October painted Red by Sox

October painted Red by Sox

In four World Series games, the Red Sox wrapped up eight steady months, going wire to wire as arguably the Majors' best team. Remarkably, they played their best baseball in the playoffs, against baseball's other best teams.

Opposite the Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies, teams that collectively finished the regular season with a .576 winning percentage, the Red Sox went 11-3. In fact, Boston's .786 October was its most prolific month of the 2007 season.

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES
Game 1, Oct. 3
Red Sox 4, Angels 0
Josh Beckett offered Red Sox fans a tantalizing glimpse of what was to come, twirling Boston's first postseason shutout since Luis Tiant in the 1975 World Series.

Turning point: With Beckett cruising and Kevin Youkilis standing on second, David Ortiz added to Boston's 1-0 lead by yanking the ninth postseason home run of his career into the right-field bleachers at Fenway Park.

Quotable: "You couldn't ask for anything better than that. He was throwing his pitches for strikes -- his cutter ... His breaking ball was awesome throughout the game. He was perfect." -- Boston shortstop Julio Lugo, on Beckett

Game 2, Oct. 5
Red Sox 6, Angels 3
Rewarding 4 1/3 scoreless innings by the bullpen, Manny Ramirez sent a fastball from Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez deep into the night. Legend has it that his towering walk-off three-run homer landed at the foot of a dumpster on Lansdowne St., where it was retrieved by an employee of Gold's Gym.

Turning point: David Ortiz's fourth and final walk of the night was the second time Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia opted to issue a free pass and pitch to Ramirez instead.

Quotable: "It feels great. It's been a long time since I've done something special like that. I haven't been right all year. But I guess when you don't feel good and you still get hits, that's when you know you are a bad man." -- Ramirez

Game 3, Oct. 7
Red Sox 9, Angels 1
Curt Schilling threw seven shutout innings, pitching the Red Sox to a three-game sweep and their first American League Championship Series berth since 2004. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez provided some late-afternoon fireworks, belting back-to-back homers in the fourth inning.

Turning point: Boston's seven-run top of the eighth, which took any remaining drama out of the three-game series.

Quotable: "We'll be back Friday, New England," -- Red Sox owner John Henry

AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Game 1, Oct. 12
Red Sox 10, Indians 3
Boston's bats backed Josh Beckett by putting up eight well-earned runs against Cy Young candidate C.C. Sabathia. Together, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez reached base an incredible nine times in nine plate appearances.

Turning point: With a pair of walks book-ending a Ramirez single, reserve outfielder Bobby Kielty walked to the plate in the fifth with the bases loaded and no outs. He roped a single to right off Sabathia, opening up a 7-1 Red Sox lead.

Quotable: "I've never seen anything like it. They're unbelievable. They're aggressive, they're patient, they're picking their spots." -- Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, on Ortiz and Ramirez

Game 2, Oct. 13
Indians 13, Red Sox 6
Keyed by a Trot Nixon RBI single and a Franklin Gutierrez three-run homer, the Tribe scored seven runs in the top of the 11th, launching a powerful broadside against the Sox in knotting the series at one game apiece.

Turning point: Having used four relievers to get to the top of the 11th, Red Sox manager Terry Francona turned to Eric Gagne to preserve a tie game. The struggling right-hander allowed two of the first three batters to reach base, both of them eventually scoring against Javier Lopez.

Quotable: "We've got a war in front of us." -- Boston catcher Jason Varitek

Game 3, Oct. 15
Indians 4, Red Sox 2
Spurred on by a Kenny Lofton two-run blast, Cleveland kept up the pressure against Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Red Sox. Jake Westbrook held the formerly scalding Boston bats to two runs in 6 2/3 innings, earning the win.

Turning point: Lofton's second-inning home run against a Matsuzaka fastball, which barely cleared the glove of a leaping J.D. Drew.

Quotable: "We've been in worse situations than this." -- Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on the series deficit

Game 4, Oct. 16
Indians 7, Red Sox 3
Jhonny Peralta, who launched a three-run home run off reliever Manny Delcarmen, and Paul Byrd, who allowed two runs over five innings, drove Boston to the brink of elimination. Rafael Betancourt (two perfect innings) continued the Indians' mastery of the Red Sox bats.

Turning point: Cleveland's seven-run fifth, in which it knocked Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield from the game and built a lead that not even back-to-back-to-back home runs by Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez in the sixth could threaten.

