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Boston clinch at home

by Matt Smith

The Red Sox Nation includes more than a few members on those shores and their Thursday morning breakfast must have tasted good, basking in their team’s World Series triumph secured just a few hours before.

It was not quite the Game Six that neutrals wanted. The Cardinals were unable to rally to take the series to the full seven games and we didn’t get a dramatic clinching effort by the Red Sox. Instead it was a fairly comfortable 6-1 victory for Boston to wrap up the series with a game to spare.

The jubilant scenes marked a complete turnaround from the team’s ugly late-season collapse of 2011 and the season-long misery that was 2012.

As the Red Sox stumbled to a 69-93 record, bottom of the AL East and ending the season on an eight-game losing streak, the great bond between the city and their baseball team had become strained.

This was not the Boston team that had made them so proud in recent years. The games on the field didn’t bring much joy and the games off the field, Bobby Valentine’s hiring and firing etc, were either infuriating, embarrassing or a combination of the two.

Things needed to change and they did, quickly and completely. The 2012 93-loss Red Sox became the team with the joint-best record in the Majors (97-65) in 2013.

The St. Louis Cardinals were the team they tied on 97 wins. Mike Matheny’s men had a tremendous season and will look back on 2013 with plenty to be proud of and with plenty of reason to be optimistic for 2014.  However, the offence just couldn’t get going against the Red Sox’s pitching and, considering the thunder coming from David Ortiz’s bat and the timely contributions from others, they couldn’t turn their NL Championship into a third World Series in eight years.

Instead, the Red Sox have transformed from being the team that couldn’t win a World Series to one that has captured three titles in their last nine seasons.

And with this one being the first one clinched at Fenway Park, it was a case of three time’s a charm in Boston.

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