Final, Red Sox 8-1: Matt Holliday hit a solo homer off Ryan Dempster in the ninth inning, but the Cardinals came up seven runs short.
Jon Lester worked into the eighth inning, and the Red Sox capitalized on some sloppy play by the Cardinals to win 8-1. Boston has a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven World Series.
The Red Sox scored five runs in the first two innings of Game 1, and the Cardinals really had themselves to blame.
David Ortiz hit what looked like a potential double play in the first inning, but shortstop Pete Kozma failed to catch second baseman Matt Carpenter’s toss. Initially, second base umpire Dana DeMuth ruled that Kozma dropped the ball on the transfer, thus resulting in an out at second base. But the call was then reversed after the umpires came together. It was clear that Kozma never had possession of it.
Kozma’s miscue opened the door for Mike Napoli to drill a three-run double into the left-center field gap. Kozma also made an error in the second inning, during which Boston scored two runs on a single by Dustin Pedroia and a sacrifice fly by David Ortiz.
Ortiz’s sacrifice fly was much more eventful than the box score indicates, though. Ortiz made a bid for his second grand slam of the postseason, but Carlos Beltran reached over the bullpen wall to make the catch. Beltran actually banged into the wall while making the grab, and ended up exiting the game with a right rib contusion.
Ortiz succeeded in clearing the right field wall in the seventh inning. He blasted a two-run homer off rookie left-hander Kevin Siegrist to extend Boston’s lead to 7-0. Xander Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly, which followed a Daniel Nava double and a wild pitch, made it 8-0.
Lester was in complete control while tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings. He ran into a couple of jams early in the game, but managed to escape unscathed and actually got better as the contest went on. Lester struck out eight while giving up just five hits in an excellent performance.
The Red Sox and Cardinals will square off again Thursday. John Lackey will face rookie phenom Michael Wacha as Boston looks to grab a 2-0 series lead before the series shifts to St. Louis.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 8-0: Daniel Nava got into the game, and immediately helped the Red Sox add their eighth run.
Nava pinch hit for Jonny Gomes after Carlos Martinez entered to pitch the eighth inning for the Cardinals. Nava doubled down into the left field corner.
Martinez fired a wild pitch with Xander Bogaerts batting that allowed Nava to take third base. It appeared that Yadier Molina was expecting a breaking ball, and Martinez delivered a high heater.
Nava trotted home from third base with Boston’s eighth run when Bogaerts flied out to left field.
Ryan Dempster will be the new Red Sox pitcher in the ninth inning. Nava will stay in the game and play left field.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-0: Junichi Tazawa capped the top of the eighth inning with a strikeout, and the Red Sox are three defensive outs away from grabbing a 1-0 series lead.
Tazawa struck out Jon Jay to end the inning. Taz jumped ahead in the count, 0-2, and tried to get Jay to chase a few splitters. Jay laid off them, but struck out looking on a four-seam fastball that caught the inside corner.
Jon Lester was fantastic in his 7 2/3 shutout innings. He gave up five hits and one walk while striking out eight. Lester threw 112 pitches (76 strikes).
Lester exited to a well-deserved standing ovation.
10:57 p.m., Red Sox 7-0: Jon Lester was sensational.
Lester gave the Red Sox exactly what they needed for 7 2/3 innings. John Farrell will now turn to Junichi Tazawa and the bullpen to close out Game 1.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-0: Kevin Siegrist hadn’t given up a home run to a left-handed batter all year. That changed in the seventh inning.
David Ortiz blasted a two-run homer into the Red Sox’ bullpen off Siegrist to extend Boston’s lead to 7-0.
The Fenway Faithful showered Ortiz with chants of, “Papi! Papi!” following the big fella’s long ball. Ortiz came out of the dugout for a curtain call.
Jon Lester, who has been in complete control, will come back out to begin the eighth inning. Junichi Tazawa is warming up in the Red Sox’ bullpen.
