Design by Collin Oguro
The Boston Red Sox may be up 2-0 in the real World Series, but there's still a lot of baseball to be played. So far we've seen the Cardinals win a hard-fought series against the Houston Astros to take the National League crown, while the Red Sox pulled off the greatest comeback in baseball history, beating the New York Yankees after being down three games to none to win the American League pennant.
The series between the Cardinals and the Sox is full of legendary stars and intriguing matchups. Boston's pitching staff is perhaps the best in recent memory, with longtime ace Pedro Martinez joining future Hall of Famer Curt Schilling to form a devastating one-two combination. The other starters, Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield--no slouches themselves--fill out a rotation that has been giving American League teams fits throughout the regular season.
On the National League side, the St. Louis Cardinals are known primarily for their bats, namely the offensive power of MVP Baseball 2004 cover athlete Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. Rounding out the rest of the formidable lineup are catcher Mike Matheny, shortstop Edgar Renteria, and the venerable Larry Walker. The Cardinals' pitching staff, while not necessarily as intimidating as Boston's, features the starting talents of Woody Williams and Matt Morris, as well as talented closer Jason Isringhausen.
Being an impatient lot here at GameSpot Sports, we're as curious as everyone else about who will take the World Series trophy home. Can the Cardinals' powerful offensive lineup overwhelm Boston's ace pitching staff? Or will Boston finally end its decades-long championship drought and end "the curse" once and for all?
What better place to answer these questions than through baseball video games? After all, these are the games the pros play in their downtime. We simulated the Red Sox-Cardinals series on our two highest-rated console baseball games of 2004, EA Sports' MVP Baseball 2004 and Sega's ESPN Major League Baseball. As you will see in game-by-game recaps of each series, both came down to the wire, with gutsy performances by both teams. The final results, however, might surprise you. Read on for our full description of both series, starting with the MVP Baseball 2004 World Series.
MVP Baseball 2004
See it in Action!
Watch highlights from each game of our simulated World Series on MVP Baseball 2004.
St. Louis 2
The Red Sox won 3-2 in dramatic fashion in Game 1 of the MVP Baseball 2004 series with the bat of Manny Ramirez. After trailing the entire game, Boston rallied on a one-out Ramirez homer off Jason Isringhausen, giving the Red Sox a last-gasp win at home.
Series: Boston 1, St. Louis 0
Game 2St. Louis 9
A solid performance from Curt Schilling (10 strikeouts) wasn't enough in Game 2 of the MVP Baseball 2004 World Series, which saw the Cardinals prevailing in extra innings. St. Louis led most of the game until a rally in the bottom of the ninth loaded the bases for Boston. Center fielder Johnny Damon brought home the tying run with a single, sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the 14th, with two men on base, Scott Rolen hit his third and fourth RBI of the night to take back the lead for good. Closer Jason Isringhausen earned a win, while Boston's Keith Foulke was charged with the loss.
Series: Boston 1, St. Louis 1
Game 3Boston 8
St. Louis 4
Pedro Martinez got it done on both sides of the ball, pitching a near-complete game and giving up only four earned runs, while hitting a three-run double in the top of the second to help lead the Red Sox over the Cardinals 8-4. Most of Boston's eight runs were scored in the second inning, which started with consecutive singles by David Ortiz, Trot Nixon, and Jason Varitek. With the bases loaded, Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis walked Mark Bellhorn to give the Sox a one-run lead. It only got worse from there, as Boston racked up five more runs in the inning. A late-inning rally was held off by Boston closer Keith Foulke.
Series: Boston 2, St. Louis 1
Game 4Boston 4
St. Louis 3
The Red Sox took a commanding 3-1 lead in the MVP Baseball 2004 World Series, taking their second game in a row on the road against the Cardinals. Led by a dominating performance by starting pitcher Derek Lowe and strong defensive play, the Red Sox looked to close the series out early. Scoring the majority of their runs in the first inning off a couple of walks and RBIs from Mueller, Nixon, and Varitek, the Red Sox simply sat back and played solid defense the rest of the way. Down 4-2 in the ninth inning, the Cardinals started to rally with a Scott Rolen home run but were thwarted by closer Keith Foulke, who earned a save for his efforts. Starting pitcher Derek Lowe got the win, while Cardinals hurler Jeff Suppan took the loss.
Series: Boston 3, St. Louis 1
Game 5Boston 3
St. Louis 4
Same score, different result. The Cardinals avoided elimination by taking the final game of their home stand, 4-3, from the Sox. Led by the bats of Tony Womack and Scott Rolen, both of whom went 2-for-4 with one RBI, the Cardinals were able to hold off Boston's Tim Wakefield, who lasted seven full innings. Boston's Manny Ramirez did his best to help his team out, going 3-for-4 and hitting three doubles on the night, but it wasn't enough to hold off St. Louis. The series returned to Boston.
Series: Boston 3, St. Louis 2
Game 6St. Louis 4
If there were ever any doubts about St. Louis starting pitcher Matt Morris' heart, consider them answered. The Cardinals starter pitched a one-run complete game to tie the MVP World Series at three games apiece. The low-scoring affair was marked by solid defensive play by both teams, including a dramatic cutoff throw from Tony Womack that caught Boston's Manny Ramirez out as he was gunning for a triple in the ninth inning. Red Sox starter Curt Schilling was dealt the loss in a game that saw him throw five strikeouts and give up two home runs. Morris, who earned the win for St. Louis, threw nine strikeouts and gave up only one earned run.
