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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Head-Scratching Brutal Loss By a Boston Sports Team, This Time in the World Series!

When the Patriots lost last Sunday on a call that had never been made before in NFL history, we shrugged our shoulders (after throwing things at the TV) and said, oh well "it's only October." It was a much different story tonight as the Red Sox lost 5-4 to the Cardinals in Game 3 of the 2013 World Series at Busch Stadium. St. Louis takes a 2-1 lead in the series with Game 4 tomorrow night (8:15, Fox).

The winning run came home on an obstruction call against Will Middlebrooks vs. Allen Craig that negated what would have been one of the most famous double plays (Pedroia to Salty to Middlebrooks and back to Salty). It's impossible to make a full-proof case either way on that plus Salty was dumb to throw it to third to begin with; what I'm more interested in is the fact that it apparently had only decided a game once before in MLB history (a 2004 regular season game: Tampa Bay vs. Seattle) so it will keep us up at night wondering why this had to happen?

Of course, this ignores the fact that Boston was lucky to be hanging around in many ways. They are struggling to hit again like in the ALCS (aside from Game 1's blowout). The Red Sox only had six hits tonight while the Cardinals had 12. Likewise, St. Louis left 12 men on base and Boston only left six. In the biggest start of his career, Jake Peavy could only give his team four lousy innings. You get the point.

St. Louis wasted no time grabbing a pair of runs in the first on RBI singles by Matt Holliday (double, run) and Yadier Molina (3 hits, walk). Joe Kelly (5.1 innings, 2 earned runs, 2 hits, 6 strikeouts, 3 walks), another child that throws nearly 100 MPH for St. Louis kept Boston scoreless through the first four innings before Xander Bogaerts tripled to lead off the inning and pinch-hitter Mike Carp drove him in with a fielder's choice.

Starting in place of Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava proved his worth with an RBI single in the sixth that tied it at two. Holliday hit a clutch two-run double in the seventh to put the Cardinals back on top at 4-2. The Red Sox refused to die as they scored twice against Carlos Martinez on Nava's fielder's choice and Bogaerts' chopper up the middle.

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal blew the save but picked up the cheap win. The good news for the Red Sox is that both Martinez and him threw 20 pitches apiece in high leverage situations; that should tax them if they're used in Game 4. Keep in mind Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara all worked as well but Breslow (5) and Uehara (3) were kept to a minimum amount of pitches.

Both leadoff hitters had two hits as Jacoby Ellsbury was 2 for 5 with a run (they've gotta find a way to get him running) while Matt Carpenter was 2 for 5 with two runs. Fat lard Matt Adams was 2 for 5 with a double for St. Louis.

I'm confident in terming tomorrow night's game a must-win for the Red Sox; they won't win three in a row (facing elimination) against the Cardinals, they're too good and I doubt that their pitching would crack like that. If you're positive, Boston's most talented pitcher Clay Buchholz takes the ball and they've been so resilient all season. However, he's been shaky in this postseason plus all these rumors swirl about his bizarre health status. Another kernel of positivity: St. Louis starter Lance Lynn stinks so maybe Boston's bats from Game 1 will reappear. All I do know is that it should be another hell of a game, let's just hope this time it doesn't end on some cheesy call (either way) that makes us want robot umpires.

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