BOSTON - The 2013 run of the Boston Red Sox is filled with a slew of iconic moments. From the Daniel Nava game after the Boston Marathon bombing to the previously mentioned game six of the ALCS and every game of the World Series. But while the Red Sox had nothing short of a storied run during this decade, there is one game that stands out above the rest, in my opinion. That would be the match at Fenway Park between the Detroit Tigers and the Red Sox during the 2013 ALCS.
Going into the series, it was hard to deny that the Tigers had a sizable advantage in terms of pitching. Yes, the Red Sox boasted Jon Lester, but the Tigers' rotation consisted of David Price, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Anibal Sanchez, and Justin Verlander. They had the reputation of being unhittable and, for the first major duration of the ALCS, that's exactly what they were. Boston was blanked by a score of 1-0 in the first game and they were scoreless through the first five innings of game two. Scherzer was dealing and the Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead. In the sixth inning, Dustin Pedroia doubled home Shane Victorino, but that's where the scoring stopped and Detroit maintained their 5-1 lead until the bottom of the eighth inning.
There, a moment transpired that not only made this game the best of the decade, but also likely served as the best play of the decade for the Red Sox. With Jose Veras on the mound in relief, Will Middlebrooks managed to rip a double with just one out in the count. Jacoby Ellsbury promptly made it to first base on a walk. After Victorino got out, Pedroia reached again with a single.
Who stepped up to the plate then? That would be the most clutch hitter in the history of baseball, David Ortiz. Big Papi had come through so many times before, but few hits were as clutch as this one as he ripped a Veras changeup on the first pitch deep to right field. Torii Hunter leapt for the ball over the bullpen fence and his legs formed a V shape in the air. Steve Horgan, the bullpen cop, threw his hands in the air in a similar fashion and fans waited with baited breath to see what Hunter had managed to do. Qucikly, it became clear that Ortiz had slapped a grand slam over the wall and the game was tied at 5-5!
Koji Uehara took over in the ninth and Jarrod Saltalamacchia eventually scored Jonny Gomes in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a miraculous walk-off win. The comeback was led by David Ortiz, as it always was.
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