Good World Series, eh?
After the Cardinals and Sox split the first four games, we enter best 2-of-3 mode. We’ve had back-to-back games finish in crazy fashion — neither via a walk-off homer, either. Game 4 ended with the Will Middlebrooks obstruction call, while Game 5 Sunday finished with Koji Uehara picking off pinch-runner Kolten Wong. Here’s guessing we’re either due something totally nuts or nine dull-as-dishwater innings with little wiggle room between the two.
Somehow Allen Craig, who can barely run, made both finishes possible with his slow-running forcing Jarrod Saltalamacchia into trying to make a play at third. The next night Wong replaced Craig at first. Go figure.
Also, through four games this series has been defined, in a lot of ways, by mistakes.
- Game 1: Three St. Louis errors, notably the Pete Kozma drop at second, lead to four unearned runs. (There was also all the talk about Jon Lester’s glove, but that’s not exactly an error.)
- Game 2: Craig Breslow’s errant throw gifted the Cardinals the go-ahead run.
- Game 3: Another risky throw to third, this time by Saltalamacchia gave St. Louis the win via obstruction.
- Game 4: The Wong pickoff ended it.
There are also plenty of questions for both managers. In Game 3 Sox skipper John Farrell seemed baffled by the National League rules and left reliever Brandon Workman in to hit late in the game. It didn’t directly lead to a loss, but it kept Mike Napoli on the bench. A night later St. Louis’ Mike Matheny decided to pitch around David Ortiz (batting .727 in the Series) with two outs in the sixth, leading to a three-run shot by Jonny Gomes which provided the winning margin for Boston.
Lots and lots of intrigue. Lots and lots of beard-tugging.
Tonight it’s a reset of Game 1, with Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester squaring off again. Expect plenty of close-ups on Lester’s glove. If it’s just rosin, it better not look green again. Shane Victorino is out again for Boston. Gomes, the Game 4 hero, is now batting cleanup behind Ortiz. Craig, the slow-footed troublemaker for the Cards, will give it a go and play first base sending Matt Adams to the bench.