home runs and 100 runs batted in (RBI)—helped them to lead the league in runs scored. [23] They also allowed the fewest runs of any team in the league. [24] Four of their starters recorded at least 15 wins and closer Jason Isringhausen recorded a league-best 47 saves. [23] [25] They added outfielder Larry Walker in August and finished the regular season with the best win–loss record in the league. [26]

The Cardinals faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Five home runs in Game 1 and no runs allowed by the bullpen in Game 2 helped the Cardinals to win the first two games. [27] A complete game by Dodgers pitcher José Lima enabled the Dodgers to force a Game 4, during which a home run by Pujols won the series for the Cardinals. [28] In the National League Championship Series, the Cardinals faced the Astros and won the first two games in St. Louis. However, the Astros tied the series in the next two games in Houston, before a combined one-hitter by Astros pitchers Brandon Backe and Brad Lidge gave them the series lead. [29] An RBI single by Jeff Bagwell in the 9th inning of Game 6 tied the game and forced extra innings. In the 12th, Edmonds won the game for the Cardinals with a walk-off home run. [30] Trailing in the sixth inning of Game 7, a game-tying RBI double by Albert Pujols followed by a Scott Rolen two-run home run and then an RBI single by Larry Walker in the 8th inning helped the Cardinals to a 5–2 win and their first World Series berth in 17 years. [31]

By reaching the World Series with the Cardinals, Tony La Russa became the sixth manager to win pennants in both leagues. [32] This was after La Russa had managed the Oakland Athletics to three straight pennants between 1988 and 1990 and winning the 1989 World Series. [32] He would attempt to join Sparky Anderson as the only men to have managed teams to World Series championships in both leagues. [33] He wore #10 in tribute to Anderson (who wore 10 while manager of the Cincinnati Reds) and to indicate he was trying to win the team's 10th championship. [34] [35]

The series was heavily discussed and analyzed by the American media prior to it beginning. The Star-News of Wilmington, North Carolina, compared the Red Sox and Cardinals position by position and concluded that the Cardinals were stronger in eight positions, the Red Sox in four and both teams even in one. They predicted that the Cardinals would win the series in seven games. [36] Andrew Haskett of gave high praise to the two teams' starting pitchers but also said that the Cardinals "took a serious blow" when Chris Carpenter was forced out of the series due to an injury to his arm. He also pointed out the ability of both teams to hit home runs, especially in the case of the Red Sox's David Ortiz and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. While he praised the Red Sox defense, he called the Cardinals "one of the best defensive teams to ever walk onto a baseball field". Ultimately he concluded that the series would be close and that the Red Sox would win it. [37]

John Donovan of Sports Illustrated praised both teams for how unexpected their reaching the World Series was, saying that they were "not supposed to be here". He also called the series a "blast from the past" because both teams were very old franchises and had twice previously met in the World Series. [38] In a breakdown of how the two teams matched up, he concluded that the edge was with the Red Sox in pitching and the Cardinals in defense and batting. Ultimately he concluded that Schilling and Martinez would be the "key to [the] Series" and that the Red Sox would win in six games. [39] Jim Molony of, said he expected the series to play out very differently from the last time the two teams met in the World Series in 1967. This was because both team offenses had been some of the best in the league during the season, while pitching had been very dominant in 1967. [40]

Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe said that "Bally's in Las Vegas set the Red Sox as 8–5 favorites to win the Series" and that there was "some sentiment in St. Louis that the NL champions have been disrespected". but also that Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein "Did not want to dis[respect] the Cardinals". [41] Shaughnessy also quoted Schilling as having said: "There's a lot of good players in that [visitors] clubhouse over there. This isn't the time for us to be thinking about history. If we get three wins and 26 outs into the fourth win, I'm pretty sure it will hit us." [41] Before the series began, Shaughnessy wrote a piece saying that although the Red Sox had beaten the Yankees, the series needed to be won, as it was the only way the Curse of the Bambino, which he had publicized based on the book of the same title in 1990, [42] would end, [43] [44] and demeaning chants of "1918!" would no longer echo at Yankee Stadium. [45] During the series, he wrote a piece about how much people in New England were thinking about loved ones who had spent their entire lives rooting for the Red Sox, hoping that one day, they would see their Red Sox win a World Series. [46] [47]

Both teams had lost in their previous World Series appearances in seven games. The Red Sox lost to the New York Mets in 1986, while the Cardinals lost in 1987 to the Minnesota Twins. The Cardinals and Red Sox had not won the World Series since 1982 and 1918 respectively. When the two teams had previously played each other in the 1946 and 1967 World Series, the Cardinals won both series in seven games. [48] [49] Having won the All-Star Game, the AL had been awarded home-field advantage, which meant the Red Sox had the advantage at Fenway Park in four of the seven games in the series. [50]

Boston won the series, 4–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance
1 October 23 St. Louis Cardinals – 9, Boston Red Sox – 11 Fenway Park 4:00 35,035 [51]
2 October 24 St. Louis Cardinals – 2, Boston Red Sox – 6 Fenway Park 3:20 35,001 [52]
3 October 26 Boston Red Sox – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Stadium (II) 2:58 52,015 [53]
4 October 27 Boston Red Sox – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 0 Busch Stadium (II) 3:14 52,037 [54]

Game 1 Edit

Saturday, October 23, 2004 8:05 pm (EDT) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 1 1 3 0 2 0 2 0 9 11 1
Boston 4 0 3 0 0 0 2 2 X 11 13 4
WP: Keith Foulke (1–0) LP: Julián Tavárez (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: Larry Walker (1)
BOS: David Ortiz (1), Mark Bellhorn (1)
Attendance: 35,035

