Tim Kurkjian likes to say that the best thing about baseball is that you’ll see something new every day.
In the case of this World Series, that’s been true with the final play of the past two games.
Game 3 featured the first game-ending obstruction call in postseason history. Game 4 had the first game-ending pickoff.
Another weird ending
Koji Uehara picked Kolten Wong off first base with Carlos Beltran representing the tying run at the plate to close the game. Uehara had only two pickoffs in his career entering the day. This was his first one since Aug. 6, 2011, when he picked off Asdrubal Cabrera of the Indians.
There had been one prior pickoff to preserve a lead with one out in the ninth inning -- Mike Marshall of the Dodgers nailed pinch runner Herb Washington of the Athletics in Game 2 of the 1974 World Series -- but never before had there been one with two outs.
The Cardinals had been on the right side of a baserunning blunder of a somewhat similar nature once before.
They threw Yankees slugger Babe Ruth out trying to steal second base with two outs in the ninth inning in a one-run game to end Game 7 of the 1926 World Series.
Turning point: Gomes homers
Jonny Gomes entered the day with the lowest career postseason batting average of any active player with at least 40 at-bats (.125).
But he made up for that with his three-run homer against Seth Maness that put the Red Sox ahead for good.
Gomes hit a sinking Maness fastball out, which isn’t easy to do. Only two players -- Rick Ankiel and Marlon Byrd -- homered against Maness’ fastball in 2013, with Byrd being the last to do so on June 12.
Ortiz carrying the load
David Ortiz went 3-for-3, making him 8-for-11 in the World Series.
Highest BA in First 40 Career AB
World Series History
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that he’s the second-fastest player to reach eight hits in a World Series. The only one faster was Billy Hatcher, who was 8-for-his-first-9 for the 1990 Reds.
Duffy Lewis last appeared in a World Series in 1916, but he still holds one prominent Red Sox World Series mark. Lewis had six career multihit games, the most in franchise history. But Ortiz now trails him by only one.
Ortiz is the third Red Sox first baseman with three hits in a World Series game. The others are Dick Hoblitzell (1915) and Carl Yastrzemski (1975).
Ortiz will have either the highest or second-highest batting average of any player through his first 40 World Series at-bats, as noted in the chart on the right. His next turn will be the 40th of his career.
Doubront, Tazawa and Lackey come through
The Red Sox got four very impressive innings from their middle relievers after Clay Buchholz got hooked prior to the fifth inning.
Tazawa recorded his fifth hold of this postseason, matching Mike Timlin’s 2003 single-season record for a Red Sox pitcher.
Tazawa has pitched in 13 games this postseason and entered 12 times in the middle of an inning. In 11 of those instances, he came in with at least one man on base. Game 4 marked the sixth time he came in with two men on base.
He’s now stranded 12 of the 15 baserunners he’s been handed this postseason.
Lackey made his first relief appearance since June 27, 2004, against the Dodgers. On Sunday, he escaped a runner-on-third, one-out jam for the first hold of his major or minor league career.