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It’s still only one loss for Cardinals

Oct 23, 2013, 11:43 PM EDT

World Series Cardinals Red Sox Baseball AP

To put it simply, the Cardinals were never in Game 1 of the World Series. Terribly sloppy defensively, they were down 3-0 after one and 5-0 after two. They mounted little rallies in the fourth and fifth innings, but nothing came of them. At no point did Boston’s lead seem surmountable.

None of that matters now, though. Losing the opener 8-1 with three errors and a solitary extra-base hit in the ninth? It’s no different from losing 5-4.

Here’s what the Cardinals have working for them:

Game 2: Michael Wacha

Games 3-5: Home-field advantage. Either David Ortiz or Mike Napoli — perhaps the Red Sox’s two best hitters right now — is going to be limited to one at-bat off the bench.

Game 6: Michael Wacha

Game 7: Well, anything can happen in Game 7.

So, yeah, the Cardinals’ chances of winning the World Series very much hinge on Wacha. But who better to put them on? The rookie who has allowed one run and nine hits over 29 2/3 innings in his last four starts. He has the freshest arm of any starter in the series, and the Red Sox have never seen him before, which should work to his advantage. Maybe he’ll be nervous, but nothing that happened in the NLCS suggests it. If the Cardinals can win Game 2, they’ll have gotten all they should have hoped for in Boston.

  1. pastabelly - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Scherzer and Verlander in Games 6 & 7. 1-0 in only one game, but looking ahead to all of these pitching mismatches that St Louis has is a stretch.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      I’m so confused by this comment. What do Sherzer and Verlander have to do with this? I thought you were talking about last series, but we never played a game 7. Or are you just confusing names of Cardinals players with Detroits?

      • peterjohnjoseph - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        Wait, do you think Sherzer and Verlander play for the Red Sox? I mean, I know the commentators talked about them so much during the ALCS it was like Boston didn’t even have starting pitchers, but still…

  2. staffordsyear - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    NEVER doubt the redbirds.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 24, 2013 at 6:41 AM

      Never doubt the Cardinals because they play the game the right way even if they are a tad sloppy.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      Unless it’s a pop-up to the pitcher.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        Or a lazy six hopper to the 2nd baseman.
        Or an easy exchange for the dp.

  3. overdrawnagain - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    It may only be 1 but it felt like 3. This one is over. Size up the rings bean town.

    • bluesfan58 - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Not that many of the current players were even alive in ’82, but the Cardinals lost the first game of that Series 10-0, and went on to win in 7 games. And yes, they looked sloppy as hell out there today, just as the did against LA in ONE of the NLCS games, but that’s why they play several. One game (especially the first game) doesn’t mean much. I’ll grant you that if the Sox pound the Birds again in Game 2 that we’re possibly looking at an ’04 repeat, but at this point, this says little…

  4. tfbuckfutter - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    It may not be a great idea to be playing up as a benefit a kid who was pitching to college players less than 2 years ago getting multiple starts.

    It’s kind of a lot of pressure for a kid with less than 100 innings under his belt, especially when you consider both games will be played in Fenway, and the kid has never faced an AL lineup in an AL park, so he’s never faced a DH, and David Ortiz is kind of good at hitting a baseball.

    • nbjays - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      I know, right. I mean, look how much the pressure of the NLDS and NLCS affected his game… oh, wait.

      It’s a two-sided coin, Buck. He’s never faced a DH, sure, but the Red Sox have never faced him either. He went 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in 21 innings vs the Pirates and Dodgers, allowing just 1 run, and they are not exactly AA teams. Sure, nerves may get him, but it is just as likely that he’ll completely shut them down. It’s not like Boston tore the cover off the ball against Detroit’s starters. They did pretty much all their damage against a non-existent bullpen. St. Louis doesn’t have that problem.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 24, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Remind me….who plays DH for the Dodgers and Pirates again?

  5. moogro - Oct 24, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Boston shouldn’t waste good starting pitching against Wacha. Even if exceptional and close, the birds’ bullpen will win it. If Boston just try and beat Kelly, Wainwright, and maybe Lynn they’ll win. Cardinals would be smart to replace Lynn with Miller, unless he is injured or something.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:42 AM

      Boston shouldn’t waste good starting pitching against Wacha.

      Now, that’s just silly. For example, remember last week? The Cardinals were facing Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who was the best pitcher in baseball by far. They got 7 runs off him.