Local band Dropkick Murphys performed "Tessie", and a moment of silence was observed to remember local student Victoria Snelgrove, who had been accidentally killed by police two days earlier as Sox fans had celebrated winning the American League pennant. [55] [56] Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, another local band, performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski threw the ceremonial first pitch. [56]

Joe Buck of Fox Sports, calling the fifth home run of the postseason by David Ortiz in Game 1. [57]

Tim Wakefield made his first start of the 2004 postseason for the Red Sox, becoming the first knuckleball pitcher to make a World Series start since 1948, while Woody Williams, who had won his previous two starts in the post-season, was the Cardinals' starting pitcher. [58] In the bottom of the first inning, Williams gave up a lead-off double to Johnny Damon, and then hit Orlando Cabrera in the shoulder with one of his pitches. After Manny Ramírez flied out, Ortiz hit a three-run home run in his first-ever World Series at bat. Kevin Millar then scored by virtue of a single by Bill Mueller to put the Red Sox up 4–0. [58] [59]

The Cardinals scored one run in both the second and third innings on a sacrifice fly by Mike Matheny to score Jim Edmonds and a home run to right field by Walker, respectively. However, in the bottom of the third, the Red Sox scored three runs after seven consecutive batters reached base, giving them a five-run lead. Dan Haren came in from the Cardinals' bullpen to replace Williams during the inning. [60]

In the top of the fourth inning, Bronson Arroyo was brought in to replace Wakefield after he had walked four batters. Those walks, combined with a throwing error by Millar and a passed ball by Doug Mirabelli, allowed the Cardinals to reduce the lead to two runs. In the sixth inning, So Taguchi reached first on an infield hit and was allowed to advance to second when Arroyo threw the ball into the stands. Doubles by Édgar Rentería and Walker tied the game at seven. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Ramírez singled with two men on base, and a poor throw by Edmonds allowed Mark Bellhorn to score. Ortiz then hit a line drive that appeared to skip off the lip of the infield and hit Cardinals' second baseman Tony Womack with "considerable force". [61] Womack immediately grabbed his clavicle as a second Red Sox run scored. He was attended to once play had ended and replaced by Marlon Anderson. A precautionary X-ray revealed that there was no damage. [60] [61]

In the top of the eighth inning, with one out and two men on base, Red Sox closer Keith Foulke came in to pitch. Rentería singled towards Ramírez in left field, who unintentionally kicked the ball away, allowing Jason Marquis to score. Walker also hit the ball towards Ramírez in the next at bat. Ramírez slid in an attempt to try to catch the ball, but tripped and deflected the ball for his second error in two plays, and the fourth Red Sox error in the game. Roger Cedeño scored on the play to tie the game at nine. [60] [62] In the bottom of the eighth inning, however, Jason Varitek reached on an error, and Bellhorn then hit a home run off the right field foul pole, also known as Pesky's Pole, for his third home run in as many games to give the Red Sox a two-run lead. [56] [63] In the ninth inning, Foulke struck out Cedeño to win the game for the Red Sox 11–9. [58] [60]

With a total of 20 runs, it was the highest scoring opening game of a World Series ever. [64] With four RBI, Ortiz also tied a franchise record for RBI in a World Series game. [56] [65] Walker, making his World Series debut in Game 1, collected four hits in five at bats with a home run and two doubles. [66] His four-hit outing tied a Cardinals World Series record, becoming the seventh overall and first to do so since Lou Brock in 1967, also against Boston. [67]

Game 2 Edit

Sunday, October 24, 2004 8:10 pm (EDT) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 0
Boston 2 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 X 6 8 4
WP: Curt Schilling (1–0) LP: Matt Morris (0–1)
Attendance: 35,001

Boston native James Taylor performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Game 2 and singer Donna Summer, also a Boston native, performed "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by the surviving three members of the famous Red Sox quartet that had faced the Cardinals in 1946: Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky (Ted Williams had died two years earlier). [68]

Despite having a torn tendon in his right ankle, similar to Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees, Schilling started Game 2 for the Red Sox. [64] Schilling had four stitches in the ankle the day before, causing him "considerable discomfort". [69] He was not sure on the morning of Game 2 if he would be able to play, but after one of the stitches was removed, he was treated with antibiotics and was able to pitch. [69] Morris started for the Cardinals on three days' rest (one day fewer than is orthodox rest for a starting pitcher). [70]

In the first inning, Albert Pujols doubled with two out, and Scott Rolen hit a line drive towards Mueller, who caught it to end the inning. [69] Morris walked Ramírez and Ortiz in the bottom of the inning. Varitek then tripled to center field to give the Red Sox a 2–0 lead. [71]

In the fourth inning, Pujols doubled again and was able to score on an error by Mueller. The Red Sox also scored in the bottom of the inning when Bellhorn doubled to center with two runners on base, to give them a three-run lead. Cal Eldred came in to relieve Morris in the fifth inning, after he had walked the leadoff hitter, having already given up four runs in the previous four innings. Mueller committed his World Series record-tying third error of the game, in the sixth inning [72] however, the Cardinals failed to capitalize. In the bottom of the inning, Trot Nixon led off with a single to center, and two more singles by Johnny Damon and Orlando Cabrera enabled two more runs to score to make it 6–1. [71]

After six innings of allowing no earned runs – which gave him a total of 13 innings against the Yankees and Cardinals with only one earned run allowed on a torn ankle tendon – Schilling made way for Alan Embree, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Mike Timlin replaced Embree in the eighth, in which a sacrifice fly by Scott Rolen reduced the Red Sox lead to four. Keith Foulke then came in to strike out Jim Edmonds to end the inning and also pitched the ninth to end the game. For the second game in a row, the Red Sox won despite committing four fielding errors. [71]

