Who: Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
When: 8:07 PM, ET – FOX
Series record: 1-1
After winning Game 1 of the 2013 World Series in convincing fashion, all the Boston Red Sox needed to do was come away from Game 2 with a victory. A win would have forced the St. Louis Cardinals to win four of the next five games – not impossible, but unlikely.
They couldn’t do it as Cardinals rookie starter Michael Wacha was again dominating, keeping the Red Sox’s offense relatively quiet while Boston’s defensive follies sealed their fate.
Now we enter Game 3 with the series tied at one game apiece.
A change of venue will be the backdrop for Red Sox starter Jake Peavy, who unlike Jon Lester and John Lackey, has recent history against the Red Birds. Peavy, who spent a handful of years in the National League with the San Diego Padres most recently faced St. Louis in 2012, throwing seven innings of one run ball. The Alabama native has been dominant in three career starts at the new Busch Stadium, posting a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings while striking out 18 in the process. It’s a trend he’ll likely need to continue if he’s and his Red Sox are to top St. Louis Cardinals starter, Joe Kelly.
The young Kelly will be making his fourth start of the postseason, none of which have been overly impressive though all have been respectable. Kelly’s last start in the LCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t go so well as he gave up four earned runs in five innings of work, though he was more than adequate prior to that, giving up four runs in 11.1 postseason innings before his last start. Kelly will be making his first ever appearance against the Red Sox’s lineup.
Speaking of that, given the new venue, the Red Sox will be without their designated hitter for the next three games (if needed). David Ortiz, who has dominated the series so far will get the start at first base, though the team has yet to commit to Ortiz playing in the field past Game 3. Sitting in his place will likely be Mike Napoli. There were rumors that Napoli could start behind the plate as he is a former catcher, though, the Red Sox put no stock into that and Napoli will play the role of a pinch hitter, at least for Game 3.
Meanwhile, for St. Louis, Allen Craig, who missed over a month with a foot injury is not expected to play in the field come Game 3. Craig, who was the Cardinals’ designated hitter for the series’ first two games will be regulated to bench duty however, he has been participating in defensive drills at both first base and the outfield in recent days and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said it’s possible he may start in Game 4 and/or Game 5.
A victory tonight will put a team in the driver seat, moving them just two wins away from a World Series title.