The Boston Red Sox used to have one of the greatest droughts in World Series history. Yet the Red Sox technically haven’t lost a World Series game in 27 years, although they’re expected to lose at least one when they play the St. Louis Cardinals. But if Boston takes Game 1 on Oct. 23, it will extend their Fall Classic winning streak to nine games — and recent history suggests it will go up to 12 before the series is out.
The Red Sox weren’t expected to sweep the Cardinals in 2004, or the Colorado Rockies in 2007. Yet Boston not only swept their way to those two championships, it was barely challenged in any of those eight games. For a franchise that had been cursed in October since 1918, the modern day Red Sox have looked as dominant in the World Series as the New York Yankees of old.
It helped that the 2004 Red Sox were coming off their 3-0 ALCS comeback over the Yankees, and that the 2007 Red Sox came off a 3-1 rally over the Cleveland Indians. However, the 2013 Red Sox didn’t have to win their last three or four games of their ALCS. They did use grand slams to come back in Games 2 and 6 against the Detroit Tigers, but those rallies weren’t as improbable.
Since the ALCS was different for Boston this time, perhaps the World Series will go differently as well — either with a loss or with the need to actually play Games 5, 6 and 7. St. Louis looks formidable enough not to get blown out, but that’s how it and Colorado looked in 2004 and 2007 before the bottom fell out.
Here is a list of the eight straight World Series games Boston has won since 2004, without needing to break a sweat in most of them. Is this the year the Red Sox face real adversity in the Fall Classic again, or have they cursed the rest of baseball in late October now?
Game 1, 2004 World Series: Red Sox 11, Cardinals 9
The Red Sox came home from New York to immediately score four runs in the first, but the Cardinals worked their way to a 9-9 tie in the eighth. However, Mark Bellhorn put the Red Sox ahead for good with a two run homer in that inning- and they were never seriously threatened by the Cardinals again.
Game 2, 2004 World Series: Red Sox 6, Cardinals 2
Boston had another strong start with two first inning runs, but St. Louis didn’t have enough offense for another rally. Curt Schilling put on his last bloody performance in 2004 with six shutdown innings, in what turned out to be the last game the Red Sox played under the Curse in Fenway.
Game 3, 2004 World Series: Red Sox 4, Cardinals 1
The Red Sox only scored one first inning run on a Manny Ramirez homer, but it was pretty much all Pedro Martinez needed. His seven scoreless innings kept the Cardinals’ offensive drought going, leaving the Red Sox with a 3-0 lead in a series this time.
Game 4, 2004 World Series: Red Sox 3, Cardinals 0
Any fears of one more Red Sox collapse collapsed when Johnny Damon started Game 4 with a home run. Two more runs in the third put it away, until Edgar Renteria’s chopper to Keith Foulke mercifully ended the World Series and the Curse of the Bambino.
Another World Series blowout
Game 1, 2007 World Series: Red Sox 13, Rockies 1
History repeated itself to start the 2007 World Series, as the Red Sox exploded in the first inning, never trailed and embarrassed the formerly red hot Rockies. Three runs in the first and a 6-1 lead after four led to a seven-run fifth for good measure.
Schilling wins again
Game 2, 2007 World Series: Red Sox 2, Rockies 1
At long last, the Red Sox trailed in a World Series and gave up a first inning run. But after Curt Schilling yielded a 1-0 lead, he wasn’t touched again as Boston took the lead back anyway. It didn’t even need to blow Colorado out, due to shutout relief from Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon.
Game 3, 2007 World Series: Red Sox 10, Rockies 5
The Red Sox went back to slugging it out in the World Series, with help from the Coors Field altitude. But six third inning runs, including a two-run single from pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, helped as well. When the Rockies climbed back to within 6-5 after seven, doubles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia snuffed out their brief hope.
Game 4, 2007 World Series: Red Sox 4, Rockies 3
Another world championship was wrapped up in four games, with late solo home runs from Mike Lowell and Bobby Kielty holding the Rockies off. It was the Red Sox’s second title in four years, although it was the next-to-last playoff series they would win under Terry Francona.