Posted October 20, 2013

Watch: Shane Victorino’s grand slam sends Red Sox back to World Series

ALCS, Boston Red Sox, Shane Victorino, World Series

Shane Victorino is in his first year with the Boston Red Sox but he’s already earned a spot in the franchise’s long and glorious history thanks to his go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning of Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Victorino’s glorified pop fly over the Green Monster in leftfield turned a 2-1 deficit to the Tigers into a 5-2 Boston lead that the Red Sox closed out two innings later to advance to their third World Series in the past 10 years.

It also came one batter after Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, who has a well-deserved reputation for defensive wizardry that he burnished with several stellar plays in this series, booted what appeared to be a possible double play ball from Jacoby Ellsbury that would have ended the inning. Instead, Victorino hit Boston’s second slam of the ALCS. Much like David Ortiz’s GIF-friendly blast in the eighth inning of Game 2, it instantly became one of the most memorable ever hit at Fenway Park.

The win continued the worst-to-first turnaround season for the Red Sox, who lost 93 games a year ago but won 97 and the AL East this year before bouncing the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Division Series. Victorino, too, had a bounceback year at age 32: from a career-low .255 average last season with the Phillies and Dodgers to .294 with Boston in this, his first season after signing a three-year, $39 million deal in the offseason.

He wasn’t the only first-year player to make a big impact for the Sox in this series. Koji Uehara, who is making just $4.25 million this year, closed out Game 6 and won ALCS MVP honors. Mike Napoli, who signed an incentive-laden one year, $5 million deal, provided the only run of Game 3 with a solo homer. And Jonny Gomes started the game-winning rally in the seventh on Saturday by yanking a double off the Monster and Tigers starter Max Scherzer.

Just as in his Game 2 start, Scherzer pitched well enough to win but was done in by a bullpen that surrendered a grand slam. Ortiz’s in Game 2 turned the series around. Victorino’s in Game 6 clinched it.

5 comments
John NoLastName
John NoLastName

"Glorified pop fly"?

See, in baseball, if the ball goes over the fence, it's a home run. It doesn't matter how far it goes. 

Hank Aaron hit 755 of those "glorified pop flies" in his career. Bill Mazeroski hit a "glorified pop fly" to win the 1960 World Series. 

Reggie Jackson hit a "glorified pop fly" into the light tower in Detroit. Babe Ruth called his "glorified pop fly" in the 1932 World Series. Ted Williams hit a "glorified pop fly" in his last at-bat at Fenway. 

Lots of those "glorified pop flies" in baseball.

PritchBomb
PritchBomb

What's with the 'glorified pop fly' comment by Ted Keith ? That is some horrible, classless, writing. I'm not even a Sox fan and that just stinks of a sore loser's perspective on a great moment in a great series. Good for you, Shane. 

Shame on you Ted, for attempting to either cheapen the moment or insert yourself into the story.

EricCarney
EricCarney

maybe you can help me, where did i put my boat?


DanaBunner
DanaBunner

"Victorino’s glorified pop fly over the Green Monster"  Given where the ball was hit, that would have been a HR in nearly all major league parks.   No reason for the writer to cheapen the moment for Victorino.