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Blood and Guts
TOM VERDUCCI
November 01, 2004
In their quest to KO the Cardinals--and the Curse--Curt Schilling and the Red Sox got off on the right foot
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November 01, 2004

Blood And Guts

In their quest to KO the Cardinals--and the Curse--Curt Schilling and the Red Sox got off on the right foot

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"He's a great pitcher," Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen said. "The fourth or fifth he really started struggling, but he got through that with good pitches and good location."

After six innings he was in too much pain from the hip to continue. That was enough, though, to make him the first pitcher to win World Series starts with three teams. (He had previously done so for the Philadelphia Phillies, in 1993, and Arizona, in 2001.) He improved his postseason record to 8--2 with a 2.06 ERA.

Afterward, his right ankle would not support him, and he had to use his left arm to brace himself against a locker in order to get his left leg into his pants. A motorized cart carried him to his postgame news conference, where he described it all as "Just the most amazing day of my life."

He hobbled out of the room when he was done and then--gingerly, grasping the railing and moving as slowly and stiffly as an elderly man might--descended a flight of stairs. Before he hopped back into the motorized cart, he said, "What happened out there was a blessing--like it was supposed to happen."

And how did he feel now that it was over? "Like I've been beat to s---," he said, and stiffly folded himself into the seat.

Three hundred years ago, long before Fenway or the curse or this cult called Red Sox Nation, the English poet John Philips, in a poem called Splendid Shilling, wrote, "Happy the man who void of cares and strife/in silken, or in leathern purse retains/a splendid shilling...."

Two wins from the first world championship in all but the longest of lifetimes, the Nation was happy. Schilling was splendid.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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