With the win, Schilling became only the fifth pitcher to ever win a World Series game with a team from both leagues, having previously done it with National League teams, the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993, and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. [69] He later donated the bloody sock he wore during the game to the Baseball Hall of Fame museum. [64] [73] Much of the blame for the Cardinals' losses in the first two games was directed at the fact that Rolen, Edmonds and Reggie Sanders, three of the Cardinals' best batters, had combined for one hit in 22 at-bats. [74] [75] [76]

Game 3 Edit

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 7:30 pm (CDT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
WP: Pedro Martínez (1–0) LP: Jeff Suppan (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Manny Ramírez (1)
STL: Larry Walker (2)
Attendance: 52,015

Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martínez was presented with the 2004 Roberto Clemente Award, having announced his retirement one month before. [77] The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by arguably the Cardinals' best-ever position player, Stan Musial, and caught by arguably their best-ever pitcher, Bob Gibson. "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" were sung by country music singer Martina McBride and singer–songwriter Amy Grant respectively. During the game, a sign for the fast-food restaurant Taco Bell that measured 12 by 12 feet (3.7 m × 3.7 m) and read "Free Taco Here", was hung approximately 420 feet (130 m) from home plate, over the left-center field bullpen. Taco Bell promised that, if the sign was hit by a home run ball, they would give a free "Crunchy Beef Taco" to everyone in the United States. [78] [79]

Once again, the Red Sox took the lead in the first inning when Ramírez hit a home run off former Red Sox pitcher Jeff Suppan. Pedro Martínez was the starting pitcher for the Red Sox, and in the bottom of the first inning, he allowed the Cardinals to load the bases with one out. Edmonds then hit a fly ball towards Ramírez in left field, who caught it on the run and threw to catcher Jason Varitek at home plate. Varitek tagged out Walker, who was attempting to score from third, ending the inning. [80]

In the bottom of the third inning, the Cardinals had two runners on base with no one out. Walker hit a ground ball towards first base, and Cardinals third base coach José Oquendo signalled to Suppan on third to run to home plate. However, halfway towards home, Suppan "suddenly stopped". [80] Édgar Rentería, who had been running from second base towards third, was forced to return to second when he saw Suppan had stopped. After stepping on first base, David Ortiz began moving toward Suppan, who had turned back toward third, Ortiz threw to third baseman Mueller, who tagged Suppan out. After the next batter, Albert Pujols, grounded to Mueller, the inning ended. [80]

Trot Nixon extended the Red Sox lead to two in the top of the fourth, hitting a single to right field that scored Mueller, who had started the rally with a two-out double to left-center. Johnny Damon then led off the Red Sox's fifth inning with a double to right. Singles by Orlando Cabrera and Ramírez, to right and left respectively, scored Damon to make it 3–0. With two out, Mueller singled along the first base line, enabling Cabrera to score the Red Sox's fourth run. Suppan was replaced by Al Reyes, which meant none of the Cardinals three starting pitchers had finished five innings during the series. [80]

Mike Timlin relieved Martinez in the bottom of the eighth inning. He finished with six strikeouts, three hits allowed and retired the last 14 batters he faced. The Cardinals avoided a shutout when Walker hit a home run to center field off Foulke in the ninth inning, but Foulke retired the other three batters he faced in the inning to secure the win for the Red Sox 4–1. [80] [81]

On the same day the Red Sox won Game 3, The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy wrote that, as this win brought the Red Sox on the verge of winning a World Series, he wondered how many people in New England were thinking about loved ones who had spent their entire lives rooting for the Red Sox and hoping that one day, they would see the Red Sox win a World Series. [46] [47]

Game 4 Edit

Wednesday, October 27, 2004 7:25 pm (CDT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 0
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
WP: Derek Lowe (1–0) LP: Jason Marquis (0–1) Sv: Keith Foulke (1)
Home runs:
BOS: Johnny Damon (1)
STL: None
Attendance: 52,037

Country music singer Gretchen Wilson, a life-long Cardinals fan, performed "The Star-Spangled Banner". [82] Barry Bonds and Manny Ramírez received the Hank Aaron Award for the National and American Leagues, respectively. [83] Former Cardinals players Lou Brock and Red Schoendienst threw out ceremonial first pitches along with Rashima Manning, from the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Clubs of America. [82] A lunar eclipse was visible during the game – the first lunar eclipse to take place during a World Series game. [84] [85] The game was also played on the 18th anniversary of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, which the Red Sox had lost at Shea Stadium to the New York Mets, despite taking a 3–0 lead into the sixth inning.

Damon hit a home run to right field in the first at-bat of the game on a 2-1 count to give the Red Sox the lead in the first inning for the fourth straight game [84] it proved to be the game-winning run. Ramírez singled in the third inning to give him a hit in 17 consecutive postseason games. [85] Doubles to right by David Ortiz and to center by Trot Nixon, who narrowly missed a grand slam after swinging on a 3-0 count, scored two more runs for the Red Sox to give them a three-run lead. [84] [86] Cardinals starter Jason Marquis went six innings and allowed just the three runs. Marquis was the only Cardinal pitcher who went past five innings.

