ON THIS DATE (October 21, 2007) ...
There are no shortcuts, this path to the World Series, and no
shortage of suspense. The Sox won their 12th American League pennant
by beating the Cleveland Indians by the deceptive score of 11-2,
before a crowd of 37,165 in Fenway Park, the first since 1986 with
the chance to celebrate a championship at home. The Sox won the last
three games by the combined score of 30-5, becoming the 12th team in
big league history to rebound from a 3-games-to-1 deficit to win a
best-of-seven (or best-of-nine) series.
The Sox had not trailed since the end of Game 4, outscoring the Indians, 19-3, in winning Games 5 and 6, and
tonight they wasted little time seizing the advantage again.
Fifteen of the first 21 Sox batters reached safely
tonight, it was six of the first eight, as the Sox added another run in the second. Jason Varitek lined an opposite-field double off the Monster to open the inning and
rookie Jacoby Ellsbury flared a base hit just beyond shortstop to put runners on the corners with no outs. Lugo grounded into double play No. 2, Varitek scoring. Pedroia flied out to end the inning. The Sox made it 3-0 in the third. Youkilis doubled down the left-field line and took
third when Ortiz rolled out to first. After an intentional walk to Ramirez, Youkilis scored on Lowell's sacrifice fly, his 11th RBI of the postseason.
The Sox led by only a run, 3-2, until scoring two runs in the seventh and six in the eighth. Daisuke Matsuzaka was the winner, going the first five innings and allowing both Cleveland runs. Fellow countryman Hideki Okajima picked him up with two
scoreless innings. Dustin Pedroia singled and scored the first run, hit a two-run home run that gave the Sox a 5-2 lead in the seventh, and hit a bases-loaded double in the eighth, scoring three more. Jonathan Papelbon entered with two on and two outs in the eighth and the game still in
the balance, and he applied the crusher, setting the side down in order. And Kevin Youkilis had three hits, including a climactic home run off the Coke bottles, to all but wrap up MVP honors.