Final, Red Sox 4-2: This series is tied at two games apiece.
Koji Uehara picked off Kolten Wong at first base for the final out of Boston’s 4-2 win. Carlos Beltran, who represented the tying run, never had an opportunity to swing the bat.
Allen Craig pinch hit for the pitcher with one out and drilled a line drive over Daniel Nava’s head in right field. Craig, who is dealing with a foot injury, was forced to stop at first base.
Craig was lifted for a pinch runner in Wong, and Uehara retired Matt Carpenter on a popout to Dustin Pedroia in shallow right field. Uehara then picked off Wong with Beltran locked in a 1-1 count to end the game.
The big blast of Game 4 came off the bat of Jonny Gomes. Dustin Pedroia singled and David Ortiz walked with two outs in the sixth inning, which prompted Mike Matheny to call upon Seth Maness. Gomes then launched a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run homer.
The World Series is now tied 2-2. The two teams will play one more game in St. Louis on Monday before traveling back to Fenway Park for Game 6 on Wednesday. Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright will square off in Game 5 in a rematch of Game 1.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 4-2: Koji Uehara will enter with a two-run lead.
The Red Sox failed to add any more runs in the top of the ninth inning. Stephen Drew, David Ross and Mike Napoli went down in order.
Uehara, who was on the mound for Saturday’s obstruction call debacle, will look to even up the series and guarantee at least one more game in Boston.
End 8th, Red Sox 4-2: John Lackey moved the Red Sox to within three defensive outs of a Game 4 victory with a scoreless eighth inning.
The Cardinals did have their third run 90 feet away in the eighth inning after an error and a wild pitch, but Lackey shut off St. Louis’ rally without any damage done.
Matt Adams led off with a ground ball to the left side. Xander Bogaerts grabbed it and fired a strong throw on the run to nail Adams by a step.
Bogaerts nearly made a highlight-reel play when Yadier Molina grounded down the third base line. Bogaerts made a diving stop, but his throw to first base was off the mark. Mike Napoli, who just entered the game, couldn’t corral it, and Molina scooted up to second base as the ball rolled toward the wall in foul territory.
Molina advanced to third base on a wild pitch, but Lackey retired Jon Jay and David Freese to end the inning. Jay popped to short, and Freese grounded out to short. The sure-handed Stephen Drew handled both.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 4-2: John Axford froze Xander Bogaerts with a 3-2 curveball on the outside corner. The score remains 4-2.
David Ortiz smacked a two-out single off Kevin Siegrist in the eighth inning, at which point Mike Matheny called upon Axford. The right-hander walked Jonny Gomes before winning a hard-fought battle against Bogaerts.
The Red Sox will now turn to none other than John Lackey. Lackey hasn’t pitched in relief since 2004.
Lackey enters as part of a double-switch. Mike Napoli will be the Red Sox’ new first baseman with Ortiz out of the game.
11:14 p.m., Red Sox 4-2: John Axford is coming in for St. Louis.
Kevin Siegrist retired Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia to begin the eighth inning. David Ortiz, who took Siegrist deep in Game 1, then singled into center field.
Axford will enter with Jonny Gomes coming up. Gomes, of course, launched a three-run homer in his last at-bat.
It also looks like Quintin Berry will pinch run for Ortiz.
End 7th, Red Sox 4-2: This time, Junichi Tazawa won his battle against Matt Holliday.
Holliday doubled home two runs when facing Tazawa in Game 3 but couldn’t cut into the Red Sox’ two-run lead in Game 4. Holliday grounded to Dustin Pedroia at second base to end the seventh inning.
The Cardinals did produce a run in the seventh, though. Felix Doubront gave up a two-out double to Shane Robinson, and Craig Breslow surrendered an RBI single to Matt Carpenter.
John Lackey was once again warming up in the Red Sox’ bullpen in the seventh inning.
11:02 p.m., Red Sox 4-2: Craig Breslow once again failed to record an out.
Breslow gave up an RBI single to Matt Carpenter and then walked Carlos Beltran on four pitches.
John Farrell will now bring in Junichi Tazawa to face Matt Holliday, who represents the go-ahead run. Holliday got the best of Tazawa in Game 3.
10:55 p.m., Red Sox 4-1: John Farrell will go from one lefty to another.
Felix Doubront recorded two quick outs in the seventh inning before giving up a pinch-hit double to Shane Robinson. Craig Breslow will now take over with Matt Carpenter coming up.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 4-1: Seth Maness and Randy Choate combined to work a scoreless seventh inning.