Joe Buck, calling the final play of Game 4. [46]

Joe Castiglione calling the final play of Game 4 for WEEI in Boston. [87]

In the top of the eighth, Mueller led off with a single to right and Nixon followed with his third double of the game. Jason Isringhausen came in to pitch for the Cardinals with the bases loaded and nobody out, and was able the finish the inning without allowing a run to score. [86] Kevin Millar pinch hit for the Red Sox starting pitcher Derek Lowe during this inning. It was the third straight game in which the Red Sox starting pitcher had not allowed an earned run. [86]

Red Sox closer Foulke came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Pujols led off the inning by hitting a single through Foulke's legs and into center field. After Foulke induced Rolen into a fly out and struck out Edmonds, Pujols took second base, but no stolen base due to fielder's indifference. [46] Édgar Rentería then hit a ground ball that bounced back to Foulke on the mound. Foulke threw it underhand to Doug Mientkiewicz at first base to end the game, and the Red Sox drought. [88]

The series win was the Red Sox's first title in 86 years. They were also the fourth team to win a World Series without trailing in any of the games in the series, [64] and the seventh to win it having previously been three outs away from elimination. With the win, pitcher Lowe became the first pitcher to ever win three series-clinching games in a single postseason having also won Game 3 of the ALDS against the Angels and Game 7 of the ALCS against the Yankees. [89] Although the series was won in St. Louis, 3,000 Red Sox fans were present at the game, and many stayed after the final out to celebrate with the team, including going on the field when the team came back out of their dugout with the World Series trophy. [88] [90] Ramírez, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the series, said afterwards "I don't believe in curses, I believe you make your own destination. [sic]" [84] Kevin Millar said that it was important to finish off the Cardinals in four and not let it go to a fifth game given the team's history. [46]

The Cardinals offense struggled to find spark in the final three games. Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds, the normally fearsome 3-4-5 hitters for the Cardinals, were six-for-45 with one RBI. The club batted .190 with a .562 OPS overall. Walker was one of very few exceptions, batting .357 with a 1.366 OPS. His two home runs accounted for the only two home runs hit by the entire Cardinals team. [91] In the 2004 postseason, Walker scored 21 percent (14 of 68) of Cardinal runs. [67]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston Red Sox 8 0 5 3 2 2 2 2 0 24 39 8
St. Louis Cardinals 0 1 1 4 0 2 0 3 1 12 24 1
Total attendance: 174,088 Average attendance: 43,522
Winning player's share: $223,619.79 Losing player's share: $163,378.53 [92]

The series was broadcast by Fox, and the announcers were Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Jeanne Zelasko covered the pre-game build up to all four games and the presentation of the World Series trophy. [46] [57] An average of 23.1 million people watched Game 1. This was the highest television ratings for the opening game of a World Series in five years and had the highest average number of viewers since 1996. It was also the highest rated broadcast on any network in the past ten months. [93] The ratings for the first two games were also the highest average since 1996, [94] and the average for the first three games was the highest since 1999. [95] Game 3 had the highest average number of viewers with 24.4 million, since 1996 when 28.7 million watched the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees. It was also the Fox network's highest rating for a Game 3 of a World Series ever. [96] Game 4 posted an 18.2 national rating giving the series an overall average of 15.8. This was the highest average in five years, and the average number of viewers of 25.4 million was the highest since 1995. [97]

In terms of local radio, Joe Castiglione and Jerry Trupiano called the series for WEEI in Boston while Mike Shannon and Wayne Hagin announced for KMOX in St. Louis.

Game Rating Share Audience (in millions)
1 [98] 13.7 25 23.17
2 [98] 15.9 24 25.46
3 [99] 15.7 24 24.42
4 [99] 18.2 28 28.84
Average 15.8 25.25 25.47

With the win coming eight months after the New England Patriots victory in Super Bowl XXXVIII, the event made Boston the first city to have a Super Bowl and World Series winner in the same year since Pittsburgh in 1979. [2] A number of players from both teams won awards for their performances during the season. Manny Ramírez won the Hank Aaron Award and, along with Albert Pujols, a Silver Slugger Award, while Gold Glove awards were won by Mike Matheny, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. [100] The American sports magazine Sports Illustrated honored the Red Sox with their Sportsman of the Year award a month later, making them the first professional team to ever win the award. For pitcher Curt Schilling, it was the second time he had won the award, having shared it with then-Arizona Diamondbacks teammate Randy Johnson in 2001. [101]

This World Series win by the Red Sox continued a history of Boston teams beating St. Louis teams to win championships. [102] Previously, in Super Bowl XXXVI, the New England Patriots had upset the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" to win their first Super Bowl and herald a dynasty led by Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the Boston Bruins had swept the St. Louis Blues in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals (with Game 4 being remembered for Bobby Orr's Cup-winning overtime goal that sent him flying), and the Boston Celtics – when Bill Russell was still just a rookie – had beaten the St. Louis Hawks to win their first NBA championship in 1957. [102] With championship showdowns between teams from Boston and St. Louis seen in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA and NHL, it is the only showdown between teams from two specific locations, that has been seen in each of these four leagues. [102] [103] St. Louis would finally end Boston's dominance against them when the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.

Red Sox Edit

The Red Sox's win in the World Series ended the "Curse of the Bambino", which supposedly had afflicted the team ever since the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919. [104] [105] Pitcher Derek Lowe and other players said that the team would no longer hear "1918!" at Yankee Stadium ever again. [45] [106] [107] Kevin Millar said to all Red Sox fans: "We wanted to do it so bad for the city of Boston. To win a World Series with this on our chests, it hasn't been done since 1918. So rip up those '1918!' posters right now." [46] [103] [107] Members of previous Red Sox teams who had fallen short immediately acclaimed the 2004 team, including Pesky – who had been the shortstop responsible for a fatal checking error that had allowed the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter to complete his "Mad Dash" to score the winning run in Game 7 at the old Sportsman's Park in 1946. Pesky watched the game from the visiting clubhouse and was immediately embraced by Millar, Wakefield, Schilling and others as a living representative of those previous teams as he joined the celebrations.