Quotable: "Just keep playing until we can't, until they tell us to go home. We have to win. If we don't win, we go home." -- Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, on facing elimination

Game 5, Oct. 18
Red Sox 7, Indians 1
At Jacobs Field, Josh Beckett sparkled for eight innings of one-run ball, striking out 11 Indians and saving the Red Sox's season. The Boston ace allowed only three hits after the first inning.

Turning point: With Beckett only gaining strength as the game went on, Dustin Pedroia and a hot-hitting Kevin Youkilis turned back-to-back extra-base hits -- a Pedroia double and a Youkilis triple -- into two Red Sox runs, giving Boston a 4-1 lead.

Quotable: "He's the man. He's the man in the playoffs. That's why he's our No. 1 starter. We've got a lot of confidence in him." -- Manny Ramirez, on Beckett

Game 6, Oct. 20
Red Sox 12, Indians 2
With one second-inning swing off Fausto Carmona, J.D. Drew produced an enduring image of the 2007 postseason: a clutch grand slam. That was all the support that Curt Schilling (seven innings, two runs) would need to send the Red Sox to a Game 7 at Fenway Park.

Turning point: Drew's grand slam, which followed a pair of outs with the bases loaded and seemingly reversed a season of struggles for the veteran outfielder.

Quotable: "Yeah, it was a great feeling. More than anything, I was just trying to hit a ball hard up the middle, get a pitch out over the plate that I could handle." -- Drew, on his slam

Game 7, Oct. 21
Red Sox 11, Indians 2
With five RBIs from Dustin Pedroia -- two on a seventh-inning shot over the Green Monster -- Boston punched its ticket to the 2007 World Series. Josh Beckett was named ALCS MVP.

Turning point: A tense, 3-2 affair appeared to sour for Boston when Kenny Lofton reached second, the beneficiary of a Julio Lugo dropped popup. But as a Franklin Gutierrez single banked off the wall in shallow left, Cleveland third-base coach Joel Skinner held Lofton at third. The next batter, Casey Blake, grounded into a double play.

Quotable: "Once it went out, I was so excited and had so much adrenaline going on, I don't even remember running around the bases, to tell you the truth. I just got around there. It was the biggest at-bat of my life, and I'll never forget it." -- Pedroia, on his momentum-swinging home run

WORLD SERIES
Game 1, Oct. 24
Red Sox 13, Rockies 1
Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett and the Red Sox made quick work of Colorado starter Jeff Francis, eventually becoming the first team in history to score 10 or more runs in three straight postseason games.

Turning point: Pedroia's leadoff solo home run, which made him the first rookie in history, and only the second player, to lead off a World Series Game 1 with a home run. The Rockies never threatened in the opener.

Quotable: "For us, we definitely have a lot of momentum going. I think those last three games against the Indians, we were rolling on all cylinders. Guys were feeling a little more comfortable at the plate." -- Kevin Youkilis, on the Red Sox's bats

Game 2, Oct. 25
Red Sox 2, Rockies 1
Relievers Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon (3 2/3 scoreless innings, one hit) backed Curt Schilling (5 1/3 inning, one run), in perhaps Schilling's last start with the Red Sox.

Turning point: Mike Lowell's clutch RBI double in the fifth off Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez.

Quotable: "It was the Pap-ajima Show tonight. That was just phenomenal to watch." --Schilling, on the performance of Boston's late-inning relief

Game 3, Oct. 27
Red Sox 10, Rockies 5
Backed by seven hits from rookies Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia at Coors Field, the Red Sox came oh-so-close to their second World Series title in four years, withstanding a seventh-inning three-run blast by Matt Holliday.

Turning point: Back-to-back doubles by Ellsbury and Pedroia in the eighth, which restored a four-run Red Sox cushion after the Rockies had pulled within one.

Quotable: "We don't want to eat the cake first, before your birthday. We've got to wait and see what's going to happen." -- Manny Ramirez, on the Red Sox's 3-0 advantage

Game 4, Oct. 28
Red Sox 4, Rockies 3
David Ortiz singled home a run in the first inning as the Red Sox never trailed in a Series-clinching win. Jon Lester earned the victory with 5 2/3 solid innings.

Turning point: Bobby Kielty's pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning was an insurance run at the time, but ended up providing the winning margin.

Quotable: "We had momentum on our side. We came from a tough series with the Indians and we just carried it into this one." -- Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.