One night after defensive miscues paved the way for the Red Sox to take game one of the World Series, the Cardinals came back on Wednesday night refocused and ready to even things up. They did just that behind yet another outstanding postseason performance from Michael Wacha and a costly series of defensive miscues by the Red Sox. With their 4-2 victory, the 2013 World Series is now tied up at 1-1 heading back to St. Louis for the next three games.
In the grand scheme of things, the Cardinals did exactly what they needed to do as the road team. All they needed to do was split the first two games in Boston in order to steal home field advantage. Now they have an opportunity to end things at home. Yes, it will take an improbable run, winning four games in a row against the Red Sox, but stranger things have happened.
Meanwhile, as for last night’s game, Michael Wacha was fantastic and picked up the victory, but it didn’t come easy. Wacha labored through 6 innings allowing only 3 hits, but also issuing 4 walks. When he exited the game following the sixth inning, the Cardinals trailed 2-1. David Ortiz connected off of Wacha and driven a ball over the green monster in left field to give the Sox the brief 2-1 lead. It was rather shocking considering Wacha had not allowed a run to cross the plate since all the way back during the first few innings of his NLDS start against the Pirates.
Fortunately for Wacha and the Cardinals, the Red Sox couldn’t make the lead last for very long. In the following half inning, the Cardinals came storming back. With the bases loaded, Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly to left. Johnny Gomes’ throw home was not only not in time to get Pete Kozma before he crossed the plate, but it was also wide right. Jarrod Saltalamacchia couldn’t handle the throw and allowed John Jay to advance to third and then score on an ill-advised throw from Craig Breslow to make it 3-2 in favor of the Cardinals. Carlos Beltran, playing despite a bad chest bruise, singled to score Daniel Descalso and push the lead to 4-2.
It was a shame too for the Red Sox and even more so for John Lackey. Lackey had pitched 6.1 solid innings before being pulled prior to the defensive shenanigans that took place. He ended up taking the loss, but it was hard to say it was his fault. Yes, he may have put the runners on base, but there was no excuse for the poor defensive decisions that took place after he exited the game.
As previously mentioned, the World Series will now shift to St. Louis for the next three games. It will be interesting to see how things unfold, especially for the Red Sox. Playing in a National League ball park, they will be faced with the decision of what to do with David Ortiz. They can’t DH him and moving him to first pulls Mike Napoli out of the lineup. Perhaps Napoli could shift back to catcher, but at this point in the season experimentation with the lineup isn’t exactly something you want to be doing.