10:45 p.m., Red Sox 5-0: The Cardinals’ bullpen door once again opens, and we’ll have a new pitcher.
Shane Victorino greeted Seth Maness with a line drive to the right side. Big first baseman Matt Adams leaped — if you want to call it that — to make the catch.
Dustin Pedroia reached at first base on an errant throw by David Freese on a ground ball to third base.
Lefty Kevin Siegrist will enter to face David Ortiz with two outs.
10:40 p.m., Red Sox 5-0: Randy Choate retired Jacoby Ellsbury on a groundout to second base, and Mike Matheny will call upon a new arm.
Seth Maness will enter with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 5-0: Jon Lester is dealing.
Lester struck out two more in the seventh inning while once again keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard.
David Freese and Shane Robinson were victimized by strikeouts in the seventh. Matt Adams was responsible for the other out, as he grounded to the left side, where Xander Bogaerts made the play.
Lester now has seven strikeouts in this game. He has thrown 101 pitches (70 strikes).
Left-hander Randy Choate will be the new Cardinals pitcher in the seventh inning after a great sixth inning by John Axford.
End 6th, Red Sox 5-0: John Axford was very impressive in his first inning of work.
Axford made quick work of the bottom of the Red Sox’ order. Xander Bogaerts, Stephen Drew and David Ross all went down by way of the K.
Bogaerts and Ross both struck out looking, while Drew went down hacking. The bottom trio has now struck out six times total in this game.
Wainwright departed after five innings. He gave up five runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out four and walking one. Wainwright threw 95 pitches (62 strikes).
Mid 6th, Red Sox 5-0: Jon Lester is through six shutout innings.
Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Yadier Molina went down in order in the sixth inning.
Craig struck out looking, and Lester now has six total strikeouts. Each of the first six hitters in St. Louis’ order has struck out once.
Lester has thrown 91 pitches (62 strikes) thus far. He’ll certainly be back out for at least one more inning, but the same can’t be said for Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright is being replaced by John Axford.
10:14 p.m., Red Sox 5-0: Carlos Beltran, who suffered a rib contusion while robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam in the second inning, has been taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
End 5th, Red Sox 5-0: Adam Wainwright has done a nice job of keeping the Red Sox off the scoreboard since Boston posted five runs in the first two innings.
Dustin Pedroia led off the fifth inning with a fly ball down into the right field corner. Shane Robinson, who shifted to right field when Jon Jay entered the game for the injured Carlos Beltran, raced over to make a nice grab before bracing himself for impact at the wall.
David Ortiz singled into center field with one out. Mike Napoli then hit a grounder toward the right side that Wainright came off the mound to field. The result was a forceout at second base, as Napoli beat out Pete Kozma’s throw to first.
The inning ended with Jonny Gomes hitting into a 6-4 forceout.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 5-0: The Cardinals hit an incredible .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season. They’re having a hard time driving in runs in this game, though.
The Cardinals, who left the bases loaded in the fourth inning, left two more runners in scoring position in the fifth inning. St. Louis still has a goose egg in the runs column as a result.
Jonny Gomes, who continues to get the nod over Daniel Nava because of “intangibles,” provided some good and some bad in the fifth inning. Gomes made an excellent diving catch to rob Matt Adams of a hit, but also made an error that allowed the Cardinals to increase their threat.
Shane Robinson smacked a one-out single, and Matt Carpenter blooped a base hit into left field with two outs. Gomes dropped Carpenter’s single, and Robinson aggressively took third base while Carpenter raced up to second base.
Jon Lester escaped the inning and avoided any damage by getting Jon Jay to ground to short.
End 4th, Red Sox 5-0: Adam Wainwright has put together back-to-back perfect innings.
David Ross, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino went down in order against Wainwright in the fourth.
Ross struck out on three pitches to begin the inning. He chased a cutter in the dirt, and was thrown out at first base by Yadier Molina.
Ellsbury then struck out looking. He laid off an 0-2 curveball that missed, but was rung up on the next pitch — also a curveball.
