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On Top of the World
TOM VERDUCCI
November 10, 2004
THE SOX CRUSHED THE CURSE AND THE CARDS TO WIN THEIR FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP IN 86 YEARS
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November 10, 2004

On Top Of The World

THE SOX CRUSHED THE CURSE AND THE CARDS TO WIN THEIR FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP IN 86 YEARS

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"A phenomenal performance," Schilling called it. "They had one shot at him, and they missed. And then he ran with that."

Said Martinez, "Once they didn't score in that inning, I said, 'It's up to me now.'"

Boston then gave Martinez breathing room. Consecutive two-out hits in the fourth, a double by Mueller and a single by Trot Nixon, put the Sox up 2-0. Ramirez and Mueller added RBI singles in the fifth for a 4-0 lead.

Buoyed by the lead, Martinez attacked the strike zone. He went to a three-ball count against only three of his final 18 batters.

"It helped that they had not seen him a lot," Cabrera said. "The Cardinals are a team that likes to see pitches and get ahead on the count, and then they can hurt you. He never allowed them to do that."

Martinez had waited his entire career for this start; he turned 33 the day before Game 3. The start pushed him to 244 innings for the season, a new career high. He was in uncharted land. He was a World Series winner.

GAME 4 at St. Louis

RED SOX 3, CARDINALS 0

At 10:40 p.m. CDT on Oct. 27 in St. Louis, with the sun, the earth and the moon hanging in perfect alignment, the Boston Red Sox became world champions. It was a cosmic turn of events: the first championship for a tortured franchise in 86 years was completed during the first lunar eclipse ever to occur during a World Series game. Good heavens.

Foulke took care of the last out, just five minutes before the 82-minute eclipse ended. He gloved a bouncer by Renteria and flipped to Doug Mientkiewicz at first base, completing a 3-0 Game 4 victory and a sweep of the Cardinals.

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