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Final, 8-1 Red Sox: Dempster served up the long ball to Holliday, who smacked one deep to left-center and over the Monster, ending the Sox’ shutout. It didn’t matter much though, as he was able to close it out despite a two-out single by Freese.
That was quite the performance all around from the Red Sox, who take a much-earned Game 1 victory.
End 8th, 8-0 Red Sox: Daniel Nava entered the game for Gomes and doubled before advancing to third on a passed ball, and Bogaerts drove him in with a laser of a line drive for a sacrifice fly.
Dempster’s on to record the final three outs of the game.
Middle 8th, 7-0 Red Sox: Tazawa gets the Sox out of the inning, and they’re three outs away from a 1-0 series lead.
Top 8th, 2 outs, 7-0 Red Sox: Jon Lester was only at 112 pitches, so he could have probably gotten one more out, but manager John Farrell made sure the lefty got the ovation he deserved by coming out with the hook.
Lester’s line for the evening: 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 SO. A “W” can be added to that soon enough.
End 7th, 7-0 Red Sox: Errors, errors, errors. You don’t want to make them in the World Series. The Cardinals had yet another error in the seventh, a bad throw by third baseman David Freese which allowed Pedroia to reach base, and it came back to bite them just one pitch later. Kevin Siegrist came on to face David Ortiz, who launched the first pitch he saw over the Boston bullpen. He was robbed of the grand slam earlier, but that two-run dinger will probably help take some of the sting out.
That’s the third RBI of the night for Ortiz, which matches Napoli’s total.
Lester is heading back out of the eighth inning, with Junichi Tazawa warming in the pen.
The Cardinals used three pitchers in the bottom of the seventh, slowing things down a bit here at Fenway. It would’ve been a shorter inning if not for a two-out error by David Freese, which allowed Pedroia to reach. Kevin Siegrist came on to face David Ortiz with one on and two outs,
Middle 7th, 5-0 Red Sox: Is Jon Lester an ace? You tell me.
He just retired the side in order, including two strikeouts, and he’s through seven scoreless innings tonight. At 102 pitches, he could come back out for the eighth (there’s some jogging going on in the bullpen), but it’s not entirely necessary.
End 6th, 5-0 Red Sox: Axford keeps the score where it is, and you have to start to wonder a little bit if the Sox are getting complacent with that lead. It’s only one St. Louis rally from being a lot tighter than it needs to be.
Bogaerts, Drew and Ross all went down by way of the K in that one, in a rather impressive inning of work by Axford.
Middle 6th, 5-0 Red Sox: It was a big one for Lester, and he had the best inning he’s turned in for a while. Holliday flew out to left on the first pitch, before Lester got Craig to look at strike three (a perfect cutter on the outside edge to the righty). Lester then got Molina to pop out weakly to first base to end the inning. He’s got another one in him, if the Red Sox so choose. There’s no action in the bullpen at this moment, so it seems like he’ll be back for the seventh.
Wainwright, meanwhile, is finished. John Axford is in to pitch for St. Louis.
End 5th, 5-0 Red Sox: Credit to Adam Wainwright for really steadying the ship here, as he’s done enough to give the Cardinals a chance — something that didn’t seem possible after the first two innings.
He did allow a single to Ortiz in this inning, but he got Napoli and Gomes to ground into fielder’s choices (I’ve never pluralized that before, weird) to end the inning. He’s at 95 pitches, so he can certainly go another inning. This is a big one coming up for Lester.
Middle 5th, 5-0 Red Sox: Jon Lester gave up a pair of hits, and an error by Jonny Gomes allowed the two runners to reach second and third with two outs. But Lester again got himself out of the jam, inducing a chopper by Jon Jay to shortstop. Drew made his third charging play of the night for the final out of the third, and the Sox keep that 5-0 lead intact.
Gomes also made a really nice diving catch earlier in the inning to rob Matt Adams of a leadoff single. Lester’s at 78 pitches through five. Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli are due up in the bottom half of the inning.
