Hi again, Sports Fans everywhere! It's the Old-timer, Willie Paige, getting set to bring you Game 2 of the 2013 World Series. Last night's game was a typical Fall Classic tussle until the Boston Red Sox turned a 3-1 nailbiter into a 14-1 laugher with an 11-run 8th inning. Both starting pitchers pitched well; young RHP Lynn for St.Louis kept his team close enough for a comeback, but LHP Morales continued to ride the luck of the Irish that has been his best weapon against opposing Major League batters. The Cards hit into a couple of double plays, had a guy picked off and the Cardinals not hitting in the clutch as they only plated a run in the first inning. Meanwhile, a 3-run homer by Ellsbury in the 5th gave the Red Sox the 3-1 lead, and would lead to the exit of Lynn, who was relieved after 5 IP. Cardinal relievers held water until the bottom of the 8th, when the Red Sox bats exploded. When the dust cleared, Matheny had went through his bullpen like a callgirl goes through condoms, and the Home Nine had scored 11 runs. So, one of the storiies going into this games has to be the state of the Cardinal bullpen. Remember, they had to survive a 12-inning marathon at Dodger Stadium to get to the Big Dance, so could last night's 8th-inning debacle be a result of the bullpen's corporate fatigue? And what of Chris Carpenter? He lost his rotation spot during the playoffs because of his lack of stuff, then continued to show absolutely nothing when asked to mop up in that merciful 8th inning. Is this how we say goodbye to a former Cy Young award winner? Or better yet, is this the way the veteran pitcher wants to say goodbye to baseball? Stay tuned, as Game 2 is set to continue the saga of the 2013 World Series. Lineups and play-by-play coming next.
Game 2, 2013 World Series, St. Louis Cardinals 0-1 vs. Boston Red Sox 1-0 at Fenway Park, Friday 10-25-2013.
St. Louis Cardinals 0-1 Boston Red Sox 1-0
15 Furcal, SS .292 2 6 3 SB 2 Ellsbury, CF .339 4 10 4 sb
13 Carpenter, 2B .300 0 4 15 Pedroia, 2B .269 1 7
21 Craig, 1B .311 2 10 18 Victorino, RF .420 3 15 2 sb
3 Beltran, RF .283 2 11 1 sb 34 Ortiz, DH .340 3 15
7 Holliday, LF .400 1 6 12 Napoli, 1B .326 5 16
23 Freese, 3B .326 2 6 1 sb 16 Middlebrooks, 3B .313 5 10 1 sb
4 Molina, C .156 1 6 51 Rios, LF .311 1 5
19 Jay, CF .235 0 4 39 Saltalamacchia, C .267 0 6
38 Kozma, DH .333 0 1 7 Drew, SS .214 1 5
Pitching Comparison W-L ERA G GS QS IP H R ERSO BB HR
46 Oswalt 1-1 3.52 3 1 0 7.2 9 3 3 7 5 0
44 Peavy 0-0 2.45 4 1 1 11.0 7 3 3 8 4 1
Postseason Team Stats Comparison
St. Louis .276 avg .418 slg .333 obp .981 fld% (8 errors) 4.82 era
Boston .311 avg .545 slg .387 obp .991 fld% (4 errors) 4.67 era
Top of the 1st, RHP Peavy pitching (0-0, 2.45).
Furcal (.292) hits a popup to 1B Napoli. (P3)
Carpenter (.300) draws a walk (Peavy 0 K 1 BB)
Craig (.311) hits a pop fly to shallow right. RF Victorino calls of 2B Pedroia and makes the catch, Carpenter holds first.
Beltran (.283) swings and pulls a ground ball to the right side. 1B Napoli takes a step to his right, gloves it and makes the play himself to retired the side. Easy first inning for Peavy.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Cardinals 0, Red Sox coming to bat,
Bottom of the 1st, RHP Oswalt pitching (1-1, 3.52)
Ellsbury (.339) swings and hits a sharp groundball to the right side. Its through into right field, fielded by Beltran, who fires the ball into second, holding Ellsbury at first with a single.
Pedroia (.269) swings... and misses, strike three! (Oswalt 1 K 0 BB)
Victorino (.420) swings and smacks a ground ball...it gets by the dive of 1B Craig, who was holding Ellsbury on, for a base hit. And Ellsbury, despite having to skip rope to avoid getting hit with the batted ball, continues on to thire. So the Red Sox have first and third, with one out here in the bottom of inning 1st inning.
Ortiz (.340) is up, with runners on first and third. Hitting with runners on are his specialty. The crafty veteran RHP Oswalt know a little about pitching out of these situations. St. Louis acquired him early in the season when they had 2 promising young hurlers and the still young RHP Lynn go down with injuries right after camp broke. So, the Redbirds talked C.Carpenter out of his intentions to retire and acquired Oswalt to fill out the starting rotation. Both did well, though not at the ace-like level of performance we are accustomed to seeing from these men, but good enough to stay in the rotation all year and help their team to the postseason. Oswalt was 10-11 in the regular season, with and ERA in the mid 3.00s And C.Carpenter was much better than we have seen in this postseason. Oswalt now back on the mound, surveying the situation. He is ready now, stretches, rocks and fires...the pitch is way inside...and its off the elbow protector that Big Papi wears on his right elbow! He will be awarded first, to load the bases. Oswalt, in trying to jam the big slugger, came too far in. Bases loaded one out.
Napoli (.326) comes up with men at all checkpoints, one out. Oswalt, pitching from the stretch...eyes the runner on second, then does the same to the runner on third. Here comes the pitch...curveball...and Napoli was ready! He hits a bullet into left field for a base hit! Ellsbury scores. Victorino scores. Big Papi stops at second. A two-run single for Napoli! It looks like, on that partcular pitch, he was looking curveball, and he got it. Boston leads 2-0.
