Sox Rout Cardinals 8-1 In Game One
Thursday, October 24, 2013
In 2004, the Boston Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to capture their first World Series title in 86 years. After watching last night's 8-1 drubbing of the Cards at Fenway, some are wondering if it will be just as easy this time around.
The Red Sox used a combination of great pitching by Jon Lester (7.2 innings of shutout baseball), big hits (Mike Napoli's bases-clearing double in the first and David Ortiz's 2-run homer in the 7th) as well as some shoddy defense by the Cardinals to cruise to the easy victory.
The Sox even benefitted from a rare reversed call by the umpires which, as it turned out, was the correct call in the bottom of the first inning.
In the bottom of the first with runners on first and second, Ortiz hit what appeared to be a groundball taylor made for a double play. Instead, Cardinals' ss Pete Kozma dropped the flip from second baseman Matt Carpenter. Initially, second base umpire Dana DeMuth called the runner out at sexcond saying that Kozma had simply dropped the ball while transferring it from his glove to his hand. Replay clearly showed that this was not the case and that Kozma never actually secured the ball bringing Sox' skipper John Farrell charging out of the dugout. The umpiring crew got together and overturned the call drawing the ire of Cards' skipper Mike Matheny but Boston had loaded the bases.
The next batter was the streaking Mike Napoli who cleared the bases with a gap-shot double to left-center making it 3-0 Boston.
In the second inning, Boston would load the bases again off of Cards' starter Adam Wainwright bringing Ortiz up to the plate again. Big Papi got a hold of one which appearred to be heading into the Boston bullpen were it not for a nice reaching grab by St. Louis rightfielder Carlos Beltran. That catch meant that Ortiz's long blast would only plate one on a sac fly, but Beltran had to leave the game with an injured rib cage which x-rays proved negative after the game.
But, the rout was on.
Lester was not to be scored upon on this night and, just for good measure, Ortiz blasted a 2-run shot to right-center in the bottom of the 7th to extend Boston's lead to 7-0.
St. Louis scored it's only run in the top of the 9th when Matt Holiday homered off of Ryan Depster.
Tonight, John Lackey takes the mound for Boston in game 2 at Fenway (8:07pm first pitch). He will face cardinals' rookie sensation Michael Wacha who was named the NLCS MVP.
-Mary J. Blige sang the national anthem prior to game 1 much to the consternation of some Red Sox fans. Blige is a self-admitted Yankees fan. Tonight, Red Sox fan James Taylor will sing the anthem before game 2 and will also sing "America the Beautiful" during the seventh inning stretch with some special guests accompanying him on the field. While no one will say who those special guests will be, speculation is that it may be victims of the Boston Marathon bombing which would certainly make for an emotional rendition of the song in Boston.
-Boston starting pitcher Clay Buchholz is being pushed back to start game 4 of the series Sunday night in St. Louis. Buchholz is apparently experiencing "fatigue" in his pitching shoulder which is requiring extra rest and anti-imflammatories. As a result, Jake Peavy will be moved up to start game 3 for Boston Saturday night in St. Louis.