If you had Shane Victorino as the Boston Red Sox MVP in Game 6, then kudos to you.
Despite postseason experience and success in years past, Victorino had been struggling against the Detroit Tigers in the 2013 ALCS. In fact, heading into the seventh inning of Saturday night’s game Victorino was two for his last 23 at-bats with nine strikeouts. To say the “Flying-Hawaiian” was in a slump would be a vast understatement.
However, as we have seen so many times in baseball; the numbers didn’t really matter when No. 18 stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but just in case; Victorino smashed a grand slam off of Jose Veras to give Boston a 5-2 lead after trailing for most of the game and the Red Sox went onto the win the game and advance to MLB‘s World Series.
While Victorino deserves all of the credit for delivering the parting blow on Detroit’s jaw, there is plenty blame to go around the Tigers’ clubhouse. First and foremost, defensive wizard and former-Red Sox Jose Iglesias booted a ball that was most certainly an inning-ending double-play waiting to happen. Instead, Iglesias’ gaff gave the Red Sox another life and Victorino made sure the 23-year-old infielder’s mistake wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Also, Veras is one of the Tigers’ most consistent relievers, so he has to put Victorino away with two strikes — both Iglesias and Veras were both acquired mid-season by Detroit in trades.