This World Series has been nothing short of exciting. The past three games have been incredibly close, and the past two have ended in very odd ways. On the strength of a big home run from Jonny Gomes and a timely pickoff by Koji Uehara, the Red Sox won Sunday night’s game 4-2 to tie the series at 2-2. Here are five things you didn’t know about the game.
1. After Game 3 ended on a walk-off obstruction call – the first time that ever happened in the postseason – Game 4 ended on a the first-ever game-winning pickoff in World Series history. Koji Uehara picked off rookie Kolten Wong with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, taking the bat out of Carlos Beltran’s hands. Uehara had only recorded two pickoffs in his career prior to snagging Wong. The last one came on Aug. 6, 2011, when he threw out the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera.
If Wong needs some consolation, he needs to look no further than his own clubhouse. Teammate Matt Holliday was also once picked off at a crucial moment in a World Series game. Playing for the Rockies against the Red Sox in the 2007 Fall Classic, Holliday was on first base with two outs and Todd Helton at the plate in the eighth inning of Game 2. The Rockies were only down 2-1 and had a chance to get something going, but Jonathan Papelbon picked off Holliday to end the threat.
2. Jonny Gomes delivered the biggest play of the night when he a crushed a three-run homer in the sixth inning to give the Red Sox the lead. It might be an understatement to say Gomes was due, as he entered the game batting just .125 in his playoff career (five-for-40). Among players with at least 40 at-bats in the postseason, that was the worst batting average ever.
3. David Ortiz went 3-for-3 and is now batting an absurd .727 in the World Series (8-for-11) with five RBIs. And his stats would looking even more ridiculous if Carlos Beltran didn’t rob him of a grand slam in Game 1. Ortiz is the second-fastest player to 11 hits in the World Series, trumped only by the Reds’ Billy Hatcher, who accomplished the feat in only nine at-bats. Ortiz is one RBI behind Dwight Evans for the most ever by a Red Sox in World Series history (14) and his five multi-hit games in the Fall Classic trail only Duffy Lewis for the most in Red Sox history.
4. John Lackey came through in the eighth inning for the Red Sox, tossing a perfect inning out of the bullpen. Traditionally a starter, Lackey’s appearance marked his first out of the bullpen since June 27, 2004, when he pitched for the Angels. The first batter he faced that day was Dodgers catcher David Ross, who happened to be Lackey’s backstop on Sunday. Though Lackey has only come out of the bullpen once during the regular season, he has now done so three times in his playoff career.
5. Allen Craig recorded a base knock as a pinch-hitter on Sunday, doing so for the second consecutive game. In his World Series career, he is 4-for-4 as a pinch-hitter, giving him the most pinch hits in the history of the Fall Classic. Despite a foot injury that is still limiting his mobility, Craig has batted .444 (4-for-9) with a walk, a double and a run scored during this year’s World Series. If he is able to go deep at some point over the remainder of the series, he will tie Lou Brock and Albert Pujols for the most homers in Cardinals World Series history (4).