Series: Boston 3, St. Louis 3
Game 7St. Louis 2
Boston's chance of winning a World Series ended not with a bang, but rather with a whimper, as they were unable to score a single run in Game 7 of the MVP Baseball 2004 World Series. Despite giving up only two earned runs, Pedro Martinez was not enough to stop St. Louis' dramatic come-from-behind win in the series. The Red Sox bats, which had put up eight runs in Game 3 of the series, were silent in Game 7, accounting for seven hits and no runs. Cardinals reliever Ray King was awarded the win.
Series: Boston 3, St. Louis 4 Winner: St. Louis Cardinals
ESPN Major League Baseball
See it in Action!
Watch highlights from each game of our simulated World Series on ESPN Major League Baseball.
St. Louis 6
The St. Louis Cardinals didn't find much to be intimidated by in the opening game of the ESPN Major League Baseball World Series--not the Boston fans, not the ghosts of Fenway Park, not even the Green Monster. The Cardinals took it to the Red Sox 6-3 in Boston to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The scoring began in the first inning, with back-to-back home runs from Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen. Third baseman Bill Mueller tied the game in the next inning with a three-run shot, only to watch his Red Sox lose the lead for good in the fourth with a Reggie Sanders single that brought Edgar Renteria home from third base.
Series: St. Louis 1, Boston 0
Game 2St. Louis 2
Determined to take at least one game at home, the Red Sox came roaring back in Game 2, winning 6-2 behind a solid performance from starter Curt Schilling. Trailing 1-0, David Ortiz hit a three-run home run that broke open the game for the Sox. Shortstop Pokey Reese turned in a solid offensive performance, going 2-for-3 on the day and driving in an insurance RBI in the fifth, one of three runs Boston scored in the inning.
Series: St. Louis 1, Boston 1
Game 3Boston 7
St. Louis 8
The Cardinals continued their tough play at home, narrowly beating the Red Sox in Game 3 by a score of 8-7. A late-inning home run by Cardinals right fielder Reggie Sanders was the deciding factor in a game that featured several changes of momentum. Boston ace Pedro Martinez was drilled early in the game, giving up back-to-back home runs to Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds, only to watch the Red Sox come back with back-to-back homers themselves in the next inning. St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen got the save for the Cardinals as St. Louis took a 2-1 lead in the series.
Series: St. Louis 2, Boston 1
Game 4Boston 7
St. Louis 9
A grand slam in the fifth inning by Edgar Renteria helped lift the Cardinals over Boston 9-7 in Game 4. Trailing 5-0 heading into the fifth inning, the Cardinals rallied big with RBIs from Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. Renteria's grand slam gave St. Louis their first lead of the game, and they never surrendered it. The winning pitcher, Cal Eldred, pitched two-and-a-third innings of relief for Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan. Jason Isringhausen earned another save in the Cardinals win. St. Louis took a commanding 3-1 lead heading into the fifth game.
Series: St. Louis 3, Boston 1
Game 5Boston 5
St. Louis 3
The Red Sox kept their World Series hopes alive with a clutch 5-3 win over St. Louis. Two home runs from Boston's Manny Ramirez accounted for four of the five Red Sox RBIs in the game. Jason Isringhausen picked up the loss, giving up a two-run home run to Johnny Damon in the top of the ninth to give the Sox the lead. The series returned to Boston with the Cardinals holding a suddenly slim 3-2 advantage.
Series: St. Louis 3, Boston 2
Game 6St. Louis 0
He didn't have the bleeding ankle this time, but Boston starter Curt Schilling still turned in a heroic performance, a four-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals to even the ESPN Major League Baseball World Series at three games apiece. David Ortiz hit a two-RBI triple in the second inning to put the Sox ahead for good. The rest was all pitching, as Schilling struck out five Cardinals in a masterful performance. Cardinals ace Matt Morris lost for the second time in the postseason. The Red Sox, with the momentum on their side, moved into the deciding game of the series.
Series: St. Louis 3, Boston 3
Game 7St. Louis 8
Red Sox fans had already been waiting 86 years for a World Series victory--12 more innings wouldn't matter. The Boston Red Sox won the ESPN Major League Baseball World Series in dramatic fashion when Bill Mueller's bloop single scored the winning RBI in the bottom of the 12th inning. Earlier in the game, outfielder Gabe Kapler hit a grand slam to give Boston the lead. He had a chance to repeat that feat in the eighth inning, coming up to bat with the bases loaded, but failed to do so. Kapler had 11 RBIs in the series to lead the Red Sox.
Series: St. Louis 3, Boston 4 Winner: Boston Red Sox
Thanks to ESPN Major League Baseball's handy playoff simulation feature, we were able to quickly simulate 10 additional World Series matchups between the two teams. As you can see, the results heavily favor the Sox.
Series 1 - Boston wins 4-2
Series 2 - Boston wins 4-2
Series 3 - Boston wins 4-3
Series 4 - Boston wins 4-1
Series 5 - Boston wins 4-2
Series 6 - Boston wins 4-1
Series 7 - Boston wins 4-1
Series 8 - Cardinals win 4-2
Series 9 - Cardinals win 4-3
Series 10 - Cardinals win 4-1
So there you have it. MVP Baseball 2004 has the Cardinals winning the series by the narrowest of margins, while ESPN Baseball says the Red Sox are the dominant team. How closely will these results play out in the real World Series? Only time will tell.