Sunday, October 27, 2013

Matt Holliday Drives in Three as Cardinals Take 2-1 World Series Edge on Bizarre Ending

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 26, 2013

World Series Game Three

Matt Holiday drove in three runs to help position the Cardinals for a wild ninth-inning ending, putting St. Louis up two games to one with a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Holliday: 2-5, 3RBI
Prior to Allen Craig doubling and scoring the game-winner on an obstruction call, Holliday had gotten the Cardinals out to an early lead with an RBI single in the first as St. Louis scored a pair off Boaston starter, Jake Peavy. After Boston tied the game at 2-2, with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, Holliday delivered a two-run double in the seventh to give St. Louis what looked, at the time, a safe lead.

Boston re-tied the contest with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth and the game appeared headed for extra innings after the Cardinals failed to produce in the bottom of the eighth. But, Yadier Molina singled with one out in the ninth, followed by Craig's double as a pinch-hitter for reliever Trevor Rosenthal.

With runners at second and third and the infield playing in, Jon Jay grounded to second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, who threw home to nail Molina at the plate. Boston catcher, Jerrod Saltalamacchia, whipped a throw to third base in an attempt to gun down Craig, who was trying to advance on the play. The ball eluded third baseman, Will Middlebrooks, who lay prone in the third-to-home basepath when Criag rose from his slide and attempted to slide, but tripped over Middlebrooks, falling face-first to the ground.

Craig continued down the line, the throw beating him to the plate, where Saltalamacchia applied the tag, but the play was overruled by third base umpire Jim Joyce, who awarded Criag home on grounds of obstruction by Middlebrooks, an obvious and correct call.

Notes: Both teams emptied their respective benches in a managerial free-for-all. St. Louis used 18 players, six of them pitchers, while Boston fielded 17, also employing six hurlers, though Mike Napoli, Boston's surest power hitter, sat the bench throughout.

-- As is often the case in World Series games, little things matter, such as Matt Carpenter reaching on a checked swing to shortstop Xander Bogaerts (moved from third to short to start the inning). Bogaerts got to Carpenter's dribbler, but threw wide to first base, manned by David Ortiz, who had played the position all of five times during the regular season. Ortiz failed to come up with the ball and Carpenter later scored the go-ahead run, breaking a 2-2 tie, on Holliday's double down the left field line.

-- The Cardinals won for the second straight time without the benefit of a home run. Matt Holliday has the only St. Louis homer thus far, a ninth-inning solo shot in game one, an 8-1 Boston rout.

Game four starters are Lance Lynn for St. Louis and Clay Buchholz for Boston, with first pitch slated for 8:07 pm EDT.

Today's Trivia: The record for total bases in a World Series is 25, shared by which two players? (answer tomorrow)

Yesterday's Answer: David Freese set the standard for total bases in a single post-season with 40 in 2011.

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