End 4th, 5-0 Red Sox: Wainwright has worked into a bit of a groove, retiring the side in order again in the fourth, with two outs coming via strikeouts.
Middle 4th, 5-0 Red Sox: Jon Lester worked himself into a bit of trouble in the fourth, starting with the same mistake Wainwright had in the first: a leadoff walk.
Lester walked Jon Jay, who had entered the game in Beltran’s spot, to lead off the inning, before striking out Holliday. But then Allen Craig and Yadier Molina hit back-to-back singles, and Lester was suddenly facing a bases-loaded, one-out situation.
And he got out of it unscathed.
David Freese hit a weak comebacker right at Lester, who fielded the ball to his right and softly threw to the plate. Ross stepped out in front of the plate and fired a strike to Napoli to complete the 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning without allowing a run. Lester’s not exactly a superstar when it comes to throwing the ball to bases, but he can handle a throw to the plate.
End 3rd, 5-0 Red Sox: Wainwright gets the Sox to go down in order, but Bogaerts worked a hard-hit line drive to shortstop in the middle of that, so it wasn’t exactly dominant.
Beltran was announced as having a right rib contusion.
Middle 3rd, 5-0 Red Sox: The Red Sox lead 5-0, and Jon Lester is dealing.
The lefty got two quick outs from the weak-hitting bottom of the St. Louis order with a ground out by Robinson and a pop out by Kozma. Lester then got leadoff man Chris Carpenter to watch strike three go by.
Lester now has four strikeouts and has thrown just 35 pitches.
And in bad news for the Cardinals, that Carlos Beltran catch came with a cost. He’s now out of the game, with Jon Jay coming in to play center and Shane Robinson moving over to right field. It looked like he awkwardly crushed his shoulder into the wall, as if the wall was a bit closer than he thought, but that’s not official or anything.
End 2nd, 5-0 Red Sox: The Cardinals are a mess. Stephen Drew led off the inning by skying a popup between the plate and the mound. Wainwright and Molina converged on it, and the catcher backed off when the pitcher appeared to call for the ball. But neither of them made the play, and Drew got a freebie base hit to lead off the inning. David Ross followed that up by going down and digging out a low pitch for a base hit over the leap of Carpenter at second.
Victorino then hit a chopper to the hole on the left side, and Kozma let it bounce off the heel of his glove for an error. He might not have been able to make a play, but by fielding it so poorly, the official scorer ruled it as an error.
Dustin Pedroia made it costly by singling through the left side to make it 4-0.
Up stepped David Ortiz, who was clearly thinking grand slam based on his swing on 1-1. He missed, but he connected on 1-2 in what looked to be another postseason grand salami for him. But Carlos Beltran made an incredible catch, leaping into the wall and securing it through impact. Ross scored on the sac fly, but man, if the Cards do climb back into it, they’ll have Beltran to thank.
Wainwright is at 60 pitches through two innings, a sharp contrast to Lester’s 22.
Middle 2nd, 3-0 Red Sox: Jon Lester gets the job done, striking out Molina and Freese before getting Adams to ground out to second base to end the inning.
It was a cool 10 pitches for Lester, and he’s now at 22 through two innings.
End 1st, 3-0 Red Sox: Mike Napoli made that reversed call count in a big way. He got ahead in the count 2-0 and sat on a fastball, and a fastball he got.
Napoli smoked a line drive into the left-center field gap, and Shane Robinson (who’s in there because he’s better defensively than Jon Jay, allegedly) bobbled it, allowing David Ortiz to score easily all the way from first base.
Wainwright allowed three runs, two earned in the inning, after allowing just four runs in his 23 postseason innings prior to this game. He also needed 31 pitches to retire the side.
That’s not the start the Cardinals wanted, obviously, and now it’s up to Jon Lester to get his team right back to the plate again.
Bottom 1st, 1 out, 0-0: An absolutely atrocious call by second base umpire Dana DeMuth was so obviously bad that the umpires all met on the infield and decided to reverse it.
