Red Sox World Series run begins
It all seems like destiny now for the 2013 Red Sox. What hasn't this team got? They have the offense that led the league this season in runs, OBP, and slugging percentage, and second in batting average. Pedroia and Ortiz have done their thing per usual for the Sox, but it's everyone else doing their part that has the Fenway faithful believing. Mike Napoli was a late offseason addition that has been remarkable for Farrell, hitting 23 home runs with 92 RBI. Stephen Drew essentially came off the scraps and has had one of the best seasons of his career. In just his third season, Daniel Nava hit .303 with 12 HR and 66 RBI. Jacoby Ellsbury in a contract year was terrific, not only at the plate, but on the base paths. The impending free agent stole 52 bases and was caught just four times, and two of those were on pickoffs. How about Shane Victorino? This guy could be the x-factor on this Red Sox team. The right fielder has been huge for this team at the plate and in the field and a player that give opposing teams nightmares. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a great season not only at the plate, but him and David Ross behind the plate led a star-studded pitching staff. One of the biggest reasons for this team's success is the character in the clubhouse and that begins with Jonny Gomes. Besides coming up with a ton of clutch hits, Gomes is a guy that every winning team needs off the field to get a team going and that is exactly who he is and what he has done his entire career. There's a reason every team he's on finds their way into the playoffs.
That was just the offense. The pitching staff for the Red Sox has been off the charts and in October a deep rotation always wins. Jon Lester gets the ball Friday in game one against the Tampa Bay Rays and that is exactly who they want out there. Lester led the Red Sox to a title in 2007, their second since breaking the "Curse of the Bambino" in 2004. Lester will be followed by John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, and Jake Peavy. Their entire rotation all had stellar seasons and the addition of Peavy at the trade deadline is what put the Red Sox over the top. The one player that should be handed the MVP for this team is their 38-year-old closer Koji Uehera. Where did he come from? The season that Uehera put together seemed to come out of a fable. It still doesn't seem real how dominant the Japan native was. He had stretches this season where he didn't even allow baserunners. Uehera finished the 2013 season with a microscopic 1.09 ERA, 21 saves, and 101 strikeouts in 74.1 innings pitched. When the Red Sox entered late innings with a lead, it was a guarantee they were winning the game behind Uehera and setup man Junichi Tazawa.
Expect more of the same in October as this team has everything on and off the field. They have the bats, they have the pitching, and most importantly they have the leadership and chemistry. The bears are in full force and they aren't coming off anytime soon. It's all destiny for this Boston Red Sox team that never says die. The comebacks this team made were remarkable, and the rally that came against the Mariners on August 1st, where they trailed 6-1 and scored six runs in the 9th to win it was the game. That was the game where you couldn't see this team not winning a World Series. If you're a baseball fan, you have to love the way this team grinds and the character they have. No team wants to come to Boston in the coming weeks and don't expect anyone to come to Fenway and win. Playoff baseball is here and the Red Sox are on their way to a third World Series title in the last decade.