Big Papi and Red Sox one win away

Published On October 30, 2013 | By Justin McGrail

The Boston Red Sox are on the cusp of winning their third World Series in the last 10 years. They currently have a 3-2 series lead against the St. Louis Cardinals. This is the fourth meeting between these two teams, with St. Louis winning the first two matchups in 1946 & 1967 and Boston winning in 2004.

All five games of this series have been exciting and each has added something unique to the record books.

-Two hitters, David Ortiz of the Red Sox and Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, passed Babe Ruth in career post season home runs. Beltran sits at 9th all time with 16 homers. Ortiz hit two bombs so far this World Series and now sits tied with Jim Thome with 17 postseason jacks, good enough for 7th all time.

-Ortiz currently has a .733 batting average this World Series. That’s the second highest single-series average in history. He also has the highest OPS (On Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage) in World Series history (1.370). That’s better than Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson. OPS adds hits (H), walks (BB), and hit by pitches (HBP) and divides that total by the total of at bats (AB), (BB), sacrifice flies (SF) and HBP.  The equations look like this: H+BB+HBP/AB+BB+SF+HBP. Anything over 1.000 is really, really good. Ortiz also has 11 hits this World Series. That’s only two shy of the single-series record.

-Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday became the second player in the last eight seasons with six home runs longer that 420 with his solo shot off Jon Lester in game five. The other is former Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez.

-Game three ended in an obstruction call, which awarded the Cardinals the game-winning run. Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks got his legs entangled with Allen Craig of St. Louis after an overthrow from catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Craig was thrown out at home but umpires decided that Middlebrooks obstructed Craig and awarded him home plate. That was the first time in World Series history a game has ended with an obstruction call.

-Game four ended with Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara picking off Cardinals rookie Kolten Wong. Wong entered the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the ninth with St. Louis down 4-2. It was the first World Series game to end on a pickoff.

Red Sox starter Jon Lester joined Babe Ruth as the only two pitchers in Red Sox history with three World Series wins. Lester also became the fifth pitcher in MLB history to allow one run or fewer in at least his first three World Series starts, and the first since World War II ended in 1945. Additionally, his 16 and 1/3 scoreless innings streak was the third longest such streak in World Series history. Lester has a 0.43 ERA in 21 innings pitched, which is second all time in World Series history. Lester is the only active pitcher in the top 10 for career World Series ERA.

Closer Koji Uehara is continuing his remarkable regular season with an equally amazing postseason. He’s logged seven saves this posteason, tying him with four other closers. Of those seven saves, four of them were four or more outs. Only three other pitchers, Goose Gossage, Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon have recorded the same number of four out saves as Uehara. He could potentially surpass Rivera’s record for most strikeouts without giving up a walk. Rivera has the record with 14 and Uehara is sitting at 15 with the World Series still going on.

The 2013 World Series has been one for the ages. Each game has provided something unique for the history books and Boston hopes to add another entry to the record books with its first World Series clinching win at Fenway Park since Reversing the Curse.

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