It also added to the recent success of Boston-area teams, following the Patriots wins in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. With the Patriots having won Super Bowl XXXVIII the previous February, the Red Sox winning the World Series marked the first time since 1979 that the same city had a Super Bowl and World Series winner in the same year – the last city to accomplish the feat had been Pittsburgh, when the Steelers and Pirates had won Super Bowl XIII and the World Series respectively. [2] The city would go on to record a decade of sports success from 2001 to 2011 with seven championships in the four major North American sports leagues (MLB, the NFL, the NBA and the NHL), including one in each league after the Patriots won two more Super Bowls, the Celtics won the 2008 NBA championship and the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011. Following the Bruins winning the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy ranked all seven championships and chose the Red Sox' 2004 World Series win as the greatest Boston sports championship during the ten-year span. [108]

Red Sox Manager Terry Francona became the third manager in four years to win a World Series in his first year as manager, following Bob Brenly of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks and Jack McKeon of the 2003 Florida Marlins. [64]

Massachusetts US Senator, Boston resident and future Secretary of State John Kerry, who had been named Democratic presidential nominee in Boston that summer, wore a Red Sox cap the day after the series ended. [109] He also said that the Red Sox had "[come] back against all odds and showed America what heart is". [109] His Republican opponent, incumbent President George W. Bush, [110] made a phone call from the White House to congratulate the team's owner John W. Henry, president Larry Lucchino and manager Terry Francona. [109] The team also visited Bush at the White House the following March, where he gave a speech honoring their presence, in which he asked "what took [them] so long?" [111] A future Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, at the time Massachusetts Governor, ceremonially helped remove the Reverse Curve road sign on Storrow Drive that had been famously spray-painted to read "Reverse the Curse" as a further marking of the end of the Curse. [112]

The day after the Red Sox win, the Boston Globe more than doubled its daily press run, from 500,000 to 1.2 million copies, with the headline, "YES. " right across the front page. [85] [113]

The Red Sox held their World Series victory parade on the following Saturday, October 30. The team was transported around on 17 duck boats equipped with loudspeakers so the players could talk to the spectators. Due to large interest in the parade, it was lengthened by officials the day before to include the Charles River, so that fans could watch from the Boston and Cambridge river banks. The parade did not however, include a staged rally. The parade began at 10 a.m. local time at Fenway Park, turned east onto Boylston Street, then west onto Tremont Street and Storrow Drive before entering the river. One of the lanes on Massachusetts Avenue had to be closed to accommodate members of the media filming the parade as it passed under the Harvard Bridge. [114] Ramírez was handed a sign by one of the spectators part of the way through the parade, which read, "Jeter is playing golf today. This is better!" [115] He held on to this sign for the rest of the parade, in a similar way to what Tug McGraw said after the Philadelphia Phillies won the 1980 World Series. [115] [116] [117] Over three million people were estimated to have attended the parade, making it the largest gathering ever in the city of Boston. [118]

The Red Sox were presented with their World Series rings on April 11, 2005, at a ceremony before the team's first home game of the 2005 season. Former Red Sox players Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, and Carl Yastrzemski were all present, as were the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra. During the ceremony, five red pennants were first unfurled at the top of the Green Monster, showing the years of each of the Red Sox' previous World Series wins. A much larger banner was unfurled that covered the entire wall and read "2004 World Series Champions". James Taylor, himself a Boston native and a Red Sox fan, performed "America the Beautiful", and 19 members of the United States Army and Marine Corps who had fought in the Iraq War walked onto the field. Moments of silence were held to honor the deaths of Pope John Paul II, who had died nine days earlier, and former Red Sox relief pitcher, Dick Radatz. The rings were handed out by the team's owner, John W. Henry. Former Red Sox players Lowe and Dave Roberts, who had joined the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres respectively during the off-season, were also present to collect their rings. [119] The ceremony, which lasted around an hour, ended with stars from other Boston sports teams, including the Celtics' Bill Russell, the Bruins' Bobby Orr and the Patriots' Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour, throwing ceremonial first pitches. [120] The presence of Bruschi and Seymour made evident the recent success of Boston-area teams. [2] The day after the Red Sox won the Series, Shaughnessy and the rest of the news media said of the Red Sox home opener: "The team in the third-base dugout? The New York Yankees, Sweet." [85] In a sign of respect, the Red Sox rivals came to the top step of the visitors dugout and gave the Red Sox a standing ovation. [121] The Fenway Park crowd burst into cheers when Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera was introduced, breaking from the tradition of fans booing opposing players, due to him having blown save opportunities in Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS. Rivera was a good sport about it and laughed while waving his arms in mock appreciation of the fans. [122]

Bill Simmons' entry in his Game 4 running diary at 8:42 PM Pacific Time, 1 minute after the final out [123]

The following August, Simon & Schuster published Faithful, a book which collected e-mails about the Red Sox between American writers and Red Sox fans Stephen King and Stewart O'Nan during the 2004 season. [124] In March 2005, Houghton Mifflin Company published Reversing the Curse, a book by Shaughnessy, author of the bestselling The Curse of the Bambino, chronicling the 2004 Red Sox season. ESPN's Bill Simmons published Now I Can Die In Peace, a collection of his columns with updated annotations and notes, including columns for each of the last four games of the ALCS and each World Series game – with Game 4 being a running diary. [125] The Farrelly Brothers altered the ending of their 2005 film Fever Pitch – which includes appearances by Damon, Nixon and Varitek – to coincide with the actual end of the series. They and their crew, plus stars Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, flew to St. Louis and Barrymore and Fallon attended Game 4 in character, complete with the two of them running onto the field at Busch Stadium and kissing once the final out was made. [126] [127]

On May 28, 2014, the team reunited at Fenway Park as the Red Sox celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the historic championship as they hosted the Atlanta Braves. Ramirez threw out the first pitch to Varitek but was cut off by Damon in a reversal of Ramirez once cutting off Damon's throw from center field during a game. [128]

Cardinals Edit

On the Cardinals' side, the media expressed disappointment at the team's failure to win a game in the Series after recording the team's best regular season in over 60 years. [104] [129] Many reporters believed that the Cardinals had not played up to their usual standard, and much of the blame was directed at Rolen, Edmonds and Reggie Sanders, three of the Cardinals' best hitters, who had combined for one hit in 39 at bats in the series. [104] [130] [131]

It also marked the last time that Busch Memorial Stadium would host a World Series. [132] The Cardinals moved to the new Busch Stadium in their championship season of 2006, [132] which was their first since 1982.

