Congratulations to the 2013 World Series Champions – the Boston Red Sox. Apropos, I was in an Irish pub last night when the final out was recorded and then Sweet Caroline by Neal Diamond was heard throughout. Some final thoughts on the 2013 post season follow.
The Red Sox hit .211 in the Series, the lowest for a champion since the 1974 Athletics also hit .211. The Cardinals weren’t much better hitting .224 with a .572 OPS over 201 at-bats. Talk about a lack of hitting. If we remove each teams best performer – Big Papi and Allen Craig – the two teams hit a combined .190 (69 for 363).
The Red Sox clinched a Series at home for the first time since 1918 when Babe Ruth came in as a late inning defensive replacement in the outfield (he was still a pitcher at the time).
The Red Sox are the second team to go from last place one year to champions the next. The other was the 1991 Twins of Minnesota.
The Red Sox have eight championships, the fourth moth ever. Those ahead of them: Yankees (27), Cardinals (11) and Athletics (8). That’s right, if you add together teams 2-4 they’ve only won one more championship than the Yankees.
Stephen Drew was in a 4-for-50 tailspin in the playoffs, he looked every bit as bad as that sounds, before clubbing a homer off Wacha to help break the game open. You never know what you might seen when you watch a baseball game.
John Lackey is the only hurler to start and win a World Series deciding game for two clubs (the Sox and the Angels in 2002). He finished the post season with a 2.77 ERA over 26 innings in a remarkable turn around effort. What, you forgot that in 2012 he may have been the worst pitcher in baseball with a 6.41 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and .308 BAA over 160 innings?
David Ortiz won the MVP. His .760 OBP was the 2nd best in Series history behind the .800 mark of Billy Hatcher in 1990. He can thank his four walks in Game 6 for helping that number out and Big Papi reached base in 19 of his 25 plate appearances. Only Barry Bonds ever got on base more (21 out of 30 plate appearances in 2002). Ortiz also hit .353 with a .500 OBP and .706 SLG in the playoffs including a .688/.760/1.188 OPS in six Series games. Oh yeah, his .688 Series AVG was also second in series history to Hatcher who hit .750 in 1990.
Did Koji Uehara just complete the best season of relief pitching ever? Not hyperbole folks. Check out the numbers. During the regular season he had a 1.09 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.22 K/9 and 11.22 K/BB ratio (74.1 innings). In the post-season he was just as good: 0.66 ERA, 0.51 WHIP, 10.53 K/9, and he didn’t walk a single batter in 13.2 innings so we can’t even give an accurate K/BB ratio (he had 16 strikeouts). Add it all up and that 88 innings with an 11.96 K/9 mark, a 13.0 K/BB ratio, a 1.02 ERA and 0.56 WHIP. That’s just crazy talk but it’s all true.
Shane Victorino hit .216 with a .647 OPS in the playoffs yet he still drove in 12 runs in 14 games. I know. Somehow a guy who never has had more than 69 RBIs in a season has 42 RBIs in 60 post-season games.
Michael Wacha had produced a 1.00 ERA in four playoff victories before losing Game 6. He allowed six runs in 3.2 inning in the game after he had allowed, literally, half as many runs in his first four starts. It was a cold night, but the youngster was in the low 90′s with the heater after routinely hitting the mid to upper 90′s with it previously in the post-season.
Finally, don’t forget to have a happy Halloween. Here’s a link to the 10 movies that I think should be on your list of spooky flicks to watch on All Hallow’s Eve.
By Ray Flowers