The Boston Red Sox started the World Series on such a high that they looked ready to sweep. Yet on Oct. 28, the Red Sox were in danger of being left on the brink by the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5. However, the star of Game 1 stopped that by topping himself, as Jon Lester shut down the Cardinals for another 7 2/3 innings and put the Red Sox a win away from a World Series title.
The 3-1 victory wasn't as dominant as Lester's 8-1 triumph five days earlier. Matt Holliday even got a home run off of Lester in the fourth to tie the score, as opposed to waiting until the ninth to hit one in Game 1. This time around, Adam Wainwright was on his game as well to match Lester and the Red Sox, until the seventh inning.
Jonny Gomes was the unlikely hero who hit a three-run blast in Game 4 to help tie the series. In this case, David Ross made the difference in the seventh with a ground-rule RBI double. Jacoby Ellsbury added an insurance RBI, which was all Lester and Koji Uehara needed to hold the Cardinals down.
If David Ortiz didn't increase his World Series average to .733 with three more hits and an RBI, Lester would be Boston's clear cut MVP. The voters can officially make their choice as soon as Oct. 30, if the Red Sox win their first of two chances to end it all in Fenway. To stop them, the Cardinals have to send their own postseason MVP in Michael Wacha for Game 6, as he can force the Red Sox to use the much less reliable Jake Peavy for Game 7.
In that scenario, it will be debatable if Lester could go out one more time for relief on short rest, like Game 6 starter John Lackey did in Game 4. However, Lester has done enough for Boston in this World Series, and a good way to pay him back would be to make sure it doesn't need him anymore.
The Cardinals need more than that, now that they are down 3-2 for the second time in three years in the Fall Classic, and don't have home field to help them this time. Wacha saved them in Game 2 after Lester's first gem, but Game 6 has far more stressful circumstances ahead.