Maness, who surrendered the three-run homer to Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning, recorded the first two outs. David Ross flied out to center field, and Felix Doubront struck out swinging.
Doubront’s at-bat obviously indicates that he’ll come back out for the bottom of the seventh. It’ll be Doubront’s third inning of the contest, which is somewhat surprising given that he worked two innings in Saturday’s Game 3.
The lefty Choate took over to face the left-handed-hitting Jacoby Ellsbury. Choate retired Ellsbury on a lazy fly ball to right field.
End 6th, Red Sox 4-1: Hats off to Felix Doubront.
Doubront, who tossed two scoreless innings in Game 3, just completed his second perfect inning of Game 4.
Doubront struck out Matt Adams to begin the bottom of the fifth inning. Yadier Molina flied out to left field, and Jon Jay grounded to second base.
John Lackey was warming up in the bullpen in the sixth inning.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 4-1: Jonny Gomes was a late addition to the Red Sox’ lineup. He just provided the biggest swing of the night.
Gomes jacked a three-run homer over the left field fence to give the Red Sox a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning of Game 4.
Gomes’ blast capped a two-out rally for the Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia got it started with a single into left-center field, and David Ortiz added to it with a four-pitch walk.
Mike Matheny summoned Seth Maness from the bullpen with Gomes digging in. Maness, a good ground-ball pitcher, left a 2-2 offering over the plate, and Gomes jumped all over it.
Gomes knew it as soon as he connected. The bearded slugger showed a ton of emotion while rounding the bases and upon crossing the plate.
Gomes, of course, is in the starting lineup because Shane Victorino was scratched just prior to the game with lower back tightness.
10:20 p.m., 1-1: Lance Lynn’s night has come to an end.
Mike Matheny will turn to his bullpen with runners at first and second and two outs in the sixth inning
Seth Maness will face Jonny Gomes upon entering.
End 5th, 1-1: Felix Doubront was impressive in his first inning of work.
Doubront set the Cards down in order in the fifth. Matt Carpenter, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday failed to get anything going against the left-hander.
Carpenter and Holliday both struck out looking, and both strikeouts came on three pitches.
Beltran hit a line drive to left field with one out, and Jonny Gomes recovered from a bad read to make a sliding catch.
Doubront only needed nine pitches to take care of business.
Mid 5th, 1-1: We’re dead even in the fifth inning.
David Ortiz led off the fifth with a double into the right-center field gap. Ortiz, who is 2-for-2, is now 7-for-10 in the World Series.
Jonny Gomes made it first and second by way of an impressive at-bat that ended with a walk. Gomes saw 10 pitches before being awarded first base, although Lance Lynn appeared to get squeezed a bit.
The bases loaded up when Lynn walked Xander Bogaerts. The rookie walked on five pitches.
Stephen Drew, who has been just plain awful at the plate this postseason, stepped in and lifted a first-pitch fly ball down the left field line. Matt Holliday made the grab and fired home as Ortiz tagged up at third base, but the throw kicked away from catcher Yadier Molina, resulting in Boston’s first run.
Gomes missed an opportunity to tag up at second base, so he and Bogaerts remained at their respective stations. David Ross struck out swinging for the second out, and Mike Carp, who pinch hit for Clay Buchholz, grounded out to first base to end the threat.
Felix Doubront, who threw 25 pitches over two scoreless innings in Game 3, will be the new Boston pitcher in the bottom of the fifth inning.
End 4th, Cardinals 1-0: Stephen Drew — for all of his offensive woes — continues to play an excellent shortstop.
Jon Jay walked with one out in the fourth inning after Yadier Molina grounded back to the mound on Clay Buchholz’s first pitch of the frame.
David Freese followed with a slowly hit grounder to short. It was going to be impossible for the Red Sox to turn two, but Drew aggressively went for the lead runner by using a backhanded flip out of his glove. Dustin Pedroia leaped to reel in the high flip, and he landed back down on the second base bag just in time to retire Jay.
Mike Matheny came out to argue the bang-bang play at second base. It was all wasted air, as there would be no reversed call in this particular instance.
Freese moved up to second base on a wild pitch, and the Red Sox ultimately decided to put the No. 8 hitter, Daniel Descalso, aboard in order to face pitcher Lance Lynn. Lynn flied out softly to right field for the third out.
Mid 4th, Cardinals 1-0: Runs haven’t come easy for the Red Sox.
