The Boston Red Sox won their third World Series title in the last 10 years, and most of the headlines have centered on two words: “Big Papi.”
For the most part, that’s rightfully so. David Ortiz is scorching hot right now. He has 11 hits in 16 at-bats, which is good enough for a .688 batting average.
That’s not a typo. He literally hit .688 in this World Series.
He’s also blasted two home runs and driven in six runs. He could have even added to this output had Carlos Beltran not robbed his potential grand slam in Game 1.
For his efforts, Big Papi was named the series MVP. And while that honor was deserved, Boston would not be in this position had it not been for Jon Lester.
Lester has had the task of matching up twice against St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who is no stranger to postseason success. But both times, it’s been Lester who has shined.
He’s picked up wins in each of his starts, and he’s only given up one run total over 15 1/3 innings. That’s an 0.59 ERA on the biggest stage against a potent offensive lineup. Those numbers are ridiculous.
The one run was allowed in Game 5 on a home run to Matt Holliday. So basically, that’s been his only mistake over two starts.
“I expect a lot of high things from myself, as do my teammates,” Lester said after Game 5. “And I think the biggest thing is when you go out in a game like this or middle of the season, you don’t want to let those guys down. And we’re all trying to pull on the same rope and get to one common goal. And that’s what makes this team pretty special.”
While Lester has played as much a role in the Red Sox success as any one in the locker room, he was quick to tip his hat to Big Papi.
“I’ve said it before, this guy right here (Ortiz), I haven’t played with many superstars,” Lester said. “But this guy right here is the epitome of a superstar and a good teammate. And I don’t think you could ever ask for more out of an individual than what he does on and off the field. The guy’s got a heart of gold. And he goes out there every single night and competes. And it’s been the past eight years or however long I’ve gotten to share a locker room with him, has been unbelievable to see him do the things he does on the field. It’s pretty special.”
After the game, Ortiz recalled when Lester came up the big leagues at a time when the Red Sox were consistently going to the playoffs and winning a few World Series (2004 and 2007). Ortiz said Lester was always trying to improve, and that 2007 was a breakout year for the young lefty.
“As a player, he (Lester) told me straight up that he was going to be the future of the organization, the ace and there he is, doing what he does at this best,” Ortiz said.
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