The Red Sox are one win away from taking the 2013 World Series, and as is becoming a trend in this Fall Classic, it seems as though we have a runaway candidate for the MVP from Game 5.
Let's get the big name out of the way first this time. For 6.2 innings last night, Jon Lester was as good as any pitcher has been in this pitching-first postseason (for 1.0, not so much). The fastball and cutter were going exactly where he wanted them to time and again, and he had enough control over his curveball to keep hitters completely off-balance.
There was one blip on the radar in the fourth, when Lester allowed three rockets--one of them leaving the park, the other two mercifully going for outs. This is the sort of thing that's been known to shake Lester in the past--that, and borderline calls not going his way--but last night he simply got back to work in the fifth and sixth, needing just 19 pitches to get through those frames.
Simply put, he won that pitchers' duel.
David Ortiz made an out last night. It was on a long fly ball to center field that would have gone for extra bases if he'd swung just a bit later and sent it slightly further to left field.
That's the exception, of course. A 3-for-4 night with a first-inning RBI double leaves Ortiz with 11 hits in 15 trips to the plate this World Series. Not to mention four walks. MVP of this game is one thing, but if the Red Sox win it all, it's hard to imagine a different MVP for the series.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia fell out of favor with a combination of awful at bats and an even worse throw to third that cost the Red Sox Game 3. David Ross has had no such issues so far. His RBI double is what put the Red Sox over the top, and his solid presence behind the plate can't have hurt Lester, especially when it came time to recover from that troublesome fourth inning. Best guess is he'll be starting in Game 6, too.