Lance Lynn held Boston scoreless again in the fourth inning. The top of the order failed to make any noise against the hard-throwing right-hander.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who made a costly error in the third inning, grounded to first for the first out of the fourth. Daniel Nava flied to center field for the second out.
Lynn struck out Dustin Pedroia to end the inning. Pedroia didn’t offer at a 2-2 fastball on the outside corner.
End 3rd, Cardinals 1-0: The Cardinals grabbed the game’s first run.
Lance Lynn struck out to begin the bottom of the third inning. It wasn’t easy for Clay Buchholz, though, as the Cardinals pitcher worked the count full and saw eight pitches before going away looking.
Jacoby Ellsbury then made what turned out to be a costly error. Matt Carpenter singled into center field, and Ellsbury ran over to retrieve it. Typically, it’s a play that an outfielder makes without a second thought, but this time, the ball took a bad hop and got past Ellsbury. That allowed Carpenter, who never stopped running, to race into second base.
Carlos Beltran put the Cardinals on the scoreboard two pitches later. He singled into center field to plate Carpenter with the game’s first run.
Buchholz retired Matt Holliday and Matt Adams to avoid any additional damage, but St. Louis, which already had quite a bit of momentum from last night, increased its momentum in the third inning of Game 4.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: The Red Sox’ offense was unable to get anything going in the third inning.
Lance Lynn set down the bottom third of the Red Sox’ order 1-2-3. Two of the outs were recorded via strikeouts.
Stephen Drew popped out into foul territory for the first out. David Freese made the grab.
Lynn then sat down David Ross and Clay Buchholz. Both went down swinging on heaters in the mid-90s.
End 2nd, 0-0: One of Clay Buchholz’s warmup pitches before the bottom of the second inning got away from him and sailed over David Ross’ head. That obviously got people talking given the status of Buchholz.
Ross also had a conversation with John Farrell after the bottom of the first inning. All things considered, it’s clear that this is going to be a grind for Buchholz.
The Cardinals threatened in the second, as Yadier Molina doubled into the right-center field gap and Jon Jay worked a seven-pitch walk with one out.
Buchholz got out of the inning unscathed, though. He struck out David Freese looking with an 88 mph fastball down in the zone and retired Daniel Descalso on a ground ball to short.
Stephen Drew made a very nice play on Descalso’s slow roller. He charged it and fired an off-balance throw to complete the out.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: David Ortiz reached to begin the second inning, but a double play squashed any potential threat.
Ortiz shattered his bat on a sharp comebacker. The ball hit off the heel of Lance Lynn’s foot and ricocheted back toward the plate. Yadier Molina scooped it up, but Ortiz hustled his way to an infield single.
Jonny Gomes grounded to third base for a 5-4-3 double play. It appeared that Gomes also splintered his bat, which is a good sign for Lynn and the Cardinals.
Xander Bogaerts grounded to short to end the inning.
End 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz enjoyed a 1-2-3 first inning.
Buchholz, whose fastball velocity sat around 88 mph, relied heavily on his offspeed stuff in the first.
Matt Carpenter grounded out to second base for the first out. Carpenter’s bat shattered in half on the play.
Carlos Beltran then lifted a lazy fly ball to left-center field that Jacoby Ellsbury tracked down for out No. 2.
Matt Holliday, who had a big two-run double in Game 3, once again took aim at the third base line. Xander Bogaerts was there to make the play.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Lance Lynn was in control in the first inning.
Lynn retired Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia in order.
Ellsbury went up swinging. He fouled off the first pitch, and then popped out on Lynn’s second pitch of the night.
Nava, who slid up into the No. 2 spot in Boston’s order, put up a nice at-bat. He saw seven pitches but grounded to first base for the second out.
Pedroia struck out swinging to end the inning. Lynn dialed it up to 96 mph to pick up the K.
8:18 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury went up hacking. He fouled off the first pitch, and Game 4 is underway.
8:08 p.m.: Rascal Flatts just performed the national anthem. That’s all I’ll say about the matter.
We’re just about ready for baseball, at least.
7:36 p.m.: We’ve got a huge lineup change just prior to Game 4.
Shane Victorino has been scratched from the Red Sox’ lineup because of lower back tightness.
“He felt it stiffen up last night. We tried to get him through it today but it’s not happening,” manager John Farrell told reporters in St. Louis. “It’s similar to what he had during the season at times.”
Jonny Gomes will play left field in Victorino’s absence, while Daniel Nava will shift over to right field. Nava will bat second.
