BOSTON (USA TODAY)- David Ortiz might have rewritten the definition of carrying a team in the Boston Red Sox's World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The designated hitter batted .688 as the Red Sox won in six games, finishing off the Cardinals with a 6-1 victory on Wednesday night in Game 6 at Fenway Park. The rest of the Red Sox hit .234.
NIGTHENGALE: Red Sox win World Series at Fenway
Big Papi outhit his teammates by .454.
It's a small sample size, to be sure. Still, it's awfully impressive. And it is why Ortiz was named the series' Most Valuable Player.
"I know I'm one of the forces for this ballclub and I like to take things personal," Ortiz said. "That has been that way my whole career, a challenge. I wasn't trying to be the guy but I know I've got to get something done to keep the line moving. Thank God, everything worked out well, and I didn't even have to do anything today, I guess, the rest of the team took over."
Ortiz went hitless in the clincher mainly because the Cardinals wouldn't pitch to him. He walked in four of his five plate appearances - twice intentionally - and struck out in the other one.
Overall, Ortiz was 11-for-16 in the series and had a .750 on-base percentage as he reached safely in 18 of his 24 plate appearances. He had two doubles, two home runs, six RBI and walked seven times, tying the World Series record set by Boston's Carlton Fisk in 1975.
"He's as hot as anyone you're going to see this time of year," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We tried to make tough pitches in tough situations, tried to pitch around him at times."
It didn't work as Ortiz punished the Cardinals' talented pitching staff.
"Let me tell you, I was hitting well, but it wasn't like I was hitting pitches right down the middle of the plate," Ortiz said. "They were trying their best to get me out. I was just putting good swings.
"That pitching staff, I feel sorry for the St. Louis Cardinals when they have to sign all of them at once. They're going to have to bring a lot of money to the table because you have a whole bunch of cats out there performing at that level on that stage, you're really dealing with an unbelievable pitching staff. I tell you what, man, those guys, they're legit."
The World Series title is Ortiz's third as he was also with the Red Sox when they won in 2004, ending an 86-year drought, and again in 2007. He said this was the sweetest of the three, particularly after the Red Sox finished last in the American League East last season with a 69-93 record.
"I would say because this is a team that has a lot of players with heart," Ortiz said. "We probably don't have the talent that we had in '07 and '04, but we have guys that are capable to stay focused and do the little things. When you win with a ballclub like that, that's special."