|10.24.13 at 10:40 am ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the Red Sox’ 8-1 victory over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series.
The Sox capitalized early, scoring five runs in the first two innings against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. Boston took advantage of several Cardinals miscues, as St. Louis committed three errors in the game.
“Well, it was a good outcome. I thought we had a really good approach against Wainwright, whose a fantastic pitcher, particularly the middle of the order,” Cherington said. “Obviously Lester back it up and pitched terrifically, so it was a good start and we know the Cardinals are a really good team and I’m sure we’ll have another tough test tonight.”
Perhaps the biggest turning point in the game happened in the first inning, as the umpires convened and overturned a ruling by Dana DeMuth that Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma lost a potential double-play ball on the exchange, giving the Cardinals an out at second. The ruling that the runner was safe would be huge, as Mike Napoli responded in the ensuing at-bat with a bases-clearing double that gave the Sox a 3-0 lead.
“It seems to me like the most important thing in a game like this is to make sure as much on the field goes as right as possible and is as fair as possible,”Cherington said. “In the end, they got the call right and I think the umpires should be commended for that. It’s also pretty clear that Major League Baseball, it’s what they want to have happen and in the future, there will more of a formal mechanism in place for it to happen, but credit the umpires for taking it upon themselves last night to make sure the call was right.”
Sox manager John Farrell made the call to go with Jonny Gomes in left field over Daniel Nava once again. Despite the fact that Nava has put together better numbers this season, including a .303 batting average (eighth in the AL) and a .385 OBP, Boston has performed much better with Gomes in the lineup this postseason — a 7-0 record.
“Jonny Gomes helps us win. Most of the time that he’s in there, [he] helps us win in a lot of different ways, and sometimes it’s his bat, sometimes it’s with the defense, sometimes it’s with a smart play,” Cherington said. “We know that we have basically two left fielders that have helped us all year and I think you’ll see Nava in there before the series is over. John is just trying to use both guys and find the best matchups to use both guys. … If you just went strictly by the numbers, I suppose Nava would be in there all the time and I think John just feels like what’s best for the team is to still use both, because both guys were so instrumental in getting us to this point, so I think you will see both over the course of the series.”
|10.24.13 at 10:08 am ET|
During the Red Sox’ Game 1 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday night, there was some discoloration on the inside of Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester‘s glove. One video clip shows Lester touching the greenish/yellowish area with the tips of two fingers as he gets ready to throw a pitch.
That was enough for Cardinals minor league pitcher Tyler Melling to tweet out his concern: Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?
Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight? pic.twitter.com/IyQn2iqg5f
— Tyler Melling (@TylerMelling) October 24, 2013
This isn’t the first time the Cardinals have been in involved in a controversy regarding an opposing pitcher in the World Series. In 2006, Tigers hurler Kenny Rogers was accused by members of the Cardinals organization of using pine tar and scuffing baseballs after a substance was spotted on his pitching hand in Detroit’s 3-1 victory in Game 2. The umpiring crew determined the substance was dirt.
|10.24.13 at 8:06 am ET|
After an 8-1 drubbing of a loss to the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series, the Cardinals agreed on one thing: This is not who they are.
Ace Adam Wainwright gave up five runs (three earned) in five innings, and that’s not who he is. Sure-handed shortstop Pete Kozma made a pair of errors, and that’s not who he is. Third baseman David Freese had a throwing error, and catcher Yadier Molina and Wainwright let a pop-up drop between them, and that’s not who they are, either.
Surely, after a 97-65 regular season, then dispatching the Pirates and Dodgers en route to the Series, the Cardinals are a better team than what they showed Wednesday, they said.
“This is the way baseball goes sometimes,” second baseman Matt Carpenter said. “When a play like [the first-inning error by Kozma] happens, it can kind of unravel. It seems like you can’t stop the bleeding, you’re down 5-0. It’s just one of those nights.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, like each of his players, was disappointed in the fundamental breakdowns. He echoed their sentiment that this was not a representative example of Cardinals baseball.
“We had a wake-up call,” Matheny said. “That is not the kind of team that we’ve been all season. And they’re frustrated. I’m sure embarrassed, to a point.”
The first lapse resulted in a tone-setting call reversal in the first inning — Dustin Pedroia was eventually ruled safe at second when the umpires ruled Kozma never had the ball — and it opened the door for three Red Sox runs. On Mike Napoli’s ensuing bases-clearing double, St. Louis centerfielder Shane Robinson bobbled the ricochet off the Green Monster, allowing David Ortiz score all the way from first.
|10.24.13 at 8:00 am ET|
Last offseason, the Red Sox needed a right-handed, middle-of-the-order complement to David Ortiz, someone who would work pitchers over and elevate their pitch counts, trying to wear them down before identifying a pitch to which he could do damage. They wanted a positive clubhouse presence, a player who would embrace the sometimes challenging, sometimes rewarding nature of playing in Boston.
They wanted Mike Napoli.
Napoli represented the team’s top priority at the start of the offseason, a player so central to the team’s hopes for restoring a deep, imposing lineup that principal owner John Henry joined the dinner courtship of him when the Red Sox front office was making its recruiting pitch. While his tortuous offseason saga is now well-documented, it’s safe to say that in the end, after a negotiation that took a confounding number of turns, both Napoli and the Sox got exactly what they wanted.
The Sox got their middle-of-the-order slugger to hit behind Ortiz, a player who has taken the postseason by storm in the past week-plus while delivering considerable thump against some of the top pitchers in the majors.
