Friday, October 25, 2013

Jay Jay Leads Cardinals over Red Sox, 4-2, Sends Series to St. Louis

Players of the Day for Thursday, October 24, 2013

World Series Game Two

After an embarrassing game one loss, St. Louis regrouped, topping the Red Sox, 4-2, to tie the series at a game apiece.

Matt Holliday scored he game's first run in the fourth inning, as Cardinal rookie phenom, Michael Wacha, and Boston's John Lackey locked into a pitching duel. Holliday tripled to deep center leading off the inning and scored when Yadier Molina grounded out to second.

The Red Sox responded in the sixth, finally getting to Wacha when Dustin Pedroia worked a one out walk and David Ortiz followed with a home run over the Green Monster in left field, giving the Sox a 2-1 lead.

Jon Jay
The crucial plays came in the seventh inning as St. Louis responded. David Freese walked with one out and advanced to second on Jon Jay's single to right. That was all for Lackey, replaced on the mound by reliever Craig Breslow. Pete Kozma came on to run for Freese. The Cardinals pulled off a double steal, Kozma advancing to third, Jay to second, as Boston catcher, Jerrod Saltalamacchia, could not get the ball out of his glove and did not produce a throw.

David Descalso worked a walk to load the bases, bringing leadoff hitter, Matt Carpenter, to the plate. Carpenter lofted a ball to shallow left field, Kozma tagged and beat the throw by Shane Victorino, which was off line, toward the first base side. The ball glanced off Saltalamacchia's glove, but Breslow was in position to back up the play.

Jay made a bee-line for third base, and Breslow's throw sailed over the head of Boston third baseman, Xander Bogaerts, and into the stands. Jay scored, Descalso advancing to third, giving the Cardinals the lead again, at 3-2. The next batter, Carlos Beltran, added an insurance run, stroking a single to right, bringing Descalso home.

Given the two-run lead, Cardinal relievers Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal were magnificent. Martinez worked the seventh and eighth, allowing one hit while striking out three. Rosenthal was all business in the ninth, striking out the side on eleven pitches to end the game and send the series back to St. Louis for games three, four and five, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jay's single, stolen base and alert base-running in the seventh were the keys to the St. Louis win, putting pressure back on Boston, as they must make lineup changes in St. Louis, where the DL rule will not be in effect. If Boston wants to keep Ortiz and Mike Napoli in the lineup, they'll be at unfamiliar positions. Ortiz, Boston's regular DH, will be at first, while Napoli, who spent years with the Angels and Rangers primarily as a catcher, has played first base all season and has not been behind the plate since last season.

Today's Trivia: Who holds the record for total bases in a single post-season? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: Bernie Williams of the New York Yankees is the all-time career leader in post-season RBI with 80.

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