The call was that Pete Kozma dropped a ball on the transfer while trying to turn two, which was wrong. Kozma never even came close to catching the throw from Carpenter on David Ortiz’s ground ball, so the umps got together and overruled DeMuth’s ruling, after John Farrell argued vehemently.
Mike Matheny was not happy and gave the umpiring crew an earful, but it doesn’t matter. It’s bases loaded, one out for Mike Napoli.
Ellsbury walked, Pedroia singled and Ortiz reached via what is now an error.
Bottom 1st, 0-0: Jacoby Ellsbury works a leadoff walk, which probably wasn’t expected by too many folks. Adam Wainwright had just one walk in his 23 postseason innings prior to tonight.
Middle 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester got his night off to a very efficient start, inducing a ground out to short by Carpenter on just three pitches and getting Beltran to strike out swinging on four pitches. Matt Holliday singled on the first pitch he saw, but Allen Craig popped out to second to the inning. Lester needed just 12 pitches to make it through, and his cutter looks to be on tonight. That’ll be huge for him if it keeps up.
Ellsbury, Victorino, Pedroia due up to face Wainwright.
Top 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester’s first pitch to Matt Carpenter is a ball low, and the 2013 World Series is officially under way.
8 p.m.: You don’t see Yaz too often, and when you do, you know it’s a special moment. Carl Yastrzemski just took the field to a rousing ovation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Yaz was part of that ’67 Impossible Dream team, so it’s fitting that he’s here to support this year’s team, which had as unlikely a season as that one way back when. Yaz still can throw too, as he delivered a good one to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
7:50 p.m.: The starting lineups are being introduced and we’re minutes away from baseball. It’s quite the environment here at Fenway tonight. There are a good number of Cardinals fans, but they don’t stand out due to their red clothing blending in with everyone else. But you can definitely hear them while Cardinals players are being introduced.
7 p.m.: Batting practice just wrapped up for the Cardinals, and there’s not much new to report other than that it is getting cold. It’s not an ideal night to get jammed with an inside fastball, I’ll tell you that much.
5:10 p.m.: And we have a Cardinals starting lineup. Here’s what it looks like:
1. Matt Carpenter, 2B
2. Carlos Beltran, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Allen Craig, DH
5. Yadier Molina, C
6. David Freese, 3B
7. Matt Adams, 1B
8. Shane Robinson, CF
9. Pete Kozma, SS
SP, Adam Wainwright
Jon Jay is noticeably absent from the lineup, replaced by Shane Robinson, who has just eight plate appearances this postseason. Defense is likely a big reason, as Jay’s abilities in center field have come into question, which is something that doesn’t exactly get helped by Fenway Park’s unique dimensions. Robinson started Game 6 of the NLCS and went 2-for-4, so Matheny is sticking with it.
4:30 p.m.: It’s chilly, it’s dark, and it may not feel like baseball, but that’s exactly how the World Series in Boston should be.
I’m just getting checked in here in right field at Fenway Park, just about three and a half hours from first pitch of Game 1 of the World Series. The Red Sox’ pitchers are out on the field stretching, getting ready to throw, and the batting cage sits about 50 feet from the giant media throng that is here to cover the Series.
The big talk, I guess, today is Clay Buchholz perhaps having some sort of pain that may or may not influence his start this weekend in Game 3. But as big of a deal as that may be, it shouldn’t distract from tonight, which should be a great one in Boston.
While there will be plenty to discuss before first pitch, here is the starting lineups for the Red Sox.
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Jonny Gomes, LF
7. Xander Bogaerts, 3B
8. Stephen Drew, SS
9. David Ross, C
P, Jon Lester
Obviously, the presence of Jonny Gomes over Daniel Nava stands out, but John Farrell said he is going to stick with what got him here. David Ross is also behind the plate to catch Lester, and you’ll remember he had a surprising two-hit game in the ALCS. We’ll see if he keeps that up (he only had four multi-hit games all season).
I’ll have the Cardinals lineup for you shortly, as well as all the pregame updates from here at Fenway. Stay with the live blog deep into the night, as I’ll be updating throughout the game (so long as my fingers don’t freeze off along the way).