2005 season and beyond Edit

Both the Red Sox and Cardinals made the playoffs the following season. The Red Sox lost to the eventual champions the Chicago White Sox, in the American League Division Series. The Cardinals, in a repeat meeting of the previous season's National League Championship Series, lost to the Houston Astros. [133] However, the city of Boston would see more success when the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX, three months after the Red Sox won the World Series, giving the greater Boston area its third championship in 12 months, making it the first time since 1980 that any city had two Super Bowl winners and a World Series winner in a period of the same length. [2]

Both teams also won one of the next three World Series in successive years the Cardinals, as noted above, in 2006, beating the Detroit Tigers in five games, becoming the first team since the New York Yankees in 1923, to win a World Series championship in their first season in a new stadium (which the Yankees themselves would also do in 2009). [132] Tony La Russa would achieve the distinction that he could not achieve in 2004 of managing World Series winners in both leagues. [34] [35] He would continue to wear number 10 to pay tribute to Sparky Anderson afterwards. [35]

The Red Sox won the World Series the following year, sweeping the Colorado Rockies in four games. [49] Tom Werner, chairman of the Red Sox, and team president Larry Lucchino said that the 2004 championship was "for the parents and grandparents who had suffered through the Curse of the Bambino", while 2007 was "for children, grandchildren, and for Red Sox Nation". [134]

Both teams would meet again in the 2013 World Series, with the Red Sox winning the championship in six games. It was the first time Boston clinched the World Series at its home field, Fenway Park, since 1918. [135] Boston would win an additional title in 2018 when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 1.

Twelve years after this World Series, the Chicago Cubs would end their own championship drought at 108 years, defeating the Cleveland Indians in seven games. In doing this, Theo Epstein is now credited with helping to end two of the most famous curses in all of professional sports. [136] Coincidentally, the losing manager in that year's World Series was Terry Francona, who had managed the Red Sox to both the 2004 and 2007 championships. [137]

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21. 1962: Game 7 - New York Yankees 1, San Francisco Giants 0

One of the more competitive World Series over the years, the 1962 Fall Classic concluded in dramatic fashion with one of the most fundamentally sound Game 7s ever played. New York second baseman Bobby Richardson snared a Willie McCovey liner with runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the win and give the Yankees their second consecutive world championship.

World Series giving Fox more chances to thrive

NEW YORK (AP) -- An average of 14 million people watched the first four games of the World Series between Boston and St. Louis, but the best news for broadcaster Fox is that the Fall Classic is still going on. Only two World Series in the TV era had fewer viewers than this year's matchup so far: last year's series between San Francisco and Detroit and the 2008 series between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, Nielsen Co. said. That average is virtually certain to rise with a sixth game scheduled for Tuesday night and could increase significantly if the Cardinals win and force a seventh game. So far this century, three series have gone the full seven games - in 2001, 2002 and 2011. None of those final games reached fewer than the 25.4 million people who watched the conclusion of the St. Louis-Texas series two years ago, Nielsen said. Generally speaking, the longer and more competitive a World Series is, the greater the viewer interest. Both a sixth and seventh game this year would also air without competition from the National Football League, clearing the deck for more sports fans. The last matchup between the Red Sox and Cards in 2004 represented the most-watched World Series since 1995. The heavy interest in the 2004 matchup came despite the Red Sox sweeping the series in four games. With four Series games finishing among Nielsen's top 20 programs last week, Fox was the most-watched network in prime time, averaging 11.4 million viewers. CBS had 9.5 million viewers, NBC had 7.7 million, ABC had 6.8 million, Univision had 3.2 million, the CW had 1.7 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million and ION Television had 1.1 million. ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.9 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 2.1 million, Fox News Channel had 1.95 million, AMC had 1.91 million and TBS had 1.7 million. For the week of Oct. 21-27, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: ''NCIS,'' CBS, 18.99 million ''The Big Bang Theory,'' CBS, 16.99 million NFL Football: Green Bay at Minnesota, NBC, 16.89 million World Series Game 4: Boston at St. Louis, Fox, 15.98 million ''World Series Game 4 Pregame,'' Fox, 15.38 million ''The OT,'' Fox, 15.24 million ''NCIS: Los Angeles,'' CBS, 14.92 million World Series Game 1: St. Louis vs. Boston, Fox, 14.4 million ''The Voice'' (Monday), NBC, 13.69 million World Series Game 2: St. Louis vs. Boston, Fox, 13.43 million. --- ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. --- Online:

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Josh Taylor drops Jose Ramirez to win undisputed super lightweight title

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Motor racing-Hamilton talks tough with Mercedes after Monaco let-down

Lewis Hamilton was ready for "tough discussions" with Mercedes after Formula One's seven-time world champion qualified only seventh for the Monaco Grand Prix. The Briton, who has made his best start ever to a season but whose 14-point lead over Red Bull's Max Verstappen could disappear in Sunday's showcase race, made his frustration evident. Verstappen qualified on the front row and could yet start on pole position if Ferrari's Charles Leclerc needs a new gearbox after crashing.

