Final, 4-2 Cardinals: The Sox go down 1-2-3, all via strikeout, and the Cardinals win to tie the series.
Middle 9th, 4-2 Cardinals: A perfect inning from Koji Uehara, but that’s nearly to be expected at this point. Only three outs left for the Red Sox, and Trevor Rosenthal is on for St. Louis.
End 8th, 4-2 Cardinals: The Red Sox had something going, but ultimately couldn’t score off Martinez, and they’re down to their final three outs.
Ellsbury reached via an error by Carpenter on what looked like a pretty routine ground ball. Victorino and Pedroia both struck out to follow, but Ortiz hit a chopper up the middle and reached after a diving Carpenter had no play with the ball.
Up stepped Napoli in the big spot, but he could only muster a weak pop-up to shallow left, where Kozma was able to make the catch to end the inning.
Koji Uehara, who hasn’t pitched since Saturday, is in to try to keep the score at 4-2.
Middle 8th, 4-2 Cardinals: Brandon Workman allowed a deep fly ball from Molina, and then a two-out single by Craig, but he induced a pop-up from Craig to end the inning.
It’s the top of the order coming up for Boston, so if there is to be a rally, now is the time for it to happen.
End 7th, 4-2 Cardinals: No rally for Boston, thanks to Pete Kozma’s barehand play to take a potential infield hit away from Stephen Drew. Saltalamacchia opened the inning with a strikeout, and Bogaerts ended it with a grounder to short. Carlos Martinez needed just 10 pitches to get through that one.
Only six outs left for the Sox to come back.
Middle 7th, 4-2 Cardinals: Tazawa gets a grounder to second to end the inning, but the damage has been done.
Top 7th, 2 out, 4-2 Cardinals: Breslow did not get the job done, and to make matters worse, he threw the ball into the stands to give up the lead.
After walking Descalso, Breslow had a chance to get out of the inning when Carpenter hit a shallow fly ball to left. Gomes caught the ball on the run, and fired home, but his throw was just wide. Saltalamacchia couldn’t handle the throw though, and the ball squirted away. Breslow picked it up and tried to throw to third base to get Jay, but his throw sailed over Bogaerts’ head and into the seats, allowing Jay to score the Cardinals’ third run.
Breslow then gave up an RBI single to Carlos Beltran to stretch the St. Louis lead to 4-2.
Not a good night for Breslow, who allowed a hit, a walk and a run in 1/3 of an inning. Lackey gets charged with three runs, all earned in his 6.2 IP.
Tazawa now on to try to stop the bleeding.
Top 7th, 2-1 Red Sox: John Lackey was staked to a lead, but he simply ran out of gas here in the seventh. He caught Craig looking at strike three, but he then lost a long battle to Freese by walking him after an eight-pitch at-bat. Jon Jay followed it up with a clean single to right field, and that’s all she wrote for Lackey.
He lasted 6.1 innings, but the cosmetics of his final line depend on what Craig Breslow can do in relief. He’s in to face Descalso and Carpenter, trying to keep the lead intact.
End 6th, 1 out, 2-1 Red Sox: Who else? David Ortiz.
The Sox’ cleanup hitter came up with one on and one out following a Pedroia walk. Ortiz worked the count full, and with Pedroia taking off with the pitch, Ortiz crushed a changeup on the outer half of the plate to left field. It was unclear if it would get out, but it had just enough to clear the 37-foot tall wall to give the Sox a 2-1 lead.
Napoli struck out and Freese made a nifty play to rob Gomes of a hit to end the inning, but the Sox are on the board, and they have the lead. Back to Lackey now.
Middle 6th, 1-0 Cardinals: John Lackey really is pitching his tail off, as he got two quick outs from Beltran and Holliday, the latter of whom struck out swinging at a slider on three pitches.
Lackey then got ahead of Adams 0-2, who sent a seeing-eye chopper between Bogaerts and Drew. Bogaerts just got his glove on it but couldn’t field it.
No matter, as Yadier Molina came up with two outs and grounded out to Pedroia on the first pitch of his at-bat.