Against the Tigers in the ALCS, his offense represented the difference in victories over Justin Verlander in Game 3 and Anibal Sanchez in Game 5. On Thursday, in Game 1 of the World Series, he once again helped to jumpstart the Sox offense, following the reversal of a blown call on Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma‘s error by smoking a bases-loaded, three-run double in the bottom of the first inning against St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright, setting in motion the Sox’ offensive eruption en route to an 8-1 victory. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.24.13 at 2:55 am ET|
Off the bat, it seemed like it might be two outs. Then it was ruled one out. And then overruled to be no outs.
The biggest swing moment of Game 1 of the World Series undoubtedly took place in the bottom of the first inning. With runners on first and second, David Ortiz got jammed on a 92 mph cutter and rolled it to second baseman Matt Carpenter. Carpenter struggled for an instance to get a grip on the ball before he flipped it to shortstop Pete Kozma. While the feed was true, the ball ended up on the ground.
Kozma knew what had happened.
“I just missed it,” the shortstop rued. “Carpenter made a good feed and I just didn’t get my glove on it.”
But second base umpire Dana DeMuth ruled that Kozma had lost the handle on the ball only after securing the ball for a force out. The Sox, however, felt confident that Kozma had closed his glove too soon, with the ball never making it inside and instead kicking off the tip of the glove.
Dustin Pedroia, who had been ruled out at second, lodged the first protest.
“I just slid in there and I thought [the drop] wasn’t on the transfer,” Pedroia said. “I saw what everyone else did. I said, ‘He dropped it.’ He said, ‘No, it was on the transfer.’ I just said, ‘OK.’ It’s not my job to argue.”
It is, however, the job of manager John Farrell to do just that. And so, he jogged from the Red Sox dugout to talk to DeMuth and to ask him to confer with his peers. Read the rest of this entry »
|10.24.13 at 1:47 am ET|
It took Carlos Beltran 16 major league seasons to reach the World Series, and when he finally got there on Wednesday night at Fenway Park, his experience lasted just two innings. The Cardinals right fielder crashed into the right-field wall while robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam in the second, then exited an inning later. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said after the game that Beltran was transported to a local hospital, where CT scans and X-rays were negative. He is day-to-day.
Mozeliak termed it a “severe rib bruise” for the time being.
“He’s a little down right now, certainly disappointed,” Mozeliak said. “Obviously he wanted to play in this, and to come out of the game before it ended was disappointing.”
Mozeliak said based on conversations he had with team trainers, he is “somewhat optimistic” Beltran would play in Game 2 Thursday night.
Still, much of that decision will be based on how the eight-time All-Star feels when he wakes up, as well as how his side reacts to batting practice pregame.
“Obviously you want to see your club at full strength,” Mozeliak said. “[But] rather than try to play through it … it made more sense to get him tested.”
A number of Cardinals expressed similar disappointment that the veteran had to leave early.
“Any time you lose a guy like him, it’s tough,” said catcher Yadier Molina.
|10.24.13 at 1:15 am ET|
After the Red Sox’ 8-1 win over the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series, Clay Buchholz offered an update for his status for the rest of the series.
The Red Sox righty explained that his goal was now to pitch in Game 4, which moves Jake Peavy into the start for Game 3 in St. Louis.
While Buchholz admits to not being 100 percent, he said that his current ailment isn’t like the shoulder issue that shut him down for more than three months.
“Just a little bit of fatigue setting in,” Buchholz said. “You get ready to go in spring training and you get throwing ready off a mound and then you have the whole month and a half to throw and catch in games. The secondary spring training for me was pretty much three rehab starts and then straight back into the mix. If there is a reason for velocity jumps and velocity drops I think that would be the best reason for it.
“It’s nothing like I had to take that long break during the season. It’s nothing to that extent. When I got hurt during the season I threw a pitch and said, ‘OK, I don’t think I can throw another one.’ Me feeling with this, I was in the second inning the other night and ended up going into the sixth. That’s my outlook on it. For me, taking a couple of days of getting treatment and rest and pumping the fluids and getting the anti-inflammatories in my system. My view right now is to be ready to pitch on Sunday.”
Asked if the feeling should be labeled a concern, Buchholz said, “Not for me.” He then added, “It’s just a little dead at certain points. It’s not a pinpoint straight point where you say, ‘That’s where it is.’”
Buchholz has consistently hit a wall in the middle innings throughout his three postseason starts, carrying a .205 batting average against in Innings 1-4, with opponents managing a .435 clip in Innings 5-6.
“There’s not one particular spot,” he said. “It’s just a feeling you don’t like feeling going into the World Series. It’s nothing out of the ordinary from anybody, but at the same time this is where you want to be your best.”
As for when he first felt the issue during his last start, Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, Buchholz said it popped up fairly early on in the outing.
“We had a long inning, bases were loaded. I sat in the dugout for 15 minutes or so, went back out, and I couldn’t get loose as quick as did two innings previous and it stayed that way through the sixth inning,” he said. “It wasn’t like a one pitch deal where I was like, ‘That’s not right.’ It was just a constant tightness that I felt and that’s all there is.”
The pitcher added, “I’ve got maybe one start left so this is where you want to throw it all on the line. That’s sort of how I’m looking at it now. I haven’t been 100 percent for a long time now and pitched less than 100 percent for the last couple of months. What’s one more.”
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