2004 World Series: Red Sox vs. Cardinals
After becoming the first team in MLB history to come back from being down 3-0 in a seven game series in the ALCS against the Yankees, the Red Sox squared off against the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. St. Louis had beaten the LA Dodgers and the Houston Astros en route to its first NL pennant since 1985, while the Red Sox won their first pennant since 1986.
In Game 1 at Fenway park, the Red Sox took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, later expanding it to a 7-2 lead after three innings. The Cardinals stormed back though, scoring three runs in the fourth and two in the sixth to tie the game at 7. The Sox took the lead back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but the Cardinals answered with two of their own in the top of the eighth. Mark Bellhorn became an unlikely Red Sox hero in the bottom of the inning, hitting a two-run home run off Pesky’s Pole to give the Sox a 11-9 lead. Keith Foulke would go on to shut the Cardinals down in the ninth to win Game 1.
In Game 2, the Sox took another early lead, but held on this time to win 6-2 thanks to a stong performance by Curt Schilling, who was essentially pitching on one leg after severely injuring his ankle in the ALCS.
The series moved to St. Louis for Game 3, and the Sox built a four-run lead by the fifth inning, eventually winning 4-1 to move one game away from winning the World Series. In Game 4, the Sox took a 3-0 lead after three innings and never looked back, with Derek Lowe, Bronson Arroyo, Alan Embree, and Keith Foulke shutting down the Cardinals to give the Red Sox their first World Series title in 86 years, ending the “Curse of the Bambino.”
With his .412 batting average, one home run, and four RBIs in the series, Manny Ramirez became the first Red Sox player to be named World Series MVP.