Lackey’s at just 80 pitches through six, but in a trend that’s gone on for much of the year, he’s not getting run support.
The heart of the order is coming up for another crack at Wacha here in the sixth — Victorino, Pedroia and Ortiz.
End 5th, 1-0 Cardinals: Jarrod Saltalamacchia led off with a walk — barely — but that’s it for the Sox in the fifth, as Wacha is as good as advertised. Drew flew out to left (why he was not bunting to move the runner over, I do not know), Bogaerts struck out swinging through a 2-2 changeup, and Ellsbury popped out to third to end the inning.
Wacha’s allowed three walks and two hits through five, but he’s pitched out of all the minor jams thus far. He’s at 88 pitches, while Lackey’s at 71.
Middle 5th, 1-0 Cardinals: The Cards go down in order thanks to some exceptional defense by Stephen Drew. After a fly out to center by Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso sent a ball back up the middle. Drew fielded the ball on the first base side of the second base bag and fired to Napoli. It was the rare throw from Drew that wasn’t on target, but Napoli pivoted to his right and made the scoop just in time to get Descalso at first.
Matt Carpenter then sent another one back up the middle. On this one, Drew fielded it behind second base in the outfield grass before spinning and throwing on to first for the out.
He hasn’t hit much, but his defense has been steady. John Lackey surely appreciated it that inning.
Drew’s up second this inning. Let’s see if he breaks the slump there.
End 4th, 1-0 Cardinals: Pete Kozma was replaced by Daniel Descalso at shortstop tonight after the former had an adventure in the field in Game 1. And it’s looking like a good call for Mike Matheny now.
The Red Sox had something going, after a leadoff laser beam double by Pedroia and a five-pitch walk by Ortiz. Up stepped Napoli with two on and nobody out, but he grounded to shorstop. Descalso fielded the grounder and fired to second, where Carpenter relayed on to first for a huge double play.
Pedroia advanced to third on the play, but Gomes popped out to the right side to end the inning — and the threat.
Middle 4th, 1-0 Cardinals: Leadoff triples more often than not end up turning into runs, no matter how well a pitcher pitches in the following at-bats. John Lackey learned that the hard way in the fourth.
Matt Holliday sent a shot off the angled bullpen wall in the triangle in right-center field. Ellsbury tried to make the catch but the ball ricocheted off the wall toward center. Ellsbury tracked it down, but not before Holliday was easily jogging into third base.
Dustin Pedroia then came up with a nifty diving catch on Matt Adams to keep the run at third, before Yadier Molina hit a high chopper over the mound. Pedroia fielded it and looked home, but Holliday was just steps away from the plate, so the second baseman fired on to first. Mike Napoli applied the tag for the second out, but the run was in.
Lackey followed that up by walking Craig, but Freese grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
But the first run is in. It’ll take a Boston comeback tonight if the Sox are to win.
End 3rd, 0-0: After Stephen Drew and Xander Bogaerts both struck out to start the inning, Jacoby Ellsbury muscled a broken-bat single into shallow left field for Boston’s first hit of the night. But Victorino followed that up with a fly out to end the inning.
It’s a full-fledged pitchers’ duel now. Who will blink first?
Middle 3rd, 0-0: John Lackey’s got his full arsenal going tonight, unleashing the slider in that inning and striking out Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter, before getting Beltran to ground out to second base to end the inning.
Lackey’s picking up right where he left off in Detroit last week, when he won a 1-0 battle against Justin Verlander. From the looks of things early on, it looks like runs will once again be tough to come by.
End 2nd, 0-0: A Mike Napoli walk preceded Jonny Gomes working a count full, bringing the Fenway fans to their feet and a resounding chant of “WACH-A” echoing throughout the old ballpark.
But the kid was unaffected, getting Gomes to make weak contact on a shallow fly to center, then getting Saltalamacchia to do the same to end the inning.
Through two innings, Wacha’s at 38 pitches, while Lackey’s at 30.
Middle 2nd, 0-0: A leadoff single to right field by Yadier Molina goes for naught, as Lackey comes back to get Allen Craig (F9), David Freese (K) and Jon Jay (4-3) to get out of the inning.
