World Series Tied 1-1 with Cardinals Holding the Advantage
The deadlocked World Series heads to St. Louis as concerns start to creep in for the Boston Red Sox. After David Ortiz sent a ball over the Green Monster giving the Boston Red Sox a 2-1 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 Thursday night, Boston fans were thinking of a 2-0 lead heading to St. Louis.
However, the Cardinals made a bold statement coming back and scoring 3 quick runs to win 4-2 and knot the series at one game apiece.
The win gave St. Louis home field advantage heading back home to Busch Stadium and uncertainty has creep into the Boston clubhouse and dugout.
Most notably is how is Clay Buchholz, the blown lead late in the game by the bullpen and the possibility the Cardinals pen is stronger than Boston’s.
Buchholz will not pitch the important swing game Saturday night. That responsibility has been given to veteran Jake Peavy, who gave up seven runs against Detroit on five hits over three innings in the ALCS Game 4 loss.
Peavy is as gallant of a player there is in baseball, but his ability to find enough pitches of quality to keep St. Louis hitters at bay is where doubt enters the equation.
By skipping Buchholz for Game 3 means Boston does not feel he could be ready for a Game 7 if needed. Buchholz had three months rest during the summer and whatever was wrong with his sore shoulder has not been completely healed.
He admits he is fighting fatigue and tightness and his coaches hope an extra day of rest on Saturday will give him the strength to summon an excellent game on Sunday.
Boston manager John Farrell insists that Buchholz is able to perform physically and will soon find out how well the right-hander really is.
The Red Sox bullpen faltered on Thursday. Reliever Craig Breslow has had a near perfect playoff run holding opponents to a .130 batting average over seven scoreless appearances.
However, that was all ended on Thursday but not as much by how he pitched but by how he could not control runners on the base path and how he fielded the ball.
The Cardinals bullpen on the other hand has started well. Carlos Martinez the 22-year old from the Dominican Republic came in the eighth and allowed a David Ortiz single, but was able to get Mike Napoli to pop up to a threat.
Then Trevor Rosenthal, just 24-years of age retired the Sox in order on three strikeouts in the ninth to give St. Louis the win and a split in Boston. Rosenthal’s three pitches to strike each batter out were between 98 and 99 mph.
Now with the Series tied at one apiece, the Red Sox must regroup and hope the starting rotation can hold games close until the bullpen can take over and the lineup starts producing more runs.