Middlebrooks (.313) is next, with runners at first and second, one out. Oswalt is now trying to limit the damage and not let these Red Sox start pounding away. When that happens, they are relentless. Oswalt delivers...offspeed...Middlebrooks swings and is way out in front and hits it off the end of his bat. Its a twisting grounder to 1B Craig, who comes in, turns and fires to SS Furcal at second. Furcal's relay to first, though is not in time, as Napoli did not lollygag out of the right-hand hitters batters box, and reaches first on a fielder's choice, Ortiz lumbering over to third. First and third, two out.
Rios (.311) comes up, loooking to perform some two-out magic. Oswalt trying to retire this hitter and get his team back into the dugout for their cuts. Perhaps Oswalt is overthinking at this point and Rios is not buying what he's selling, He draws a walk to again load the bases (Oswalt 1 K 1 BB). Rios, to his own credit has been seeing the ball well. That is his 9th walk of the postseason, with only 3 strikeouts. And thats the OBP way of baseball, fans. Get 'em on to get 'em in. So Rios' walks extends the inning. Base loaded, two out.
Saltalamacchia (.267) is up next, with bases loaded, two out. He is the eighth man to bat here in the bottom of the 1st inning. Salty swings and raps a ground ball past the pitcher's mound...Furcal dives... and can't come up with it! It's into centerfield! Ortiz scores from third. Middlebrooks is in from second. Rios stops at second. Saltalamacchia comes through with two outs, driving in two runs. Four runs now in for the Boston Red Sox in the 1st inning! They lead now 4-0. Oswalt is now visited by the Cardinals' pitching coach. Matheny is not thinking about taking him out now, as there is no one warming in the bullpen. He is hoping that he can send some sage advice to his veteran starter through his pitching coach that will help him retire the ninth place hitter.
Drew (.214), the ninth man in the order comes up as the Bosox have batted around in the very first inning. The pitch to Drew comes in high and tight...Drew ducks out of the way, but the ball hits his bat. The result is a harmless pop up that RHP Oswalt corrals himself. Drew is now glaring out at Oswalt, as if to say "What did I do? Oswalts just spikes the ball on the pitcher's mound and heads toward the visitor's dugout, the inning finally over.
4 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors 2 LOB. Red Sox 4 Cardinals 0.
Top of the 2nd, RHP Peavy pitching.
Holliday (.400) leads off for the Cards. He swings and misses at a Peavy slider for strike 3! (Peavy 1 K, 1 BB)
Freese (.326) hits a ground ball up the middle for a single.
Molina (.156) swings and hits a fly ball to deep centerfield...this is well over Ellsbury's head and hits halfway up the wall of the batting eye. Ellsbury plays the carom, as Freese scores all the way from first and Molina pulls into second with a standup, RB! double.
Jay (.235) now bats with a runner in scoring position, one out. He swings and pulls a high flyball to rightfield, but not deep. Victorino hauls it in for the second out, Molina holding second.
Kozma (.333), DH-ing for the Cards, then swings and hits a comebacker to the mound, Easy play for RHP Peavy. He throws to 1B Napoli to end the inning.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Red Sox 4, Cardinals 1
Bottom of the 2nd, RHP Oswalt pitching.
Ellsbury (1-1, R) leads off, as Cards Manager Metheny is sticking with his veteran starter, for now. But you can bet that RHP Oswalt has a short leash out there the moment he gets into any trouble. The Cards picked up a run in their half of the second, so they are only behind 3. They want to stay as close as possible, and for now, the Cardinals think their best bet to do that is with their starter and not their tired bullpen. Ellsbury falls behind in the count, 1-2. Now in protect mode, he reaches for an outside breaking ball and hits a chopper to 3B Freese, who comes in, scoops up the grounder and fires to 1B Craig, all in one motion, for the first out of the inning.
Pedroia (0-1, K) now awaits the delivery from RHP Oswalt. He, too, falls behind and goes fishing after an offspeed pitch that winds up in the dirt. It is caught by C Molina on one hop and he fires to first to complete the out, as a frustrated Pedroia carried his bat down toward first in a half-hearted attempt to reach first on the third strike. (Oswalt 2 K 1 BB). That might of been that spike or knucklecurve that RHP Oswalt was known for in the past, but doesn't throw as much today because of how taxing it is on the arm. But he will find his moments for it, and much to the chagrin of Pedroia, this was an appropriate time. Second K for Pedroia, two out in the bottom of the 2nd inning.
Victorino (1-1, R) is up next and takes some close pitches and works RHP Oswalt for a walk. (Oswalt 2 K, 2 BB). Boston has a runner of first with 2 out.
Ortiz (0-0,HBP) now stands in. RHP Oswalt is working Big Papi carefully,staying on the black of the plate, and the count goes full. Ortiz fouls off a couple of 3-2 pitches, then swings at one on the outer half of the plate. He connects an lifts a hight fly ball to leftfield. LF Holliday cruises over to his left...pounds the glove...takes a couple of steps toward the warning track in front of the Monster and makes the catch. Side retired.
0 runs, o hits, o errors, 1 LOB. Red Sox 4, Cardinals 1
Top of the 3rd, RHP Peavy pitching.
Furcal (0-1) the leadoff man in the Cards' batting order, leads off the 3rd inning. He swings and hits a ground ball that almost bounds over the head of a pulled-in !B Napoli. He leaps, spears the baseball, and beats Furcal to the first base bag for the first out of the inning.
Carpenter (0-0, BB) then slices a drive into left-centerfield. The ball one-hops the juncture that joins the Green Monster with the centerfield wall and comes to rest on the warning track. CF Ellsbury hurries to get it and fires it in to the cutoff man, 2B Pedroia, who runs the ball back into the infield as Carpenter pulls into second with a one-out double. One out, with a runner in scoring position.
Craig (0-1) stands in with a chance to drive in a run. Craig swings at a pitch that moves both down and away, a slider from RHP Peavy and misses it for strike three (Peavy 2 K, 1 BB).
