The St. Louis Cardinals have struggled with left handed hitting all season long. That could be part of the reason the Boston Red Sox opted to start Jon Lester in Game 1 of the 2013 World Series, a decision that looks pretty good right now.
Things started off extremely rough for the Cardinals and starter Adam Wainwright who immediately found himself in trouble come the bottom of the first inning.
A Jacoby Ellsbury walk, momentarily followed by a Dustin Pedrioa single put runners on first and second for Red Sox slugger David Ortiz who hit a ground ball to second base. Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter tossed the ball to shortstop Pete Kozma, who at first glance, looked to have trouble on the exchange on what could have been a potential double play ball. Regardless, Pedrioa was called out at second base on the force. That didn’t sit well with Red Sox skipper John Farrell who stormed the field, asking the umpiring crew to get together and discuss the call, which to their credit, they did. Moments later, the call was reversed and Pedrioa was awarded second base while Ortiz was given first base, loading the bases. The reversed call was correct as Kozma never had control of the ball, though Cardinals manager Mike Matheny did his best to argue otherwise.
Lester dominated the Cardinals all night, tossing 7.2 innings of shutout ball, giving up just five hits in the process while striking out eight. The same couldn’t be said for Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who seemingly found himself in danger on a near every inning basis.
After the drama in the bottom half of the first, the onslaught continued in the second after Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina let a pop fly drop in the middle of the infield. The Red Sox were able to add two more runs to their lead, pushing the advantage to 5-0, though, shockingly it could have been far worse as Carlos Beltran robbed a would-be David Ortiz grand slam. Unfortunately for St. Louis, Beltran, who crashed into the right field wall in the process hurt his ribs and had to leave the game where he was later transformed to a local hospital for further evaluation.
The Red Sox’s five-run lead continued to hold until the bottom of the seventh inning when the aforementioned Ortiz stepped to the plate again, this time sending an uncatchable bomb over the right center wall, giving Boston a staggering 7-0 lead.
St. Louis was able to scratch a ninth inning run thanks to a Matt Holliday sole home run, ending the Red Sox’s hope of completing their first World Series shutout since 1975.
A relatively ugly game with four errors combined (three from St. Louis), both teams will try to clean up their acts for Game 2 which takes place on Thursday night as Michael Wacha will take the hill for the St. Louis Cardinals, opposing John Lackey of the Red Sox.