Monday, October 25, 2004

World Series Game 1

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 11, St. Louis Cardinals 9

So last night we had a World Series Game 1 party here at the apartment. Seven or eigth people, pizza, beer and the idiots on television* for a good three plus hours. Things went pretty well at first: Wakefield gave up a hit and a man made it as far as second, but then got out of the inning unscathed. In their half of the inning, the Sox got four, including a three run homer by David "I the Papi" Ortiz** on his first World Series at bat. The Cards got a run in the second, then a run in the third, then the Sox got three more in their half of the third, driving starter Woody Williams from the game. Wakefield last less than half an inning longer, as he lost control of his knuckleball and started walking batters with a vengeance. The Cardinals got three before Bronson Arroyo was able to shut them down. St. Louis got two more in the sixth to tie it, Boston answered with another two in the seventh and Keith Foulke came on in the eighth to reliever Timlin and get the save. In game where St. Louis had already committed one error and the Red Sox two, Manny went on to blow Foulke's save by committing two errors in a row, scoring two runs. It is worthy to note that this is the only time anyone in the apartment really lost it, including when Arroyo threw a ball away trying to make an impossible play at first to get left fielder So Taguchi.

Manny's bacon was saved, however, when Mark Bellhorn homered off the right field foul pole for the second time in the post-season. Robin, who apparently has developed a psychic ability that allows him to predict when Bellhorn is going to hit homeruns, called this shot, like he did the homerun in game 6. It makes me wonder if there's some way to exploit this ability for money - I'll let you know if I figure anything out. Foulke went on to get the win in this sloppy, sloppy game. My only hope is that this was some sort of dress rehearsal jinx for the Sox, who will step it up again in the defense and pitching tonight with Schilling on the mound.

Oddities of note for this game: Larry Walker was a machine last night, going 4 for 5 and coming a triple shy of the cycle. He was by far the most effective of the Big 4 (Walker, Pujols, Rolen and Edmonds) last night. Not only did Ortiz hit a monster homerun last night (one that you could tell was gone by the sound it made as it left the bat), but he took Cardinal's second baseman Tony Womack out the game by smashing a bounding grounder to the right side. Womack could not field it cleanly and it bounced off his hand and then his collarbone. X-rays turned up negative and he'll be back again today, just like he was after having back spasms in game 6 of the NLCS. I gotta give the guy props - that ball looked like it should have knocked a hole in his chest.

Speaking of Schilling, Curt's return to the mound tonight, complete with restitched ankle, is one of my four big worries for the week. Not only is Schilling's effectiveness in question, but he's pitching against a National League club - I hear they, you know, know how to bunt there? Kinda scary. The mental picture of Schilling tearing out his ankle and it spraying blood all over one of the Big 4 as he trots down to first is not a happy one and I'm doing my to banish it from my mind. Ugh. My other three worries: first, because of the wretches DH/no DH rule, David Ortiz will have to play first for three games in St. Louis; a lovely thought, since Ortiz hasn't been a regular first baseman since the Sox picked up Mientkiewiecz. I suppose I should be grateful that Boston has the homefield advantage. Someone who was over here last night was seriously proposing taking Ortiz out of for those four games just to have Millar at first base, but I think he was just bitter that his team lost. Second, the Big 4. They're scary, no doubt about it, as Walker proved last night. Of course, it's not like Kent and the Killer B's*** were any less scary and there were five of them. At least St. Louis only has four AL-quality hitters to put forward. Third: the Cards have yet to lose at home this post-season and the Sox have to go play there for the middle three. There is a distinct possibility the series might go back to Boston 3 - 2 in favor of St. Louis. Of course, history is made to be changed and the Sox also have to win tonight to begin to even talk about such a possibility. GO SOX!!!

* - Unfortunately, the idiots include not only the ones on the field, but our good buddies Joe McCarver and Tim Buck, who are the ONLY two in the broadcast booth for the series.
** - This series promises to be interesting for no other reason than that it's face off between the two contenders for Senor Ottubre - David Ortiz and Albert Pujols.
*** - How's that for a band name? Kinda like Josie and the Pussycats, only with more facial hair and more homerun potential.