Shane Victorino flied out to center field.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-0: The Cardinals’ early struggles were pretty much summed up with one ground ball back to the mound.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning, yet came away empty handed because of a perfectly timed double play.
Jon Lester walked Jon Jay, who just entered the game for the injured Carlos Beltran, to begin the fourth. Jay saw even pitches in the at-bat.
Lester rebounded to strike out Matt Holliday, who was caught way out in front of a 2-2 curveball, but Allen Craig and Yadier Molina delivered back-to-back singles to load the bases for David Freese.
Freese, whose 2011 World Series heroics are well-documented, hit a chopper back to the mound. Lester made the play and fired home to start up an inning-ending, 1-2-3 double play.
9:24 p.m., Red Sox 5-0: Carlos Beltran apparently left the game because of a right rib contusion.
End 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals finally settled down a bit in the third inning.
Wainwright enjoyed a 1-2-3 inning, marking the first time that the Red Sox have failed to do damage in this game.
Jonny Gomes popped out to Matt Adams in foul territory, and Xander Bogaerts lined out to short.
Stephen Drew, who has struggled mightily at the dish, struck out swinging to end the inning.
9:18 p.m., Red Sox 5-0: Carlos Beltran has come out of this game.
Beltran appeared to injure himself while banging into the wall on David Ortiz’s fly ball to right field in the second inning.
Jon Jay enters the game for Beltran and will play center field. Shane Robinson shifts over to right field.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 5-0: Jon Lester enjoyed his second straight 1-2-3 inning in the third.
Shane Robinson grounded to short, and Pete Kozma popped out to Mike Napoli. Napoli ranged up the first base line, and actually drifted back into fair territory to make the grab after initially running over into foul territory.
Lester struck out Matt Carpenter to end the inning.
End 2nd, Red Sox 5-0: To say that the Cardinals are off to a sloppy start would be a major understatement, although there was one highlight-reel grab in the second inning.
Stephen Drew started the second inning with a seemingly harmless popup into the middle of the infield. Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina both watched as it landed between them.
Things only got worse for St. Louis. David Ross singled into center field, and Shane Victorino reached with one out when Pete Kozma failed to make a play on a chopper into the hole.
Dustin Pedroia worked the count full against Wainwright with the bases loaded, and then yanked a curveball through the left side to give the Red Sox a 4-0 lead. David Freese’s effort on the ground ball was rather ugly.
David Ortiz nearly made it 8-0 with one swing of the bat. Ortiz, who drilled a grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS, sent another one toward the bullpen in the second inning of this game. Carlos Beltran raced back, reached up and robbed Ortiz of a grand slam. Beltran was rather nonchalant in making the play, but it was an excellent grab that really saved the Cardinals.
Ross tagged up and scored Boston’s fifth run on Ortiz’s flyout.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 3-0: Jon Lester was sharp in the second inning.
Lester struck out two while retiring the side in order. He has three strikeouts in the first two innings.
Lester struck out Yadier Molina and David Freese to begin the second inning. Both Molina and Freese went down looking on cutters.
Matt Adams grounded out to end the frame.
End 1st, Red Sox 3-0: Talk about an interesting inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off the first inning with a walk, and Dustin Pedroia singled into center field to get something going for the Red Sox.
Next came a very unique string of events.
David Ortiz hit a ground ball to second base that looked like a sure double play. Pete Kozma dropped Matt Carpenter’s flip to second base, though, and everyone reached safely. Or so we thought.
Second base umpire Dana DeMuth ruled that Kozma dropped the ball on the transfer, even though it was clear that the Cardinals shortstop never had possession of it. John Farrell went out to argue, and the umpires came together, at which point they overturned the call.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was extremely heated after the call was reversed. But while it’s easy to understand his frustration, the umpires ultimately got the call right by reversing the initial call.
