10/21/2004 2:44 AM ET
Red Sox short hops
Defense, pitching, Big Papi and Damon come through
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- The Red Sox are going back to World Series for the first time since 1986, and regardless of what happens in the October classic, the club has already made its mark.
With Wednesday's 10-3 win, the Red Sox became the first team in the history of Major League Baseball to climb back from a 0-3 deficit in the postseason and win the series.
"First of all, it's a historic event," starter Derek Lowe said. "This has never happened before. You know, I really know they are going to appreciate it, and I know the city appreciates how hard this was, because this was the best team in baseball for a lot of years."
David Ortiz was named the ALCS Most Valuable Player after hitting .387 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Stats all, folks
A look at the key statistics from the ALCS.
Who was hot?
||when crunch time came, the pitchers delivered
||not rain or cold could slow Boston's hot bats
||Yankees pitching no match for run-scoring machine
||defense and pitching wins championships -- see 2004 ALCS
Who was not?
||.387 BA, 3 HR, 11 RBI
||Big Papi is big series MVP
||.379, 2 2B, 5 RBI
||a surprising offensive force in the series
||.171, 2 HR, 7 RBI
||saved grand finale for Game 7
Behind the numbers
||.207, 1 HR, 3 RBI
||great defense made up for slow offensive start
The Red Sox outscored the Yankees 25-13 during the last four games of the ALCS. Boston was outscored 32-16 in the first three games of the series.
In the second inning, No. 9 hitter Cabrera fell behind, 0-2, and was eventually hit by a pitch to load the bases. Damon followed with a grand slam on the first pitch to give the Red Sox a 6-0 lead and control of the momentum in the game. Damon homered again in the fourth and finished with six RBIs in the game.
Choosing Lowe over Tim Wakefield to start Game 7 was one of Terry Francona's finest to date. Lowe delivered in six innings, allowing only one hit and one run. He struck out three and walked one batter. Now that Wakefield is rested, he can be used in the World Series in the same fashion Francona used him in the ALCS -- whenever he is needed.
World Series bound
The Red Sox will have home-field advantage in the World Series and have captured the AL pennant 10 times in franchise history. The series win snaps a four-series losing streak in the ALCS with losses also in 1988, 1990, 1999 and 2003.
"I know a lot of people in Boston have been talking about this whole free agency thing and keep saying, 'Is this going to be your last game?' You know, luckily, it's not going to be."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.