Beltran (0-1), Mr. Clutch all season for the Cards come up with a runner on second and two out. Beltran led the NL in RBI during the regular season. He came into this game with a .283 postseason AVG, with a team-leading 11 RBI. RHP Peavy quickly jumps ahead of Beltran. With the count 1-2, he is probably thinking about going to his slider, which has served him well as his out pitch this evening. Here's the pitch....slider it is, but this one hangs over the middle of plate. Beltan times it and hits it hard, back up the middle. It's a frozen rope that is played on two hopes by CF Ellsbury, while Carpenter comes around to score, with no play on him. The throw comes into second, holding Beltran to a two-out, RBI single. The Cardinals have now cut Boston's lead to 4-2.
Up steps Holliday (0-1, K), with a rather frisky Beltran bouncing into his lead off of first base. The pitch comes in to Holliday... Beltran takes off for second...Holliday swings and misses....C Saltalamacchia's throw to second is not in time. Beltran steals his second base of the postseason to give the Cardinals another opportunity to drive in a runner with two out and in scoring position. Holliday is ready; he grips the bat a little tighter, as he would love to bring his team to within one run or perhaps, maybe even tie the old game. 2-2 pitch from RHP Peavy...swing and a miss for strike three! (Peavy 3 K, 1 BB). Holliday goes down on strikes for the second time and the side is retired.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Red Sox 4. Cardinals 2
Bottom of the 3rd, RHP Oswalt pitching.
Napoli (1-1, 2 RBI) leads off the bottom of the 3rd. RHP Oswalt does not try to fool Napoli, but goes after him with hard stuff. He is ahead in the count. The 1-2 is a cut fastball...Napoli swings....and misses for strike three! Oswalt 3 K, 2 BB) Great way to start off the inning, as it seems that RHP Oswalt has settled down after the four-run 1st.
Middlebrooks (0-1, R) comes up. He reached on a fielder's choice in that eventful 1st inning and later scored. He swings and hits it right back up the middle...RHP Oswalt spears it before it can get past him, to his left...the momentum from the drive leads him into an easy toss to 1B Craig for the second out of the bottom of the 3rd, just as easy as a stroll on Sunday morning!
Rios (0-0, W) now stands in. The pitch comes in from RHP Oswalt...Rios squares to bunt and takes off for first. He makes contact...and pops it up! RHP Oswalt comes off the mound and makes the easy catch of the weak pop up. You will never see an easier 1-2-3 inning than this one, all taken care of by the veteran RHP Oswalt!
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Red Sox 4, Cardinals 2
Top of the 4th, RHP Peavy pitching.
Freese (1-1, R) strolls to the plate to lead off for the Cardinals. The pitch is on its way;;;Freese swings at one in on his fists....the ball is popped into short centerfield for a jam-shot single. As CF Ellsbury gets the ball back into the infield, a smiling Freese is trying to shake the bees out of his hands, as he shares the humorous moment with his first base coach. It started out as cool night that is getting cooler as the game progresses, so you will feel a ball hit on the handle of the bat. Man on first, nobody out.
Molina (1-1, 2b. RBI), who is showing signs of snapping a slump that has plagued him all of this postseason is up. Freese leads off first...he does have a SB in the playoffs. Molina swings....and is another victim to RHP Peavy's sharp breaking slider. Molina strike out and walks back to the dugout shaking his head. (Peavy 4 K, 1 BB).
Jay (0-1) comes up with a runner on first, with one out.The left-handed swinger settles in. RHP Peavy fires a tailing sinker.,.Jay swings and goes with the pitch....and hits it right at SS Drew. SS Drew gloves it, flips to 2B Pedroia, who fires to 1B Napoli for an inning-ending double play!
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Red Sox 4, Cardinals 2.
Bottom of the 4th, RHP Oswalt pitching.
Saltalamacchia (1-1, 2 RB!) leads off for the Red Sox, who haven't scored a run since the 1st inning. Salty, swinging from the left side against RHP Oswalt, digs in. The pitch comes, a biting cutter...that doesn't stop biting until it hits Salty on his back thigh! That pitch acted as a flesh-seeking missle and it seems its mission would not be complete until it found a piece of Saltalamacchia. He is on first to lead of the bottom of the 4th.
Drew (0-1), another left-handed hitter, comes to the plate, but he looks like he's not going dig his back foot into the batter's too firm. He hasn't been hitting, so no one would be surprised if he was bunting in this situation. He's tries to bunt the first pitch...foul to the left side. RHP Oswalt comes in with the next pitch...squares...no, he pulls the bat back and takes a hack at the outside pitch... and misses it for strike two! 3B Freese, who was charging, might have been down for the eight-count had Drew connected with the pitch, and in turn, if the batted ball had connected with his coconut, but it's all academic, as Drew missed the pitch. Now he is down in the count, 0-2. RHP Oswalt stretches, gives a courtesy glance to Salty leading of first...the hesitation...the pitch...swung on and missed! Drew took a weak swing at a pitch, that again looked like a cutter boring in toward his fists. And you wonder how much effect seeing Saltalamacchia hit by pretty much the same pitch while he waited in the on dect circle had on his at-bat on this chilly, fall night. Anyway, that's the first out of the inning, man on first base.
Ellsbury (1-2, R) now steps in, the third consecutive lefthanded hitter coming up against RHP Oswalt. I mention that because it seems like the veteran has found his "get out spot" against the vaunted offensive machine that is the Red Sox, and it involves tying up the lefthanded hitters with a cutter/slider combination. It took him to be hit for 4 runs in the first inning, but he did make the adjustment and is still in there pitching, with his team only down by 2 runs, What a bonus to have an old head out there on the mound when a big game is on the line! Now Ellsbury is not buying what RHP Oswalt is seliing and has taken two inside pitches to turn the count to his favor, 2-1. RHP Oswalt takes a breather behind the mound, now strolls back up. He's ready, the 2-1....Ellsbury swings and there it goes! Deep to rightcenter field! Beltran is on the move...he's at the track...and makes a backhanded catch at the short bullpen fence! He fires the ball into the waiting glove of the cut-off man 2B Carpenter to keep the runner on first. Holy Hannah, when the ball left the bat, I thought Ellsbury had one! But the wind has been blowing from right to left, so it was not to be. Two out here in the bottom of the 4th, with a runner still at first base. Oh, boy!