The reversed call loaded the bases for Mike Napoli, who gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead with a three-run double into the left-center field gap.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester gave up a two-out hit, but was otherwise sharp in the first inning.
Lester threw 12 pitches while holding the Cardinals scoreless. The only blemish was a two-out single from Matt Holliday.
Matt Carpenter led off the game with a ground ball to the left side. Stephen Drew made the play and delivered a strong throw on the run.
Lester then struck out Carlos Beltran with a nasty cutter before Holliday grounded a base hit back up the middle.
The inning ended with Allen Craig, who hasn’t played since Sept. 4, popping out to Dustin Pedroia.
8:09 p.m.: Jon Lester misses low for a first-pitch ball. The 2013 World Series is officially underway.
8:04 p.m.: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Flyovers are pretty awesome.
7:59 p.m.: Because there’s nothing but gold circling in my brain — yes, I’m joking — I decided to toss together some last-minute thoughts for you all to enjoy. Check out the link below for some random things that might pique your interest.
Otherwise, go grab a drink and a snack and get ready for baseball.
7:10 p.m.: Xander Bogaerts is once again in the Red Sox’ lineup, and could be an X factor — no pun intended — in this series.
Bogaerts has reached in eight of his 11 postseason plate appearances, and has given the Red Sox’ offense a spark out of the bottom of the order. Most amazing is the rookie’s tremendous poise and plate discipline, even with the stakes raised.
“Well, what’s not normal is Xander Bogaerts. He’s not a typical 21‑year‑old,” John Farrell said Wednesday. “We’ve talked a lot about the poise, the presence, the composure in which he plays. Even in the tightest moments, the smile never seems to leave his face. He might be flying on the inside, but externally there’s no outward anxious moments. And he certainly performed much the same. But he’s a pretty special young man.”
7:06 p.m.: John Farrell was asked Wednesday if there has been any talk about getting David Ortiz his third World Series ring.
“I can tell you he’s no less motivated this year than he was in ’04 or ’07,” Farrell said.
7:02 p.m.: This series will undoubtedly test both teams, as it’s the most evenly-matched World Series in recent memory.
The Red Sox have a “team of destiny” thing going on, but if there’s one team that’s capable of stopping Boston’s remarkable turnaround, it’s the Cardinals. St. Louis doesn’t shy away from the big moment, and is capable of producing matchup problems for Boston.
That being said, I wouldn’t advise betting against these Red Sox in any situation. Boston seemingly plays its best when its back is against the wall.
The Red Sox will look to make sure that their backs never get against the wall in this series. That effort starts with an important first two games in Boston. The Sox certainly have their hands full, though, as Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha have been lights-out for the Cards this postseason.
6:54 p.m.: Even the statues outside Fenway Park have beards!
Looking good, Teddy and Yaz.
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[tweet https://twitter.com/TheRickyDoyle/status/393116289826185216 align=’center’]
6:42 p.m.: The biggest story over the last 24 hours — aside from the overall buildup that accompanies the World Series — has been the health of Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz, who missed three months of the regular season with a shoulder ailment, has hit a wall in the fifth and sixth innings of his three postseason starts, and decreased velocity has been a part of his late-game struggles. That inherently brought into question whether the right-hander is 100 percent, and speculation only built Tuesday, when Felix Doubront pitched to live hitters during the Red Sox’ workout at Fenway Park.
John Farrell said Wednesday that Buchholz is still scheduled to pitch either Game 3 or Game 4 in St. Louis, although the Red Sox have yet to make a determination on which game. Farrell said that they are waiting to see how the Cardinals handle right-hander John Lackey in Game 2, and that potential Game 7 availability will also factor into his decision on who gets the ball in Game 3. Jake Peavy is also slated to start in St. Louis.
Although it’s encouraging that Buchholz will still start, Farrell’s words left open speculation about whether the pitcher is 100 percent.
“Not to the point of keeping him out of starting,” Farrell said Wednesday when asked if Buchholz is dealing with a physical issue.
