Cardinals Rally Late to Even Series
Thursday, October 24, 2013
BOSTON-- In the end, National League style baseball prevailed in Game 2 of the World Series, evening the series at 1-1.
The St. Louis Cardinals hit, stole, and sacrificed their way into a furious 3 run rally in the top of the 7th inning to overcome a 2-1 deficit and defeat the Boston Red Sox 4-2.
David Freese got the rally started with a one-out walk. Jon Jay then singled on a 1-2 pitch to put runners on 1st and 2nd base with one out.
That marked the end of the night for John Lackey, who pitched 6 and ⅓ strong innings for the Red Sox and left the game in the hands of Craig Breslow, one of Boston’s most reliable relievers.
Breslow seemed shaken by the Cardinals active base-running from the start. Pete Kozma pinch ran for Freese and he and Jay completed a successful double steal of 2nd and 3rd base with one out. Daniel Descalso followed the double steal with a walk to load the bases. Matt Carpenter then hit a fly ball to left field that was caught by Jonny Gomes. What ensued was chaos.
Kozma tagged up and Gomes’ throw to the plate was wide of Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Breslow backed up the throw and attempted to throw out Jay, who was trying to get to 3rd base on the throw home. Breslow’s throw sailed into foul ground and allowed Jay to score what would become the winning run. Carpenter advanced all the way to 3rd base.
Carpenter was credited with a sacrifice fly and Breslow an error on the play. Carlos Beltran provided an insurance run with an RBI single to score Carpenter, but the damage had been done.
Boston had a chance to rally back in the bottom of the 8th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an error by Carpenter. After strikeouts to Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz singled to center field to put runners at 1st and 2nd base with 2 outs. Mike Napoli came to the plate with a chance to be a hero but Cardinals reliever Carlos Martinez got Napoli to pop out to end the inning and the threat.
Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in order in the bottom of the 9th inning to put the nail in the coffin on Game 2.
The Red Sox had taken a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 7th inning on a 2-run home run from Ortiz. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha surrendered the blast on a 3-2 changeup that Ortiz took to the opposite field and into the monster seats.
Wacha was outstanding for St. Louis and held the Sox scoreless over the first 5 and ⅓ innings, tying Bob Gibson’s franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings in the playoffs with 19.
Moments after tying Gibson’s mark, however, Wacha issued a 5 pitch walk to Pedroia and Ortiz came up and ended the streak.
Although this exciting moment gave Sox fans hope, it was one of just four hits on the night. All four of those hits came from the top of the Red Sox order as only Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz managed to get a hit off of the young, dominant Cardinals staff.
The Cardinals scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the 4th inning. Matt Holliday led off with a triple to deep center, and two batters later scored on a groundout by Yadier Molina.
Boston’s best chance to get on the board early came in the 4th inning after Pedroia led off with a double and Ortiz walked. Napoli grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Gomes popped up to end the scoring threat.
On a night where both Lackey and Wacha could have come away with the win, it was the bullpens that ended up deciding the game. With both teams having stellar bullpens throughout the postseason, it was simply who would crack first.
Tonight the answer was the Red Sox bullpen. While the Sox bullpen was not charged with an earned run, they did allow three runners to cross the plate while the Cardinals bullpen allowed just one hit over the final three innings. The combination of Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal dominated the Sox lineup by allowing just one hit and striking out six in their three shutout innings.
The loss is the Red Sox first in a World Series game since 1986 against the Mets, as they had won their previous nine World Series games. This loss can be directly attributed to the lack of “pop” in the Red Sox bats. Throughout the night, the Red Sox left 13 men on base with six of those runners being left in scoring position. The Red Sox were 0-3 as a team with runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox will now head to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday night. The pitching matchup for the game will be the big question as Clay Buchholz is facing injury questions. The Red Sox are expected to send Jake Peavy to the mound.