Pedroia (0-2, 2 K) will try and change his luck and perform some two-out magic. RHP Oswalt still trying to gather his thoughts after that monumental scare a moment ago. Now he's ready. Pedroia now with a 1-1 count. RHP Oswalt fires a cutter, away from Pedroia. He's looking away and smacks a line drive...right into the glove of 1B Craig! A scoring chance goes by the boards as the Red Sox get the leadoff man on first and he stays ensconced there like ole Lady Liberty on Liberty Island!
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB, Red Sox 4 Cardinals 2
Top of the 5th, RHP Peavy pitching.
Kozma (0-1), the Cards DH and ninth place hitter, leads off the top of the 5th inning. That faint creaking sound you hear is the sound of Old Man Momentum slowly turning. Just a feeling. Now Kozma is ready for the delivery from RHP Peavy. He swings and hits a little pop on the right side of the infield. 1B Napoli comes charging hard...dives... and makes the catch! That little pop was trying to find a home, nestled between the triumvirate of RHP Peavy, 2B Pedroia and 1B Napoli, who winds up with the ball in his firstbaseman's mitt after a bellywhopper of a dive! Nice play by !B Napoli for the first out of the inning!
Furcal (0-2) now stands in. He has popped out and grounded out. He now finds himself in and 0-2 hole. RHP Peavy's pitch...strike three! Furcal is called out for excessive window shopping. (Peavy 5 K, 1 BB) (Thanks, Ernie!) Two out in the inning.
Carpenter (1-1, W, 2b, R) comes up with nobody on and two out. He works RHP Peavy to an even count, 2-2. Peavy, with the old-fashioned over-the-head windup, rocks into it and fires. Carpenter swings and pulls a laser into right field! RF Victorino charges hard to his right...he leaves his feet...and makes a remarkable catch! That saved at least a triple! So we have a 1-2-3 inning, but is was anything but routine. What a play by RF Victorino!
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Red Sox 4, Cardinals 2.
Bottom of the 5th, RHP Oswalt pitching.
And who's leading off? You guessed it. Victorino (1-1, W). As it so often happens in baseball, the guy that makes a great play to end one half of the inning winds up leading off the next half-inning. That, my friends, is baseball. Victorino runs the count full. RHP Oswalt now winds and comes to the plate...breaking ball...Victorins swings and misses as the ball hits the dirt and is scooped up by C Molina. Victorino takes off for first..C Molina steps into fair territory for a better throwing angle and guns a throw to 1B Craig to retire Victorino (.Oswalt 5 K, 2 BB). One down in the bottom of the 5th.
Ortiz (0-1, HBP, R) now walks slowly to the plate. The infield swings way around to the right to guard against the pull tendencies of Big Papi. 3B Freese is in the shortstop postion' SS Furcal is on the lip of the outfield grass, just to the right of the second base bag; and 2B Carpenter is in straighaway short right field. Ortiz digs in and waits, slowly waving his bat into a sway of its own rhythm. The pitch comes in from RHP Oswalt, and Big Papi swings...and hits a sharp grounder through the infield and into short right field. But the Cardinals have a man there as Ortiz hits right into the shift to 2B Carpenter. He throws to 1B Craig to retire Ortiz easily for out number two.
Napoli (1-2, 2 RBI, K) now digs in at the plate. RHP Oswalt seeking his second straight 1-2-3 inning. He jumps ahead of Napoli, who takes a couple of borderline pitches to run the count to 3-2. RHP Oswalt cranks it up and delivers to homeplate. Strike three, called! Napoli stood there like a house by the side of the road and watched it go by! (Oswalt 6 K, 2 BB). Side retired.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Red Sox 4 Cardinals 2.
Top of the 6th, RHP Peavy pitching.
Craig (0-2, K) leads off the top of the 6th inning for the Cardinals. He has popped out to right and struck out, swinging. RHP Peavy has retired the last five batters he has faced. He jumps ahead of Craig in the count, 1-2. In these spots, RHP Peavy has used his slider as an out pitch. Let's see what he's thinking here. The overhead windup, the pitch...swing and a miss, strike three! (Peavy 6 K, 1 BB) Craig might have also guessed he would use a slider or an offspeed pitch, but he guessed wrong, as he was way late going after a fastball. One out here in the 6th.
Beltran (1-2, RBI, SB) now comes to bat. The switch-hitter is swinging from the left side against RHP Peavy. RHP Peavy is ahead of him now, 0-1. The next pitch from RHP Peavy is an offspeed pitch, moving down and away...Beltran bends at the waist and slaps it...past 3B Middlebrooks and down the left field line, a fair ball! LF Rios hustles over and gets tthe ball back into the infield to hold Beltran to a single. The Cardinals have a little speed aboard with one out. Beltran has already stolen one base tonight.
Holliday (0-2, 2 K) has had it rough so far in this one. RHP Peavy has had his number, as he has struck out, swinging, both times up. Holliday, with a look of renewed determination, stares out at RHP Peavy as he digs in. The veteran RHP goes into his stretch...hesitates and delivers the first pitch...Holliday swings...AND THERE IT GOES! DEEP TO LEFT FIELD! LF RIOS WATCHES AS THIS ONE SAILS INTO THE SCREEN BEHIND THE MONSTER SEATS FOR A TWO-RUN HOME-RUN! GAME TIED 4-4! I guess it is "that other time, " as Holliday's previous at bats tonight against RHP Peavy were futile, to say the least. But here, in the top of the 6th, Holliday finally connects and hits a game-changer! RHP Peavy contemplates a new flight plan as he rubs up a new baseball. We have a tie game, one out in the 6th. That home run was the 2nd in the postseason for Holliday.
Freese (2-2, R) now ambles to the plate. He has taken RHP up the middle twice for singles, one grounded through the box, the other popped into shallow centerfield. RHP Peavy kicks the rubber as he falls behind Freese, 2-1. Here comes his next pitch...fastball, swung on...and Freese gets under it. It's a high fly ball to leftfield. LF Rios camps under it and has no problem with it. Two out, two runs in.
