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Friday, October 25, 2013

Unlike the Rays & Tigers, The Cardinals are not Frauds

If you are not a moron, you had to know that Game 1 was an anomaly. There was no way the Cardinals, a proud team that had won 97 games in the regular season-just like the Red Sox-was that bad. St. Louis showed what they're made of in 2013 by winning Game 2 of the World Series 4-2 tonight at chilly Fenway Park. This evens the series at one and ensures that the next three games will all be at Busch Stadium. Oh and it snaps that silly nine-game win streak by Boston in the Fall Classic dating back to 2004 vs. St. Louis.

Cardinals rookie pitcher Michael Wacha (1-0) was really good: six innings, two earned runs on three hits with six strikeouts and four walks. John Lackey (0-1) beat Justin Verlander in the ALCS but he couldn't beat Wacha who seems destined to be a star-he's only 22! Lackey went 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Just like in the regular season, the Red Sox simply can't score runs when Lackey is on the mound. Another troubling trend: their bats disappeared much like they did for most of the ALCS. Boston only had four total hits in Game 2, two by David Ortiz. Speaking of Big Papi, he ruined Wacha's shutout bid with a two-run homer (his 17th career postseason bomb) that just sneaked over the Monster in the sixth for a 2-1 lead.

St. Louis had taken its first lead in the last six World Series game vs. Boston with a ground out in the fourth by Yadier Molina that scored Matt Holliday who had tripled. The Red Sox bullpen-its biggest strength vs. Detroit-showed wear and tear or perhaps just came back to Earth and Craig Breslow gave up the tying run on Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly in the seventh. He compounded that by allowing another run on the same play since he airmailed a pointless throw to third base.

Carlos Beltran (2 hits) added an RBI single later in the frame which gave the Cardinals a 4-2 lead which was more than enough for their young fireballers in the bullpen. 22-year-old Carlos Martinez struck out three in two scoreless innings while greybeard Trevor Rosenthal (23!) struck out the side in the ninth on 11 pitches (very Koji-like) for his first save of the series.

Boston really could have used this win since Game 3 is Joe Kelly vs. Jake Peavy-who knows what to expect from him after the debacle in Detroit?. Before this series started, I think most rational fans thought this would go six or seven games either way. Good news for baseball and tough luck for your hearts: I agree that it is going to last a while.

There is also some lineup moves to make in order to hopefully spark Boston's offense. It is time for Daniel Nava to start in left field now that Jonny Gomes isn't unbeaten anymore in games he starts (7-1). I'm also hoping that David Ross starts over Jarrod Saltalamacchia who made an error in the seventh and was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts. I would love to see worthless Stephen Drew take a seat as well but I'm not holding my breath on that. He's too good defensively for manager John Farrell to abandon his boy.

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