The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox had pennant clinching wins on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19. Over the last 10 years, this has been nothing new for the Cardinals or Red Sox, despite their various ups and downs over the years. All told, St. Louis and Boston have seven combined pennants since 2004 -- the last time they played each other in the World Series.
The Red Sox’s 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Oct. 19 capped their third pennant in 10 years. In fact, it is their first pennant in recent years where they didn’t have to erase a 3-0 or 3-1 deficit. Of course, the Red Sox still had big comebacks with David Ortiz’s grand slam in Game 2, followed by Shane Victorino’s seventh-inning grand slam in Game 6 to erase a 2-1 Tigers lead.
The Cardinals haven’t had to make things so complicated in the last 10 years, which has helped them win four pennants since 2004. They should have had a fifth in 2012, if not for their late collapse to the San Francisco Giants. That and their horrendous sweep to Boston in 2004 has kept St. Louis from being the undisputed team of the decade.
The Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants each have two pennants since 2004. But with the Cardinals’ four and the Red Sox’s three, these two organizations stand alone in this era -- and the 2013 World Series may well be a tiebreaker between them.
Here is a list of the pennants that made these two franchises the gold standard of baseball in the last 10 seasons.