"I came here to be a part of history," said Foulke, who was signed as a free agent after Boston let the 2003 AL Championship Series slip away to New York. "And we did it. Now they can take that curse and stick it where the sun don't shine."
Games 2, 3 and 4 took on a Gilligan's Island kind of look, marked by a formulaic predictability. The Red Sox would score in the first inning; their starting pitcher would clamp down on the Cardinals' hitters; and the bullpen, with Foulke at the end, would seal the deal. They looked like reruns of the same three-hour tour.
This time Johnny Damon provided the first-inning jolt when he ripped the fourth pitch of the game, from St. Louis starter Jason Marquis, into the Cardinals' bullpen. It was only the second time a Red Sox player had hit a World Series leadoff homer, the other occurring in 1903, in the first World Series ever played, when Patsy Dougherty started things with a bang.
Boston scored in the team's first at bat in each World Series game, joining the 1932 Cubs, whom the Yankees swept, as the only teams to do so.
"We kept waiting to get a lead ourselves, and it just never happened," Cardinals pitcher Woody Williams said. "We got outplayed and outpitched."
Boston improved its lead to 3-0 in the third on the second of three doubles by Nixon. Two runs scored on the hit. The Cardinals never seriously threatened the lead thereafter. Indeed, St. Louis never recovered from Suppan's Game 3 baserunning gaffe. Beginning with that play, Cardinals batters hit .100 the rest of the Series (5 for 50) and seemed in a rush to get matters over with. Only eight times in the final 57 plate appearances did St. Louis extend the count to three balls.
Taking the baton from Martinez, who had taken it from Schilling, Game 4 starter Lowe handcuffed once again what had been the National League's most potent offense. He breezed through seven innings, allowing just three hits and needing only 85 pitches. Schilling, Martinez and Lowe threw 20 innings without allowing an earned run while permitting just 10 hits.
On the last weekend of the regular season, Francona had told Lowe that he was being dropped from the rotation for the postseason.
"I'll give you a day to pout about it," Francona said he told him, "but we're going to need you."
Lowe came out of the bullpen to gain the victory in the Division Series--clinching win over Anaheim. But then the battle with New York in the ALCS so taxed the pitching staff that Francona used Lowe to start Game 4 and, on two days' rest, Game 7. The Red Sox won both games. Lowe was brilliant in Game 7, going six innings while allowing only one run. Lowe was Mr. Clinch, becoming the first pitcher to win the clinching game of three series in the same postseason. He held opposing batters to a .095 batting average in his last two starts (4 for 42).