Boston • John Farrell walked out to the mound, with two on and two out in the seventh inning of a five-run game. The Red Sox manager does not make that trip except to pull his pitcher.
But before he reached the mound, John Lackey was making his case, and quite forcefully: "John, this is my guy."
Farrell went back to the dugout without his pitcher. After a wild pitch and much talk about Grady Little, who notoriously and disastrously left Pedro Martinez in too long in the 2003 AL championship series against the New York Yankees, Lackey walked Matt Holliday to load the bases.
Junichi Tazawa finished the inning, and Lackey's win was secure.
"I wanted to stay in there. I wanted to get that last out in the inning," Lackey said. "But the bullpen guys shut it down. It was a great team win for a great team."
Lackey allowed one run in 62â3 innings to help the Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 of the World Series on Wednesday night and clinch their third championship in 10 years.
Lackey, who also won Game 7 of the 2002 for the Anaheim Angels, is the 11th pitcher in baseball history to win two World Series clinchers, and the third to do it with two different teams.
According to STATS, Lackey joins Jimmy Key (with Toronto in 1992 and the Yankees in '96) and Catfish Hunter (with Oakland in '72 and the Yankees in '78).
'If it stays fair'
Carlton Fisk has been waiting almost 40 years for his chance.
The Hall of Fame catcher, who famously waved his fly ball fair for the winning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, threw out a ceremonial first pitch before this year's sixth game. The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the Series into Wednesday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"They've lost two and this is the sixth game, so they can win tonight," Fisk told reporters before donning a fake beard to make his first pitch. "That would be great."
The 62-year-old Fisk batted .269 with 376 regular-season homers in a 22-year career with the Red Sox and White Sox.