Molina (1-2, 2b, RBI, K) steps up in hopes of starting a two-out rally to continue the Cardinals' comeback. He has shown signs of coming out of his postseason slump, but is still hitting well below the feared "Mendoza Line." The count now on Molina is 2-2. He fouls off a pitch that richochets off the mask of C Saltalamacchia, so he will need a moment. The plate umpire obliges him by dusting off the plate and beckoning to the ballboy for a replenishment of fresh horsehide. Now we're ready. The pitch...breaking ball...Molina swings and misses and he strikes out for the second time today. (Peavy 7 K, 1 BB) RHP Peavy has pitched well, but his one big mistake has tied this game up. He walks off the mound, red-faced and cursing up a blue streak into his Spalding glove.
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB, Cardinals 4, Red Sox 4.
Bottom of the six, RHP Oswalt pitching.
You have to give the veteran RHP Oswalt a lot of credit. After he faces the entire Red Sox batting order in the 1st inning, allowing 4 runs, things looked very bleak, as there was nothing fluky about that rally. The Red Sox smacked the pill around the yard, and add to that a hit-batsman and a walk, it looked like RHP Oswalt would be taking an early shower. But Matheny really had no choice. His bullpen is shot. He needed his starter to get him some inninngs, and his vetean responded. He made the necessary adjustments and has simply shut the Red Sox down.
Middlebrooks (0-2, R) is set to lead off for the Red Sox, as they try to shake the spell of RHP Oswalt. Middlebrooks works the veteran into an even count, 2-2. RHP Oswalt does something you rarely see--he shakes off C Molina's sign. He must have something special in mind for Mr. Middlebrooks. Here comes the 2-2...breaking ball...swing and a miss, strike three! (Oswalt 7 K, 2 BB) Oswalt threw him that bedeviled knucklecurve ball and Middlebrooks missed it by a foot! One out, bottom of the 6th, 4-4 tie.
Rios (0-1, W) settles in. He doesn't take the bat off his shoulder as RHP Oswalt jumps ahead, 1-2. Here somes the 1-2...jammed him and he pops it up, right side. 1B Craig waves his arms as he comes toward the midde of the infield and makes the catch. Two quick outs here in the bottom of the 6th.
Saltalamacchia (1-1, 2 RBI, HBP) now stands in with plenty of vacancies on the bases and two out. Salty drove in those last two runs in the first, back when the Carmines thought they were well on there way to another rout. But not tonight. This has turned into a ballgame! Saltalamacchia is ahead in the count, as he has worked RHP Oswalt to 3-1. The vereran RHP now starts his windup, ball in glove face high and comes to the plate. Salty swings and THERE IT GOES! DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE! IF IT STAYS...FOUL BALL! THE BALL JUST SLICED FOUL IN WHAT SEEMED LIKE THE VERY LAST INSTANT! The flight of that ball was reminiscent of one hit by another Red Sox catcher, Carlton Fisk, that won that legendary Game 6 in the1975 World Series. But this did not stay fair! Maybe Salty should have applied a little body English as Fisk did then. The replay shows him watching, along with the rest of us, as he backs out of the lefthanded batter's box, up the first base line. When the leftfield line umpire and the thirdbase umpire both signalled simultaneously that the ball was fout, he stopped dead in his tracks and dropped to his knees, head in his hands. Holy Hannah! RHP Oswalt displays a calm demeanor, though you know inside he is thanking his lucky stars that he just didn't fall behind again in this contest. The 3-2 to Saltalamacchia...he swings and hits a ground ball, near the second base bag. SS Furcal glides over, gloves it and fires over to 1B Craig to easily beat Salty and retire the side, 1-2-3, believe it or not.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Cardinals 4, Red Sox 4.
Top of the 7th, LHP Breslow is now pitching in relief of RHP Peavy.
The Red Sox go to their bullpen, as LHP Breslow is on in relief of RHP Peavy, who pitched decently, but allowed the Cardinals to chip away at the early lead and tie it up in the 6th. RHP Peavy pitched 6 IP, striking out 7, walking 1, whilie allowing 4 earned runs. Now LHP Breslow is armed and ready.
Jay (0-2, GIDP) is the first man up for St. Louis. Its' a lefty-leftly confrontation. LHP Breslow gets ahead of Jay and comes in with a slider, seeking to put him away on an 0-2 pitch. Jay swings...and its' a worm-burner, up the middle, to the left of second base. SS Drew has it...and now doesn't have it! SS Drew just could not get low enough for that grounder, so the ball hits his glove and winds up resting in the dirt, between his spikes for what is sure to be ruled an error. It is; first error of this ballgame, and SS Drew's 2nd error of this postseason. Runner on first to lead off the top of the 7th inning.
Kozma (0-2), the Cardinal DH was retired on a remarkable catch by 1B Napoli on an infield pop up. Metheny lets the lefty-swinging Kozma bat against the slants of LHP Breslow, so you have to believe that a sacrifice attempt is in order here. Kozma, after fouling off the first bunt attempt, now squares LHP Breslow delivers the 0-1 pitch...a fastball, up...Kozma stabs at it, and pops it up, just to the left of C Saltalamacchia. Salty dives...and it's off of his catcher's mitt! The ball just did not have enough air under it to allow the Boston catcher to corral it securely, so instead of an out, it is strike two on Kozma. The next pitch...breaking ball, down and away,,,Kozma swings and misses for the first out of the 7th inning. (Breslow 1 K, O BB) One out, runner still at first.