It’s Ortiz, Napoli, Gomes coming up for Boston.
End 1st, 0-0: It’s cold out, but Michael Wacha has brought plenty of gas. He used his fastball, primarily, to retire the side in order. He induced a weak pop-up from Ellsbury before striking out Victorino and Pedroia to end the inning. Victorino put up quite the battle, but Wacha went to the changeup to get him to flail at a ball diving for the dirt. There’s about a 10 mph difference between the fastball and changeup, and with that fastball at 95 or 96, that changeup might as well be 56 mph.
Middle 1st, 0-0: Carlos Beltran swung exactly once, and it resulted in an opposite-field single to left field. Jonny Gomes tried to make a diving catch but the ball fell just short. He was able to find it and get it in quickly to hold Beltran to a single. After that, Matt Holliday struck out swinging at high heat, and Matt Adams flew out to left to end the inning.
Lackey looked good, getting out of the inning in 14 pitches.
Top 1st, 0-0: John Lackey’s first pitch to Matt Carpenter is a called strike, and Game 2 has officially begun at Fenway Park. Temperature at first pitch is 49 degrees.
8 p.m.: It’s 2004 all over again, as members of the 2004 championship team took the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
That group included Pedro Martinez, Trot Nixon, Mike Timlin, Jason Varitek, Keith Foulke and the one man still on the team, David Ortiz.
The crowd certainly loved it, and we’re just about ready for baseball.
7:46 p.m.: As it turns out, Mariano Rivera’s Fenway farewell earlier this season was not his last goodbye, as he was just honored on the field. Rivera accepted the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award tonight, and the Fenway PA blasted Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as Rivera came onto the field with his family. The crowd here gave him a nice applause, as it’s much easier to appreciate his work now that he won’t be beating the home team anymore.
David Ortiz put his arms around Rivera’s kids and laughed with them on their way off the field.
In other news, it’s almost time for baseball.
6:44 p.m.: Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Trot Nixon just spoke in the interview room, and it was, as expected, an entertaining talk.
Lowe and Pedro both addressed the Lester issue, saying just about every pitcher has pine tar or some sort of sticky substance somewhere, and it’s no different than a batter using pine tar to get a better grip on the bat.
Pedro also talked about his sadness in having to leave Boston after ’04, saying that Larry Lucchino didn’t believe that another team offered a four-year contract to the veteran pitcher at the time.
Lowe said about his exit that he expected it, because the radio and newspapers had started talking about his off-the-field life early in the season. He said the media will tell you who’s going to stay and who’s going to go.
5:55 p.m.: Carlos Beltran is St. Louis’ most dangerous hitter, and even though he’s dealing with that rib injury, he’s going to give it a go tonight.
He’ll be in right field, batting second, and while he’ll no doubt be hurting, the combination of pain killers and adrenaline should be enough to help him deal with the sore ribs.
5:30 p.m.: Jon Lester spoke to WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche about the whole foreign substance debate, and you can watch that, as well as read John Farrell’s and Mike Matheny’s comments on it, by clicking here.
4:30 p.m.: It’s a brighter day here at Fenway but perhaps a bit chillier than yesterday, but I don’t think the cold is going to stop any of these guys from playing Game 2 of the World Series tonight.
The Boston lineup is out, and Jonny Gomes remains in it, starting in left field. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will make his World Series debut, starting behind the plate to catch John Lackey.
Here’s what the Boston lineup looks like:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Jonny Gomes, LF
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Stephen Drew, SS
9. Xander Bogaerts, 3B
I thought Nava would get in there, but clearly Farrell meant it when he said he was going to ride the momentum. I do think Nava will get more opportunities when the series shifts to St. Louis, and he may get in tonight again, like he did last night with his late double.
John Farrell also just addressed the media, and in addition to downplaying the whole Jon Lester/foreign substance story, he said that he and the team fully expect Clay Buchholz to be ready to go Sunday night in Game 4.
I’ll have more updates, including quotes from Farrell and the Cardinals lineup, shortly, so stay tuned for all the pregame chatter. Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe will speak soon too, so I’ll pass along what they have to say.