"There was something inside of me that said I wanna prove something," Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino said about his drive to succeed this season. He made that remark after hitting the game-winning grand slam in Saturday's ALCS Game 6.

Prior to Victorino's monstrous moon shot over the "Green Monster" in left field, he was just 2-23 at the plate in the series. The former Philadelphia Phillies standout made a huge impression on the Fenway faithful this year, and he certainly did prove his worth in grand fashion Saturday in front of a hometown crowd that erupted as they saw his epic home run soar over the famous left field wall.

Prior close calls by Dustin Pedroia and Johnny Gomes missed the home run mark by inches. In Pedroia's case, his left-field blast would be ruled a foul even after an umpire review. Gomes would slide safely into second after ringing a powerful line drive off the top of the Monster to open the 7th inning. He would later score on the Victorino grand slam.

"It's not about me," Victorino reminded that crowd in his first postgame interview. "It's about this team."

And what a team he found himself a part of.

The sense of pride they can all enjoy as they head to the World Series is the polar opposite of how former Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias has to be feeling after botching a potential double-play opportunity for his team just before Victorino's grand slam in the 7th inning. Iglesias was part of a multi-team trade in July that sent him to Detroit and brought Jake Peavy to the Red Sox just as Iglesias was starting to become a fixture in the Red Sox infield.

Saturday night, he looked utterly disgusted and disappointed in himself after a ball he had firmly in his glove trickled out before he could make the transfer to his throwing hand. The mistake left the bases loaded and gave Victorino the chance to be the hero.

The series was much like this year's whole Red Sox season, which was full of one-run games and late-stage comebacks.

David Ortiz hit his own grand slam in the 8th inning of game two with his team down 5-1 before he came to the plate. That epic game concluded with a walk-off single hit by Red SoxcCatcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Instead of being considered miraculous, this kind of magic is becoming more and more commonplace for the Red Sox in the playoffs. It took the same type of clutch pitching and hitting for the Sox to get to the 2004 World Series, winning the October Classic for the first time in 86 years.

Their opponent next Wednesday will be the same one they swept back in 2004 to end that long drought: the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox previously met the Cardinals in the 1946 World Series and the 1967 World Series, losing both in seven games.

Red Sox Closer Koji Uehara earned the ALCS MVP award Saturday night for his clutch strikeouts throughout the series. He shut down some of the most potent bats in baseball to make sure his team was able to win all the close shave contests in the series.

Both teams showed flashes of masterful pitching, and there were plenty of scoreless innings in the series. Game 6 was no exception, with the first run for either team coming in the bottom of the 5th inning when center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury hit a single and Xander Bogaerts scampered home from second base.

Detroit Pitcher Max Scherzer went 110 pitches deep and struck out eight batters Saturday night before being pulled from the game in the bottom of the 7th. Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz struck out four of his own batters and gave up just four hits in five solid innings pitched.

Buchholz struggled in the 6th, and he couldn't record an out. Reliever Franklin Morales came into the game only to load the bases with a walk and then give up a crucial hit that put the Tigers up 2-1. A defensive miracle led to a double-play that helped get the Sox out of their only major jam of the game.

The two teams that will be meeting Wednesday night are the first World Series competitors since 1999 who will face each other as owners of their respective league's best record. Both also spent time during the season with the best record in all of baseball.

A World Series win for the Red Sox would put an explanation point on an amazing turnaround for a team that ended last season in the American League East basement. They had the worst record in the division at the close of 2012, leading to the ouster of short-lived manager Bobby Valentine. It was the first time in 46 years the team suffered 90 losses or more.

Former Sox pitching coach John Farrell became the new head coach this season and quickly whipped the team into shape. Just to get him into the dugout, the Sox had to trade infielder Mike Aviles to the Toronto Blue Jays. Prior to inviting Farrell back to Boston, the team unloaded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers and freed up over $250 million in contract obligations.

All the rebuilding led to the ultimate transformation that now has this storied team heading to another World Series to try to secure an eighth world championship for the franchise.

Even if it takes a miracle, history indicates it's certainly possible for the Red Sox to pull it off.

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