Oct 27, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli (12) celebrates picking off St. Louis Cardinals pinch runner Kolten Wong (16) to end game four of the MLB baseball World Series at Busch Stadium. Red Sox won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

World Series Even at 2-2 After Red Sox Pick Off Victory

The 2013 World Series is quickly becoming known for its bizarre endings. One night after the Cardinals scored a 5-4 victory on an obstruction call at third base, the Red Sox sealed a victory on a successful pick-off attempt at first base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. What’s next, a walk off balk?

For the Cardinals, Sunday night’s loss was a bitter pill to swallow. Had they defeated the Red Sox they would have a commanding 3-1 World Series lead heading into tonight’s pivotal game five. Instead, the series is tied up a 2-2 and has shifted this best of seven series into a best of three with home field advantage favoring Boston. St. Louis will need to win tonight in order to avoid back to back must win elimination games at Fenway Park.

As for last night’s game, neither starter played that big of a role in the game’s outcome. Boston’s starter, Clay Buchholz, lasted only four innings and allowed only one run on three hits while striking out two and walking three. Meanwhile, St. Louis’ starter on Sunday, Lance Lynn, went 5.2 innings and allowed three runs on three hits while striking out five and walking three as well. However, While Lynn had three runs to his name, two of the three score once he had left the game.

In the top of the sixth inning, with the game all knotted up at 1-1 thanks to an RBI single by Carlos Beltran and a sacrifice fly by Stephen Drew, the Red Sox were able to get Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz aboard with two out. To the plate stepped Johnny Gomes, who admittedly had been quite awful so far in the World Series. As if on cue, all Gomes did was deliver the biggest hit of the World Series so far by blasting Seth Maness‘ 2-2 offering deep into the St. Louis night for a 4-1 Red Sox lead.

Johnny Gomes’ Home Run

That would end up being all the offense the Red Sox would need. The Cardinals scored a second run to make it a 4-2 ball game in the bottom half of the seventh, but that was all they would be able to scrounge together. Once again, the Boston bullpen was just too good. During a time of year when we often times look to offensive players for once in a lifetime performances, it has been the Boston bullpen that has emerged as the story.

The legend, particularly of closer Koji Uehara, grew even larger in the bottom half of the ninth. After Allen Craig hit a pinch hit single to right, Kolten Wong was called upon to pinch run. Two batters later as Carlos Beltran stepped to the plate as the tying run, Wong made the most costly of mistakes on the evening. With the count at 1-1, Uehara threw over to first and caught Wong leading off the bag mid-stride for the final out of the game. In terms of improbable endings, well… this ranks right up there with the ending to Saturday night’s controversial game three.

Koji Uehara Picks Off Kolten Wong

With the World Series now tied at two games apiece, the pressure is on both teams to win tonight’s critical game five match-up. It should be a good one as we will see a rematch from game one. The Red Sox will send Jon Lester and his maybe vaseline coated glove to the mound to take on St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. First pitch is once again scheduled for 8:07 PM from Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Win Probability

Source: FanGraphs

Tags: Boston Red Sox Cleveland Indians Johnny Gomes Koji Uehara Kolten Wong St Louis Cardinals

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