Hamilton unhappy after poor qualifying effort at Monaco

Lewis Hamilton declined to publicly criticize Mercedes after a botched qualifying effort at the Monaco Grand Prix. Hamilton might have picked up a few spots on the starting grid but the seven-time Formula One champion was not able to finish his final qualifying lap because the session ended when pole-sitter Charles Leclerc crashed with 18 seconds remaining in Saturday's session. Hamilton felt Mercedes struggled with tires.

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UFC Fight Night 188 bonuses: Carla Esparza’s dominance leads to extra $50,000

Carla Esparza earned an extra $50,000 for the second time in her UFC career, this time with pure dominance.

UFC Vegas 27 results: Font heavily out strikes Garbrandt for unanimous decision victory

No. 3 ranked bantamweight Rob Font picked up a unanimous decision victory over no. 4 ranked contender Cody Garbrandt in the main event of UFC Vegas 27. Throughout the fight Font successfully utilized his decisive reach advantage and frequently landed punches with incredibly impressive jabs that led to well put together combinations that noticeably stung Garbrandt. Font landed a total of 180 significant strikes and threw a total amount of 358 significant strikes. With the victory, Font extends his winning streak to four, and this impressive and decisive striking clinic on Garbrandt can only guarantee a title eliminator with a contender at the top of the already outrageously stacked bantamweight division. UFC Vegas 27 results: Carla Esparza gets second round TKO victory over Yan Xiaonan in co-main event Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27 - Photo by Getty Images Carla Esparza extended her winning streak to five after she defeated Yan Xiaonan impressively by second round TKO in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 27. Esparza utilized her wrestling skill from the get-go, taking down Xiaonan and dominating her on the ground in the first round. Toward the end of the first, Esparza opened up Xiaonan in side saddle position with a nasty cut on Xiaonan’s head. The second round spelt the end for Xiaonan. Esparza got Xiaonan in the crucifix position and rained strikes in rapid succession until the fight was stopped. With the victory, Esparza inserted herself into title contention and possesses a legitimate case to be next up to face Rose Namajunas in a strawweight title rematch. UFC Vegas 27 results: Jared Vanderaa gets unanimous decision win against Justin Tafa in bloodbath Jared Vanderaa vs. Justin Tafa - Photo by Getty Images Jared Vanderaa secured the first UFC victory of his career as he defeated Justin Tafa by unanimous decision. The first round was all Vanderaa’s. The American was strategic with his gameplan in the first round as he wisely picked his shots and decisively oustruck Tafa and utilized heavy body kicks to take the first. The tides changed, however, as Tafa hit Vanderaa with some big shots and opened up a nasty cut on Vanderaa’s head despite the fact that Vanderaa still outstruck Tafa by 27 significant strikes in the second round. Vanderaa found his composure again in the third round, though, as he put together impressive combinations and landed the highest amount of significant strikes on Tafa in the third round out of the first two with 49. All in all, it was an entertaining slugfest between two upcoming heavyweights in a potential fight of the night contender. Vanderaa advanced to 11-5 with his victory over Tafa. UFC Vegas 27 results: Jack Hermansson gets unanimous decision victory over Edmen Shahbazyan in main card opener Jack Hermansson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan - Photo by Getty Images Jack Hermansson is back. The no. 7 ranked middleweight utilized his ground game to scoop a unanimous decision victory over no. 10 ranked contender Edmen Shahbazyan in the main card opener at UFC Vegas 27. It appeared Shahbazyan outstruck Hermansson in the first and one could argue he won that round. But after that, Hermansson exercised his superior ground game and utilized ground and pound to land vicious strikes throughout the latter rounds. While the second round was a little bit of a toss up, it would not be far fetched to say Hermansson won the last two, and he decisively won the third round. With this win, Hermansson is back in the win column after he lost to Marvin Vettori in December 2020. Shahbazyan on the other hand, drops to two losses in a row as he suffered a third-round TKO loss to Derek Brunson in August 2020. UFC Vegas 27 live results: Rob Font vs. Cody Garbrandt

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Leah McCourt turns tables with upkick, submits Janay Harding in wild Bellator 259 finish

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National League Central

Cincinnati Reds +2000

The NL Central was the most competitive division in baseball in 2020, with four of the five teams making the playoffs. The Reds got a monster Cy Young season out of Trevor Bauer, who struck out 100 batters and posted a 1.73 ERA with a 0.795 WHIP to lead the way for Cincinnati. But Bauer is a free agent now and the biggest pitching name on the market. What will Cincinnati look like if Bauer ends up elsewhere? Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo may not be ready to lead the top of a rotation, and the Reds lineup outperformed expectations in 2020. This team could take a real step back if Bauer leaves.

Chicago Cubs +2800

The Cubs are a strong candidate to take a major step back in 2020. Theo Epstein is gone now, and it looks like the core of the team could be gone before the first pitch is thrown in spring 2021. Kris Bryant is a very likely trade candidate, and longtime veteran first baseman Anthony Rizzo could leave, along with most of the pitching rotation. The Cubs look much more likely to move toward a rebuild at this point than to invest in improving the team. It’s still a very talented team, but this may not be the year to bet on Chicago grabbing another World Series win.

St. Louis Cardinals +3000

The Cardinals had a really difficult season, fighting through a midseason team Coronavirus outbreak, and were not even able to finish all 60 games. The lineup struggled to connect all season, and key hitters like Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter had disappointing seasons compared to the usual standards. But the Cards made the playoffs anyway, thanks largely to a terrific rotation led by Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, and Kwang Hyun Kim. Wainwright is a free agent, but if he returns and St. Louis gets Jack Flaherty back, too, the Cardinals could have serious value at this price.