5:20 p.m.: The lineups have been announced. Have a look below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
Jon Lester, LHP
Matt Carpenter, 2B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Matt Holliday, LF
Allen Craig, DH
Yadier Molina, C
David Freese, 3B
Matt Adams, 1B
Shane Robinson, CF
Pete Kozma, SS
Adam Wainwright, RHP
12:13 p.m.: ESPN has gathered up some interesting stats as we prepare for Game 1. One note, in particular, is that the Red Sox have the highest World Series winning percentage (min. 15 games) in the MLB.
Check them out below:
• This is the third time in the Wild Card era that the team with the best record in the American League has faced the team with the best record in the National League in the World Series. The other instances were 1995 (Braves defeated Indians) and 1999 (Yankees defeated Braves).
• There are three World Series matchups that have taken place more often than the Red Sox and Cardinals– Dodgers versus Yankees (11 times), Giants versus Yankees (seven times) and Cardinals versus Yankees (five times).
• The Red Sox have reached the World Series a season after finishing in last place in the AL East.
They are the third team in the last seven seasons to go from last place to the World Series, joining the 2007 Rockies and 2008 Rays. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the most recent team to go from last place to winning the World Series is the 1991 Twins.
• The Cardinals have 18 homegrown players on their roster (acquired either via the amateur draft or signed as an amateur free agent). That’s the most on any team’s World Series roster since 1995, the year of the first World Series in the Wild Card era.
10:22 a.m.: It was believed Matt Thornton was going to take Franklin Morales’ roster spot for the world series after Morales struggled in Game 6 of the ALCS. That won’t be the case, however, as the team announced today that Morales will remain on the roster. JB
10:08 a.m.: Our pals over at myFOXboston.com are reporting temperatures in the mid-40s tonight for Game 1. Things could get a little wet, too:
“Rain chances across Cape Cod and the Islands will be at 80-percent. These are the most likely areas to see wet weather this afternoon (after 2 p.m.) associated with a coastal storm. The northern edge of the system will flirt with the Boston area. Rain chances will increase to 50-percent from 2-5 p.m. in Boston and hold steady through 8 p.m. A few sprinkles could very well leak into the beginning of Game 1 of the World Series. Between 8 p.m. and midnight the chance for a shower will fall to 30-percent. It will be dry after midnight.”
Bundle up, folks. -JB
8 a.m. ET: And then there were two.
The Red Sox and Cardinals ended the regular season atop the American League and National League, respectively. Now, three and a half weeks later, Boston and St. Louis are the only two teams still standing. They’ll square off for baseball’s ultimate prize beginning on Wednesday.
The Red Sox and Cardinals will hook up in the World Series for the fourth time ever. St. Louis edged out Boston in 1946 and 1967, but the Red Sox emerged victorious in the teams’ last Fall Classic back in 2004. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina are the only two holdovers from that ’04 series, which ended with Boston erasing an 86-year title drought.
The Red Sox and Cardinals have combined for three World Series titles since going toe-to-toe in 2004. The Red Sox brought home the trophy in 2007, while the Cardinals earned titles in 2006 and 2011. Each team would love to add to its trophy case, though, and each team has plenty of reasons to believe it’ll be the last one standing when all is said and done.
This year’s World Series marks one of the most evenly-matched in recent memory. Not only do the two teams have identical win totals, but they also possess many of the same strengths. Each is known for having a certain level of competitiveness and grit.
Jon Lester will take the ball in Game 1 for the Red Sox, who defeated the Rays in the ALDS and the Tigers in the ALCS to punch their ticket to the World Series. Adam Wainwright will get the nod for the Cardinals, who took down the Pirates and the Dodgers en route to the big dance. Boston has the luxury of home-field advantage by virtue of the American League winning this year’s All-Star Game.
This series is expected to be exciting, close and well-played. And finally, it’s just hours away. Wednesday’s Game 1 at Fenway Park is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. Be sure to check back throughout the day and into the night. It should be a wild ride.