Furcal (0-3, K), comes up, batting right-handed versus LHP Breslow. Like most switch-hitters who started out batting right-handed, Furcal shows a little more pop from the right side. Furcal awaits the 1-1 pitch from Breslow...low, 2-1. Furcal took a shoe-top breaking ball to go ahead in the count. Let's see what Breslow is thinking, as he shakes off the sign of C Saltalamacchia, which in turn, gives the Boston catcher reason to have a little tete-de-tete. It seems like LHP Breslow has one thing in mind and Salty has different plan of attack. Now they look like they are in somewhat of an agreement as C Saltalamacchia returns to his position, with the home plate umpire, who he met on his way to hurry the Boston battery along, all the while Furcal takes it all in very patiently. He looks at the Boston catcher with a slight grin, and if my lip-reading skills are accurate, asks, "Are we ready?" But don't take that to the bank. I am no one's expert lip-reader. But we are indeed ready for the 2-1 pitch from LHP Breslow. Here it come...AND THERE IT GOES! DEEP TO LEFT FIELD...RIOS IS BACK TO THE TRACK...AND WATCHES IT SAIL INTO THE MONSTER SEATs. A TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY FURCAL, HIS 3RD OF THIS POSTSEASON! And, as he rounds the bases, all you can hear is the few Cardinal fans who could squeeze into the ballpark and the Cardinal bench, along with a few crickets as the Fenway Park Faithfull have been hushed into a stunned silence! The Cardinals have come all the way back and now lead this ballgame, 6-4. Holy Hannah!
RHP Bard is now pitching, in relief of LHP Breslow. LHP Breslow's stint was short, but fatal. Now, RHP Bard is on to try and douse the flames after the barn has burned to the ground. One out here in the top of the 7th, 2 runs in. The Cardinals now lead 6-4.
Carpenter (1-2, W, 2b, R) now comes up to face the flame-throwing RHP Bard. He was robbed of extra base back in the 5th by a diving catch by RF Victorino. It's Powder River, as the lefty-swinging Carpenter falls behind RHP Bard, 1-2. Bard, pitching exclusively from the stretch, comes to the plate with the 1-2...swing and a miss, strike three! (Bard 1 K, 0 BB). Carpenter is the second out in the 7th inning.
Craig (0-3, 2K) has had his troubles. A pop out to right, and 2 swinging strike outs. Bard jumps ahead of him, 0-2, and comes to the plate with still another fastball...fouled back! Craig took a vicious cut at that one and seemed to be on it, but caught just the bottom of that riser to foul it back. He settlles back in now, waving his bat out and over the plate, a part of his timing ritual. Here is the pitch and hello, Craig is caught looking at strike three! (Bard 2 K 0 BB) A slider from Bard after a number of fastballs, and Craig was not privy to that info and winds up with the hat trick. Side retired
2 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 0 LOB, Cardinals 6, Red Sox 4.
Bottom of the 7th, LHP Howell now pitching in relief of RHP Oswalt.
Drew (0-2, K) leads off the Red Sox half of the seventh inning. You know he wants to do something to start his team's comeback, as his error started the inning that now has the Red Sox trailing. LHP Howell in relief of RHP Oswalt. who is my hero today. Yes, I know about the home runs by Holliday and Furcal, but RHP Oswalt shut down the Red Sox after giving up four first-inning runs. He pitched 6 IP; the Bosox could not score after the first. He struck out 7, walked 2 and retired the last 7 men he faced. Without that kind of pitching, a comeback by the Cardinals is not possible. Drew now fouls off a breaking ball from LHP Howell and the count stays at 2-2. Howell delivers...Drew swings at another breaking ball and hits it on the ground to the right side. 2B Pedroia shuffles to his left, field it on the second hop, then fires to 1B Napoli for the first out of the inning.
Ellsbury (1-3, R) comes up as the Red Sox batting order returns to the top. Last time up, Ellsbury took RF Beltran all the way to the bullpen fence to haul in his drive. LHP Howell gets in front of the count and is ready with the 0-1 pitch. Here is comes...swung on by Ellsbury, with a slight lunge at the offspeed pitch and he tops it to the left side. SS Furcal charges, fields the ball just behind the pitcher's mound and throws in one motion, nipping Ellsbury at the wire! Ellsbury smelled an infield hit that time, so he was all hustle, but SS Furcal was able to slay that dragon with a well-coordinated scoop and throw to 1B Craig. Two out in the bottom of the 7th.
Pedroia (0-3, 2 K) is now the hitter. Matheny stays with his LHP, doing a song and dance to help work around his bullben's fatigue. His sticking with Oswalt now seems like a stroke of managerial genius, so every move he makes or doesn't make has the touch of King Midas. LHP Howell is working tne outside half and down to Pedroia, who is not buying and seems to be looking for something that he can yank toward the Green Monster, hoping that "hititovertheMonster-itis" is contagious, with the breeze still blowing across from right to left. The count is now full, 3-2, as LHP Howell piches from the stretch. Here it comes...a fastball, in is what Pedroia is looking for and he gets it...but it's a cut fastball and winds up too far in, as Pedrioa swings a makes contact below the label on his bat. The result is a one-hopper to SS Furcal, who pauses.watches Pedroia run a couple of strides, then shows off his arm by firing to 1B Craig for the final out of the bottom of the seventh. Pedroia runs through first, takes off his helmet and promptly drop-kicks it into short rightfiled. The helmet went further that any ball he has hit today! Side retired, 1-2-3.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 error, 0 LOB. Cardinals 6, Red Sox 4.
Top of the 8th, RHP Bard pitching.
Beltran (2-3, SB, BI, R) leads of the Cardinal half of the 8th. They would love to tack on a few more runs, as you never seem to have enough of a lead against a team that can explode like the Red Sox, especially in this ballpark. RHP Bard, known for his heat, has opted to throw his slider to Beltran, and finds himself ahead in the count, 1-2. Here's the 1-2...fastball, swung on...and a smash to the left of 2B Pedroia, who flags down the screaming one-hopper on the outfield grass. He gathers and tosses to 1B Napoli for the first out of the top of the 8th inning. 2B Pedroia, the seasoned veteran that he is. obviously does not take his offensive struggles out to the field.
Holliday (1-3, 2 K, HR, 2 RBI, R) comes up in the wake of his big homerun in the 6th that tied the ballgame. RHP Bard starts him with slider...Holliday smites at it mghtily...and hits a weak ground ball, off the end of his bat that is fielded by 1B Napoli, who takes it to the bag himself for the second out.
