2013 MLB Playoffs: World Series Preview
After months of anticipation, a grueling 162 game schedule, and a thrilling postseason, we have two of baseballs best ready to square off in a heavy weight bout inside stoic, Fenway Park on Wednesday, Oct. 23rd.
Let’s take a look at this Fall Classic:
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox:
In a rematch of the 2004 World Series, we find the National League pennant winning Cardinals pinned up against the American League pennant winning Boston Red Sox. This is also the first time since the 1999 season that we have the two teams that led their respective leagues in wins.
The St. Louis Cardinals got into the World Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games. Michael Wacha, the National League Championship Series MVP, was sensational, he won both of the games that he started and didn’t allow a run in either start. Along with Wacha the Cardinals will rely on Adam Wainwright to continue his tremendous postseason.
The x-factor for the Cardinals may be the return of Allen Craig to their already talented lineup. Craig was batting .321 before he got hurt and was batting an astounding .455 with runners in scoring position. With Craig back, it will give much needed protection for Matt Holliday in their lineup.
After defeating the Detroit Tigers in six games, in what many are calling one of the greatest League Championship Series of all time, the Boston Red Sox are into the World Series for the first time since 2007.
Behind late game heroics and a group of gritty and resilient players, the Red Sox scratched and clawed their way into the World Series. For eight innings in Game two of the series, the Red Sox were baffled by Tigers righty Max Schrezer. After trailing 5-1 heading into the eighth inning the Red Sox were going to need some magic to avoid going down 2-0 in the series. Magic they received, David Ortiz, one of the most clutch postseason players in recent history, launched a ball over the outstretched arm of Torri Hunter for a game tying grand slam. The late game heroics continued into Game six when, after trailing by a score of 2-1 in the seventh inning, the Red Sox launched another grand slam, this time off of the bat of Shane Victorino.
The Red Sox offense is explosive to say the least, they have the ability to score runs in the blink of an eye. Mike Napoli, a catalyst for this offense, seemingly, found his stroke in the ALCS, blasting two home runs. Along with Napoli, the Red Sox will have to once again lean on their ageless wonder, David Ortiz.
With the whole city of Boston behind them, and maybe just a little luck, this Red Sox team has been one of the most beloved teams in baseball this year, and it is only fitting that a city, that has been through so much, get a chance to see their Red Sox play for the World Championship.
The stage is set, two of baseballs goliaths are set to meet in what should be a Fall Classic for the ages. The players are ready; the cities are ready; are you ready?