Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 25, 2013

World Series evens on Cardinals base running, Red Sox flubs

Bill Burt
CNHI News Service

BOSTON, Mass. — The Boston Red Sox World Series Domination Tour ended abruptly Thursday night.

The Sox were thumped by the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-2, in Game 2 of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park.

That put the Red Sox one victory short of a 10-game winning streak in the World Series, going back to 2004. Had the Sox won, they would have tied the 1927 Yankees for the third-longest streak in the history of the Fall Classic.

At one point Thursday, it appeared everything again was falling into place for the Sox, which has happened even during the most dire moments this October.

David Ortiz — of course! — hit his 17th career post-season home run over The Green Monster, putting the Red Sox ahead, 2-1, in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Yet again, the Sox outlasted a super-uber pitcher, this time 22-year-old Cardinal Michael Wacha.

While Wacha dominated the Red Sox on the scoresheet before Ortiz’s blast, allowing only two hits, the Sox eventually ground out 114 pitches in just six innings against him.

But, unlike any other time during this post-season, the Red Sox fell apart.

It began with starter John Lackey, who was outstanding through six innings, allowing only one run. But then he allowed a walk and single before handing the ball over to reliable lefty reliever Craig Breslow, who oversaw the worst half-inning of the post-season.

Three runs, two hits, a double steal, two errors and one walk later, and the Red Sox had themselves a World Series.

The Red Sox messed up, but the Cardinals played a role in those miscues, leading off the big inning by drawing an opportune walk, then getting a key double steal that put runners in scoring position.

“We’re not a big base-stealing threat, but I believe we’re opportunistic and when it presents itself, we have a few guys that can take advantage of it,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who’s next smile will be his first.

The beneficiary of the Cardinals' answer to Ortiz’s homer was the talented Wacha, who has only been with team since early August.

“That’s the reason that they’re here right now,” said Wacha. “They never lose the fight, no matter what the score is, they always come in. They make plays behind you. It’s so much fun pitching out there.”

The Cardinals are beginning to look a lot like the Red Sox in diapers without the facial hair.

Each pitcher that entered the game looked younger and threw harder than the guy before him.

The fact that Matheny didn’t do what every other manager in the league would have done when Ortiz came up again in the eighth inning, with Jacoby Ellsbury on base, and replace the Cardinals' right-handed reliever, Carlos Martinez, speaks volumes of this team’s grit.

Ortiz ended up getting a single, but the inning ended with he and Ellsbury stranded on base.

The Cardinals closed the game with 23-year-old Trevor Rosenthal striking out the side - all on fastballs topping 97 mph. It was impressive.

It was also a sign. We have ourselves a World Series.

And despite early returns, it’s not going to be easy for the Red Sox.

Bill Burt is a columnist for The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass. Contact him at bburt@eagletribune.com.

- See more at: http://www.cnhinews.com/cnhins_sports/x405443961/Hernandez-another-victim-of-superstar-treatment#sthash.aKnHd34g.dpuf

Bill Burt is a columnist for The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass. Contact him at bburt@eagletribune.com.

- See more at: http://www.cnhinews.com/cnhins_sports/x405443961/Hernandez-another-victim-of-superstar-treatment#sthash.aKnHd34g.dpuf

Bill Burt is a columnist for The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass. Contact him at bburt@eagletribune.com.

- See more at: http://www.cnhinews.com/cnhins_sports/x405443961/Hernandez-another-victim-of-superstar-treatment#sthash.aKnHd34g.dpuf

Bill Burt is a columnist for The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass. Contact him at bburt@eagletribune.com.