Freese (2-3, R) now comes up with two out, nobody on. RHP Bard throws him a fastball, a slider, and then another fastball. Freese takes all three and winds up behind in the count, 1-2 RHP Bard next pitch...is up and in...Freese is ducking away, but the ball hits his bat. C Saltalamacchia, cat-like (a 220 lb. cat, mind you) pounces on the ball and fires to 1B Napoli to end the bottom of the 8th 1-2-3, leaving Freese, sitting on the seat of his pants in the right-handed hitters batter's bos, hoping he will be granted a do-over, but to no avail. Side retired.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Cardinals 6, Red Sox 4.
Bottom of the 8th, RHP Sanchez now pitching in relief of LHP Howell.
RHP Sanchez is the chosen one for the 8th inning setup role by Metheny, but he has a LHP warming up in the bullpen, just in case he needs to deal with Bg Papi on a more personal level.
Victorino (1-2 R,K) leads off the bottom of the 8th. He would love to get on and give Big Papi a chance to tie this baby up. And Sanchez is challenging him with hard stuff, as be pulls ahead in the count, 1-2. The one two pitch is also a fastball and Victorino swings and hits the ball to the left side, to the right of SS Furcal. SS Furcal gloves the ball, sets his feet and fires to 1B Craig for the very important first out of the inning.
Ortiz (0-2,HBP, R) emerges from a kneeling position in the on-deck and approaches home plate in all his Domincan glory. But this is the way you want to face Big Papi, if you had your druthers; with no one on base. Now RHP Sanchez goes to his breaking ptiches and offspeed stuff and Papi is liking none of that, as he is ahead in the count 3-1, without moving the bat off his shoulder. The 3-1...swung on and a line shot to leftcenter...it is in there for a hit! LF Holliday gets it back into the infiled. David hit that one right on the nose, and if he had connected just a fraction of an inch under the ball, it would have wound up over the Green Monster. But he is on with a single, one out here in the bottom of the 8th.
Napoli (1-3, 2 RBI, 2 K). another home run threat now comes to the plate. He it 42 dingers during the regular season, 5 more in the postseason. After his two-run single in the 1st that plated the Red Sox first two runs, he has failed to make contact, striking out twice, once swinging and once while observing the entree. Now he bats in a crucial spot, with the Red Sox down two, as he represents the tying run. Understandably, RHP Sanchez is pitching to him carefully, In turn, Napoli is very patient, only swinging at two deliveries over the plate and fouling both off. Now the count is full...here is the pitch from RHP Sanchez...Napoli takes..ball four! The Red Sox now have the tying runs on the bases, with the potential lead run coming to the plate.
Out comes Cardinal Mgr Matheny. In the pen, he has his closer, RHP Motte, warming, along with LHP Rzcepcznski. He's now conferring with his battery, along with the entire infiield, but as of yet, has made no indication concerning the fate of his current pitcher. Now as the plate umpire approaches to hurry things along, he takes the ball from RHP Sanchez, and waves to the bullpen. But he waves his left arm. He does not want his closer; he wants LHP Rzcepczynski to face righty swinging MIddebrooks. And you gotta wonder if Matheny has somehow forgotten that inviting structure in leftfield know as the Green Monster! Bringing in a LHP to face a power-hitting right-handed batter seems like utter suicide, but here comes LHP Rzecepcynski. And the batter after Middlebrooks is another righty, Rios. We will have to see how this works out. We may have the turning point of this entire series here in game two!
Middlebrooks (0-2, R, K) now comes up with runners on first and second, one out. LHP "Eye Chart" looks in, peering from uner the bill of his red Cardinals cap, as he waits for C Molina to finish the sequence of signs. The first pitch...a cut fastball that slices off the inside corner for strike one! LHP Rzcepczynski was living dangerously on that pitch, but he is ahead in the count, 0-1. He steps off the mound to blow on his hands, permitted on this cool night. Now he strides back to the top of the hill. LHP Rzcepczynski stretches...long pause...now the pitch...fastball...Middlebrooks swings and hits a hard grounder toward the middle! SS Furcal ranges over to his left, gloves it, sends a back hand flip to 2B Carpenter for the force at second! 2B Carpenter leaps to avoid the slide by Napoli, while throwing to first...OUT! DOUBLE PLAY, 6-4-3! The Cardinals have pulled an escape act from the lexicon of Harry Houdini as LHP Rzcepczynzki threw Middlebrooks a sinker fight over the heart of the plate. Middlebrooks, going with the tailing action, hit it hard up the middle, like a good hitter should, but the ball wound up in the outstretched glove of SS Furcal, who then started a whizz-bang of a DP to bail the Cardinals out of the bottom of the 8th inning! The strategy by Mgr Matheny pays off. Now he has his closer fresh to start a clean bottom of the 9th. They might erect a statue in his honor for that move alone if they win this Series, but it would reside in Vegas-not St. Louis-just for that roll of the dice! Holy Hannah!
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Cardinals 6, Red Sox 4
Top of the 9th, RHP Bard pitching.
Molina (1-3, 2b. RBI, 2 K) is set the lead off the Cardinals half of the 9th inning. RHP Bard works him inside with a couple of fastballs and the count is even, 1-1. The fireballer's next pitch is a slider, away and Molina swings...and hits it rignt at 2B Pedroia, who has him played perfectly. He flips to 1B Napoli for the first out of the top of the 9th.
Jay (0-3, GIDP, R) is now up. He reached on the error by SS Drew and scored in front of Furcal on his two-run home run. Jay quickly falls behind in the count, 0-2, on a fastball, then a slider. RHP Bard next is a blazer, up...and Jay swings and misses for strike three! Bard is wasting no time or pitches as he has retired the first two batters here in the top of the ninth.
