Boston – The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox in 6 games to win their first World Series since 1982. Using a combination of timely hitting and superb relief pitching, the Cards put away the Sox, prolonging the Red Sox world championship drought that dates back to 1918.

Reggie Sanders and Albert Pujols paved the way for the high-octane Cardinal offense, driving in 10 and 9 runs, respectively, to earn co-MVP honors. With the exception of slumping regular season MVP candidate Scott Rolen, the entire starting lineup produced during the 6-game World Series. Edgar Renteria, Jim Edmonds and Mike Matheny each chipped in with clutch hits throughout the Series while Tony Womack and Larry Walker continued to reach base early and often at the top of the Redbird’s lineup.

It wasn’t just the Cardinals’ hitting, though, that doomed the Red Sox. Matt Morris and Woody Williams each won both their starts with quality performances, while the Cardinal bullpen allowed just 2 earned runs in13 2/3 innings.

The ALCS apparently took a heavy toll on the Red Sox as their overworked pitching staff ran into serious trouble early in 4 of the 6 games. Although Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield deserve much of the credit for getting the Red Sox into the World Series for the first time since 1986, their poor pitching performances ultimately led to the Red Sox downfall in the World Series. Each pitcher lost both of their starts including Schilling’s poor performance in game 6 in which he allowed 3-run homers to Reggie Sanders and Edgar Renteria.

 

The Red Sox offense was essentially a one-man show, as David Ortiz continued his hot hitting with 4 homers and 7 RBI. The rest of the offense struggled however, combining for a .217 batting average. The Sox must have used up their entire clutch hitting against the Yankees because they failed miserably with runners in scoring position throughout the World Series. A key hit here or there could have dramatically altered the Sox fate. Instead, they have to wait until next year to truly end the curse.

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