      • moogro - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:55 AM

        Dodgers would still have a chance to win if Kershaw didn’t face Wacha in game 2. He could have pitched game 3 and 7 with more rest.

    • stex52 - Oct 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM

      And the Red Sox shouldn’t try to win game one because they will be up against Wainwright. Everyone knows you can’t hit Wainwright.

      What a silly argument.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      Sometimes I am not the smartest dude. But if I am understanding you correctly you are advocating for the Red Sox to start a pitcher of lesser quality because the Cardinals are starting Wacha? If so…that is one helluva strategy Moogro.

  6. mornelithe - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    This is why I really prefer simply letting the players decide games, rather than armchair analysts. Everyone said the Lackey Verlander matchup was woefully against Lackey, and all it took was 1 misplaced pitch from Verlander to shelve that prediction. Granted, I still don’t think Lackey wins against Verlander 99 out of 100 times…but all it takes is that one game.

    I’m sure Wacha is absolutely as dominant as his numbers suggest, then again, Wainwright was supposed to be also. Which really just makes analysts look stupid, because they rarely, if ever, account for that one mistake.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 24, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      Wacha has been undeniably dominant. He has also started just 12 games of baseball in his career. In fact, counting the minors, he’s started 27 his entire professional career. In his 2nd to last start of the regular season, he gave up 4 runs on 12 hits in just 4.2 innings. He has been beaten and can be again. I certainly hope not…but he can.

  7. mvd513 - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    one loss. the first of 4.

  8. 8man - Oct 24, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    Someone has to be up 1-0. And a must win by the Red Sox and yet if the Cards take game 2, they sieze home park advantage and can still wrap it up in St. Louis.

    To be honest everything went right for the Red Sox. Even a snatched away home run produced an injury to Beltran, which diminished the Cards attack. That won’t continue. Tonight’s game tells us a lot before they head west.

    • dapperdan50 - Oct 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      “everything went right for the Red Sox”? I’ll say! The implication is that it was a few lucky breaks (as if the umpires reversing a horrendous call is a lucky break) that got the W for the Sox.

      If you truly think that, then we must have watched different games, because the two teams that I saw yesterday did not even belong on the same field. It was a complete mismatch.

      Granted, that doesn’t mean you can ship the trophy and the rings now. The Cardinals could pull it together and/or the Sox could fall apart. Stranger things have happened. But I sure wouldn’t bet on it.

      I’m a Sox fan all the way, but I’ve read up on the Cards all week and honestly didn’t have a clue as to what would happen when they actually started to play. But what I saw yesterday was that the Cards ran into a very deep, multi-talented team such as they have not encountered all season, a team whose level of play was just overwhelming.

      It will be interesting to see how the young Jedi warrior does against them tonight, but the Sox have already encountered and found ways to beat Price, Sanchez, Sherzer, and Mr. V. It’s hard to have much confidence in the Cardinal Way right now.

      • nbjays - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM

        The Sox beat Verlander in game 3 for one reason… John Lackey forgot who he was and pitched like he was unconscious. That was an outlier, not typical Lackey. I expect to see typical Lackey from here on out.

        You think the Sox were better last night than any team the Cards saw all season? Delusional much? Cardinal errors likely had as much to do with it as Boston being a “very deep, multi-talented team such as they have not encountered all season, a team whose level of play was just overwhelming.” Yep, hyperbole wins the day!

    • thomas655 - Oct 24, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      As a Cards fan, last night was ugly. Kozma allowed at least 3 of the 5 early runs with his errors. Wainwright just did not seem to be in tune last night. And then Beltran gets hurt. Hopefully tonight Wacha has a great night and the defense behind him will be better, and the offense will wake up. GO CARDS!!!!!

  9. ienjoysensi - Oct 24, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    What a dumb headline ” its only one loss ” no shit . But you make it sound like the cardinals are somehow in the drivers seat to win with wacha . Of course the cardinals can still win . I think everyone including red sox fans know it was just one loss …… thanks for the obvious.

  10. railcarcowboy - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Offense is the Cardinals’ problem. Kozma, Jay, and Freese are useless. Then the pitcher. Matt Holliday disappears in key spots. Just terrible.

  11. thomas655 - Oct 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Where is Shelby Miller? They could start him for Lynn and I do not think any Cardinals fan would disagree.

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