Milwaukee Brewers +3000

The Brewers were the fourth playoff team out of the NL Central, sneaking in as the 8-seed despite a sub-.500 season. The Brewers should get more from their bats this season. Christian Yelich did not live up to his MVP form, with a meager .205 batting average, but he should bounce back, and the Brewers will expect the return of Lorenzo Cain after he did not play in 2020. Add in Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, along with closer Josh Hader in the bullpen, and the Brewers have a lot of pieces in place to have a big year as a sleeper. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals or Brewers defy MLB betting odds and make a run to the World Series.

Pittsburgh Pirates +15000

The Pirates are the “other” team in the NL Central. Pittsburgh fans can get excited about breakout third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, but the team is a long way from relevancy and playing in a loaded division. Pittsburgh has the longest World Series odds in baseball for good reason.

In a flash, Mike Napoli powers Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The "Hang Around Theory" was looming over the Texas Rangers like the angel of death Sunday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

For more than five innings in Game 4 of the 2011 World Series, the Rangers were intent on playing a vital supporting role to St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson's excellent portrayal of Houdini.

Here Jackson is, suspended upside down in a tank full of water, arms chained to his chest, facing a sure demise.

Here come the Rangers with a hammer to break the glass and set him free.

Here Jackson is, locked in a trunk and tossed into the deepest part of shark-infested Joe Poole Lake (OK, not that deep, thanks to a summer-long drought).

Mike Napoli ripped a Mitchell Boggs high fastball for a three-run home run. "I just got a pitch up that I could handle," he said. "You just have to try to get on top of it as much as you can." AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Here the Rangers paddle merrily up in scuba gear, toting an extra tank and lots of shark repellant, allowing Jackson to keep breathing.

That 1-0 lead the Rangers were nursing, even with Derek Holland pitching lights out for a change, appeared anything but safe. In fact, it seemed only a matter of time -- and Albert Pujols finally coming to the plate with a runner on base -- before the Cardinals would break through and the Rangers would dearly regret helping Jackson, who would walk seven, the most by a pitcher in a World Series since Florida's Livan Hernandez issued eight free passes in 1997, wiggle off the hook so many times.

Generally, when one team lets another hang around like the Rangers were allowing the Cardinals to do Sunday night, there's eventually hell to pay.

And then Mike Napoli finally said enough is enough and made Jackson and the Cardinals tote the note.

Houdini made one mistake too many.

It was Jackson's sixth and seventh walks of the game, to Nelson Cruz and David Murphy with one out in the sixth, that set the stage, but it was Napoli who delivered the crushing blow with a Pujols-like mammoth three-run home run deep into the left-field seats on reliever Mitchell Boggs' first pitch.

Now it's the Cardinals who must deal with the "Hang Around Theory," because it's the Rangers who insist on loitering in this World Series. Their 4-0 victory evened the Series at two games apiece and guaranteed a return to St. Louis for at least Game 6.

Perhaps equally important for the Rangers was the statement Sunday night's victory made on the heels of Saturday's 16-7 debacle in Game 3.

"We've done it all year," Napoli pointed out. "We know how to let it go. You can't harp on things and let it bother you."

Still, Sunday night's mesmerizing combined shutout between Holland and Neftali Feliz, who came on when Holland walked Rafael Furcal with one out in the ninth, was in stark contrast to Saturday night's bombing raid by Pujols and Company.

From 23 runs a night earlier, the Rangers and Cardinals found themselves locked in a 1-0 duel 24 hours later. The lone run had scored on Josh Hamilton's RBI double in the first, but the Rangers missed a golden opportunity to knock out Jackson early when they left the bases loaded.

In the second inning, Ian Kinsler led off with a single and then was picked off first by catcher Yadier Molina. Murphy and Napoli drew two-out walks in the fourth, but Mitch Moreland struck out. A leadoff walk by Kinsler in the fifth was wasted.

"We just gotta keep scrappin' away," Napoli said of the Rangers' frustration against Jackson. "He had good stuff. The guy's a good pitcher.

"When someone gets on base, they're not going to give in to you. Sometimes you get [a] little aggressive and want to get the job done so early, but you just gotta back it up sometimes and relax."

Or hit the first pitch you see from a guy fresh from the bullpen.

That's what Napoli did in the sixth after Cruz and Murphy, who had leapfrogged Napoli in the batting order because manager Ron Washington wanted to break up his left-handers (Murphy and Moreland), drew one-out walks.

Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa had seen enough.

"I thought for sure that Jackson had given us what he had," La Russa said. "[Boggs] gets a ball down in the zone and I thought, Double play waiting to happen. He made the first pitch and [Napoli] jumped it."

As quick as a striking rattlesnake.

"I was looking fastball," Napoli said. "I was trying to see it up. I didn't want to hit it into the ground. I just got a pitch up that I could handle. You just have to try to get on top of it as much as you can."

The pitch was almost in Napoli's eyes, but he tomahawked it to the very back of the lower section just inside the left-field foul pole.

You know baseball and its statistics. It tell us that Napoli hit 12 home runs off high fastballs this season, most in the majors this year.

"It's a good pitch to hit," he said. "It's better than a sinking fastball down you hit it in the ground."

If the Rangers were concerned that they were on the verge of becoming victims of the "Hang Around Theory," they didn't admit it.

"We don't really put pressure on ourselves because we know how productive we have the capability to be," Michael Young said. "We know we're always just one big at-bat away. We showed that tonight. We don't hit the panic button."

Here's how Murphy summed it up: "We've talked about resiliency a lot and if we don't get it done once, we'll come back and get it done the next time."

Indeed, they do seem to have that knack.

"It's nice if we do win and try to roll that over into the next one," Murphy said, "but we do a great job if we don't play well, if we lose, to forget about that game that night on the drive home and we wake up the next morning with a clean slate."

1967 World Series St. Louis Cardinals over Boston Red Sox (4-3)

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