Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Red Sox beat Cardinals to win World Series

BOSTON

Finishing behind the Red Sox in the American League East felt bad for the Rays. Getting eliminated by the Sox in the Division Series, and having to watch them celebrate at the Trop, was worse. • And now they have to live with this: The Red Sox are World Series champs. • "I don't really know how to sum it up besides it's time to cue up the Duck Boats," said Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, the former Ray. "Character and chemistry is where it starts, but in the end it's good ballplayers." • The Sox capped an interesting and intriguing Series somewhat uneventfully, beating the Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 on Wednesday to complete a stunning worst-to-first turnaround. • Closer Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter to end it and start the party, a massive celebration as the Fenway fans frolicked over the Sox's first championship at home since 1918. The celebrating was set to last into the night, if not for days, and the expected flaunting of the championship, the Sox's third in 10 years after going 86 without, will serve as a reminder for months.

"Winning this World Series is special," MVP David Ortiz said. "I think it might be the most special of all (three) World Series I've been a part of. … This is a team that we have a lot of players with heart."

What started as a tight Game 2 rematch of St. Louis rookie starter Michael Wacha and Sox veteran John Lackey quickly turned into a rout.

Shane Victorino, one of the seven key free agents brought in to resurrect the Sox after a dismal 2012, was the star of the night, with a pair of bases-loaded hits, and Lackey did his part, working impressively into the seventh.

Ortiz was the MVP of the Series, however, hitting .688 (11-for-16) and getting on base 18 of 24 times, leaving even his own teammates struggling for words.

"I'd probably rather let his bat do the talking, because it's pretty special," manager John Farrell said. "We're talking about a likely Hall of Fame player."

The Sox built their lead with three runs in the third, when Victorino doubled to clear the bases, then scored three more in the fourth, on a homer by Stephen Drew (who was 4-for-51 in the postseason to that point) and RBI singles by Mike Napoli and Victorino, who returned to the lineup after missing Games 4 and 5 with back tightness.

Down 6-0, the Cardinals had basically one chance to get back in the game, but three hits, a wild pitch and a walk netted only one run in the seventh as Junichi Tazawa came on with the bases loaded and got Allen Craig to ground out, and the countdown to the celebration was on, across the field and in the wet-and-wild clubhouse.

"When the fireworks went off at the presentation of the trophy out there, when the ballpark was filled with smoke, it was completely surreal," Farrell said. "To be in this position, given where we've come from, reflecting back a year ago at this time, there's been a lot that happened."

The Red Sox became only the second team to go from last place one year to World Series champs the next year, joining the 1991 Twins, winning 97 regular-season games and 11 more in the postseason. The Rays were a big part of that, as the Sox got 15 of those 108 wins against them.

A massive makeover of the roster, bringing in Victorino, Gomes and five other prominent free agents, and making several trades, including one to get Farrell from Toronto, keyed the turnaround that led to their eighth championship overall.

"Thankfully the guys that were here and the guys we brought in came together," general manager Ben Cherington said. "I don't think they thought they were a perfect team, they just were the best team."

The better results on the field, he said, were a product of having better guys in Sox uniforms.

"It's just a remarkable group of people in our clubhouse that truly put winning first and put each other first and had each other's backs," Cherington said.

There was also a reconnection with the fans, which became magnified as the Sox played a somewhat cathartic role in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, helping heal the community by taking many opportunities to acknowledge the survivors, responders and heroes of that day, and having the "Boston Strong" logo cut into the outfield grass.

"In a time of need, in response to a tragedy, I go back to our players understanding their place in this city. … They get it," Farrell said. "I'm sure everybody in our uniform, they'll look back at the events that took place and the way things unfolded as a special year. There's no way we can say it any other way."

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @TBTimes_Rays.

Comments
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

Rays-Orioles postponed, doubleheader planned for May 12

UPDATE, 6:06: The Rays will stay in rotation, so Faria will slide back a day and pitch Wednesday, vs. Cobb, and Archer will get an extra day's rest and pitch Thursday, against RHP Dylan Bundy.Also of note, Cash said 3B Matt Duffy (right hamstring str...
Updated: 7 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing Cobb, weather permitting

For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing Cobb, weather permitting

The Rays are set to get their first look at an old friend tonight, as Alex Cobb will be on the mound for the Orioles, weather permitting.Heavy rain is forecast for the Baltimore area, though Orioles officials seem confident there will be a window for...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Rays up next: at Orioles, 7:10 Tuesday

Tuesday:  at Orioles7:05, Camden Yards, BaltimoreTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish) Probable pitchersRays:  RH Jake Faria (1-1, 5.82)Orioles: RH Alex Cobb (0-2, 15.43)On Faria: Coming off quality start vs. Rangers, allowing ...
Published: 04/24/18
Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Rays prospect Adames hits for cycle

Willy Adames, the Rays top position player prospect, touched all the bases in hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Durham's Monday's win over Buffalo.Adames doubled in the first inning, singled in the fifth, tripled in the sixth and completed the rare f...
Published: 04/24/18
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Published: 04/23/18
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Published: 04/23/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomez’s walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Published: 04/23/18
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Published: 04/22/18