Kozma (0-3, K), the Cards DH and ninth place hitter comes to the plate. RHP Bard tries to jump ahead of Kozma with his fastball...Kozma swings...and gets under it and hits a hight fly ball to rightfield. RF Victorino pounds the glove as he settles under it..now drifts a little to his right..and makes the catch to end the top of the ninth inning.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Cardinals 6. Red Sox 4
Bottom of the 9th, RHP Motte now pitching in relief of LHP Rzepcznski.
It's a do-or=die ninth for the Red Sox as they send Rios (0-2, W), their seventh place hitter, to the plate to lead things off. RHP Motte has been perfect in all 5 of his save oppurtunities in the postseason. He falls behind Rios, 2-1. Rios has shown an impeccable batting eye in the postseason, as he has walked 9 times including 1 today, while only striking out 3 times. RHP Motte comes to plate with the next pitch...a fastball, up and out over the plate. Rios takes a whack at it and sends it deep to right-center fiield! Beltran and Jay are converging near the bullpens... and its Beltran who hauls in the deep drive! One big out in the bottom of the ninth inning!
Saltalamacchia (1-2, 2 RBI, HBP) now stands in, swinging left-handed versus RHP Motte. He doesn't wait around...he swings and hits this ball toward the same spot as that last drive, but this one is lower in trajectory and falls for a hit! CF Jay corrals it and fires the ball toward second...2B Carpenter catches his peg on the third base side of second and is late with the taq as a daring Saltalamacchia is safe with a one-out double. Boy, a good throw by CF Jay and Salty would have been fitted with a pair of goat horns, but this time his hustle pays off as the Red Sox have a runner on second, one out, and the tying run coming t0 the plate.
Drew (0-3, K), who hasn't hit all postseason, is coming to the plate. Injuries have stripped the Red Sox of a better option off of the bench, so Drew is the man here. The Fenway Faithful are hoping he can snap out of his doldrums. RHP Motte and Drew battle into a full count, 3-2. The payoff pitch...is swung on and grounded to the right side...2B Carpenter moves to his left, gloves it, and fires to 1B Craig from short right field. Drew is...OUT ON A CLOSE PLAY! And as he crosses first base, he is pointing to the right foot of 1B Craig as he is stretched out to receive 2B Carpenter's throw! 1B Craig now jumps up into a throwing position, as Salty has advanced to and now is rounding third base. Both the first base coach and Drew are arguing that 1B Craig's foot was not in contact with the bag when Drew crossed it, but the umpire is having none of it. We have instant replay up here folks, and to be honest with you, the Red Sox might have a point. Mgr Farrell has joined the conversation and seems to be asking the first base umpire to get some help. The first base umpire is insisting that he was the only one to make that call and is telling the Red Sox that Drew is out, and that's that; let's play ball. Drew and Farrell return to the home dugout with a few more choice words for the man in blue, now supported with the presence of this crew mates and we will continue. Two out in the bottom of the 9th, runner on third, Red Sox still down two runs.
Ellsbury (1-4, R) is now the hitter, and one with home run power. He has hit 4 in this postseason. But the Red Sox would gladly take a single, to drive in the run from third and extend the inning toward the middle of their feared lineup. RHP Motte is ready...glances at Salty at third...now the pitch...Ellsbury is first pitch hunting and pops it up, left side...out goes SS Furcal, in comes LF Holliday, calling off SS Furcal, and LF Holliday makes the catch! Game over! The St. Louis Cardinals have won a come-from-behind thriller, 6-4, to even this Series, as we take the Show on the road to St. Louis, MO. Stay tuned for the wrap-up, which will include a bit of news that has been forwarded to us concerning the Red Sox line-up as we shift to the National League rules for the next three games in St. Louis. You don't want to miss it!
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB. Final Score: St, Louis 6 8 0, Boston 4 6 1.
So the scene shifts to St, Louis for the next 3 games in a Series that is even 1-1. Now the news we mentioned before the commercial break, and I got to tell you, it is a bit of MLB intrigue and an ode to crack sports journalism. We thank the members of our staff for their dilegence in finding this info, and I am told they will follow up on this during the Red Sox portion of the postgame interview session. So here it is...what we are now showing is video shot with one of those new-fangled phone camera doo-hickeys, and for those of you who are listening to the broadcast's audio only, I will describe what is being shown. The camera perspective is one that is looking up the first base line. What the film is showing is a simulated game, amongst some of the Red Sox reserves and that includes a few surprises. Pitching to Maier, who is in the lefthanded hitter batter's box is 20-game winner John Lackey, who was replaced in the rotation when he started experiencing arm weariness. The shot now pans over to first base, where the first baseman is none other than Big Papi, David Ortiz. He is having a running conversation with Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastremski, who has his own mitt and is adorned in a grey sweatsuit. Now, you would expect a veteran pitcher to try and see if he could help his ballclub down the road in this Series. You should also not be surprised to see Big Papi working off the rust at first, as the next games will be without the DH rule and you do want to keep his bat in the lineup. But the surprise comes as the camera zooms first to the Boston on-deck circle. There, leaning on a fungo bat, in all his glory, is Hall-of-Famer and World Series legend Carlton Fisk. He is sending a steady stream of chatter to the homeplate area, and now the camera pans over to where the batter, Mitch Maier is settling in the left-handed batters box and the catcher is going into his crouch---and that catcher is none other than Mike Napoli! Instead of Mgr Farrell having to chose which of his veterans to play at first base for games without the DH, he has opted to play both, with Napoli moving from 1B to C, Ortiz moving from DH to 1B, with Saltalamacchia, the odd man out, going to the bench, Napoli led the Red Sox in home runs with 42, while Papi clubbed 40. Who do you bench? Well, Farrell says neither, apparrently. We are told that similar workouts have taken place before the regular workout where the media is present. For this partcular session, one of our young staff members decided on a little cloak and dagger and got us shaky, but very discernible, footage. The drama of the 2013 World Series will continue in St. Louis, right here. I hope you have enjoyed the coverage so far. This is Willie Paige, the Old-timer, now signing off. I will meet you in St. Louis for Games 3, 4 and 5. Unitl then, good night sports fans everywhere.