Farrell said that he’s hopeful that Victorino will return for Game 5, and the outfielder’s availability off the bench for Game 4 is uncertain.
The new Red Sox lineup is below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP
7:18 p.m.: While speaking with the media Sunday, John Farrell said that he didn’t get a normal night of sleep. And who can blame him? There are probably a lot of people in both Boston and St. Louis who had a hard time getting some shuteye after that wild finish to Game 3.
“I don’t know, you review the whole game. You replay it in your mind. And you learn from the experiences you go through,” Farrell said before Game 4 in St. Louis. “I’m sure there’s a number of our guys in our uniform that probably do the same thing.”
Farrell also reiterated Sunday that the umpires made the correct call on the crazy play that ended Game 3. The Red Sox skipper, however, would like to see some changes to the existing rule.
Check out the link below for more from Farrell.
6:40 p.m.: John Farrell said that all of his bullpen arms are available for Game 4. Even John Lackey is available out of the Boston ‘pen.
That being said, it’s extremely important for Clay Buchholz to give the Red Sox innings. Bench coach Torey Lovullo said during an interview on WEEI on Sunday that he anticipates Buchholz throwing 100 pitches and working into the seventh inning.
Those seem like some lofty expectations, especially since Buchholz admitted Saturday that he’s not 100 percent. The Red Sox certainly have confidence, though, that Buchholz can at least give them a chance to win.
“Since Clay’s last start, there’s been steady and increased ‑‑ or improvement to ‑‑ we’re not putting him in harm’s way by walking him to the mound tonight, and feel like we’ve got every reason to believe that what he’s done the last couple of starts out there for us is the expectation going into tonight,” Farrell said. “If that means we have to go to the ‘pen or a pinch‑hit situation in the sixth inning, that wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.”
5:29 p.m.: The lineup cards have been posted.
David Ross will be behind the plate for Game 4. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, in addition to his defensive miscues in Games 2 and 3, is hitting .188 (6-for-32) with 19 strikeouts this postseason, including 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series.
Ross could be an asset with Clay Buchholz on the rubber. Buchholz admitted Saturday that he’s not 100 percent, so perhaps the calming veteran presence of Ross can help guide the right-hander through Game 4.
Daniel Nava will remain in the starting lineup in left field, and Stephen Drew, despite another 0-for-2 night with two strikeouts, will remain in the lineup at short. Drew is hitting .091 (4-for-44) with 17 strikeouts this postseason.
The complete Game 4 lineups are below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Clay Buchholz, RHP
Matt Carpenter, 2B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Matt Holliday, LF
Matt Adams, 1B
Yadier Molina, C
Jon Jay, CF
David Freese, 3B
Daniel Descalso, SS
Lance Lynn, RHP
3 p.m.: The Red Sox were a stunned bunch following Game 3. Most of the players were still trying to make sense out of what had just happened.
Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were among those who didn’t agree with the obstruction call, and Jake Peavy said that he thought it was a “crying shame” that a game of that magnitude ended on such a play. There was one quote, however, that the Red Sox must take note of.
“This won’t stop us,” said the always confident Dustin Pedroia.
Those four words truly reflect the nature of this team. We’ll see if the 2013 Red Sox can turn in their most resilient effort yet in Game 4.
10 a.m. ET: Did you sleep on it? Hell, maybe you didn’t even sleep, which would be totally within reason after the way Game 3 of the World Series ended.
Game 3 will go down in the books as the game that ended on an obstruction call. It was one of the most bizarre endings to a baseball game ever, and it’s obviously magnified given the stakes. But the Red Sox can’t dwell on the crushing loss too long. Game 4 is Sunday, and Boston needs to bounce back to avoid being pushed to the brink of elimination.
There’s so much that can be said about the way Game 3 ended, and surely, you’ve heard the story by now. You’ve probably even engaged in a debate or two, even if it’s a fruitless effort. If you haven’t seen the play, check it out below and draw your own conclusions.
While it’s difficult to do so, we must turn the page to Game 4. The Red Sox, a team that has shown an incredible amount of resilience all season, face perhaps the toughest test yet. Not only are the Sox looking to rebound following the most unlikely finish most of us have ever seen, but they’re sending a pitcher to the mound in Clay Buchholz who is less than 100 percent.
The Red Sox really need to dig deep. Dustin Pedroia said after Game 3 that Saturday’s loss won’t define the Red Sox as a team. We’ll soon find out if his confidence yields results.
Game 4 is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m. Hopefully this one ends in a less controversial manner.