WS Game 3: These Kids Are Alright
by Charlie Blasberg on Sunday, October 27th, 2013
Yes, the Red Sox are down 2-1 with two more games in St. Louis. Yes, they have the suffering Buchholz on the mound in Game 4. Yes, the bottom of the order has not contributed anything to the Red Sox’ offense. But the Red Sox are alright. The Cardinals won Game 3 on a fluke interference call. They didn’t deserve the win. They didn’t play exceptional baseball; the Birds just got a little help in the bottom of the ninth from a bad throw by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a generous call by umpire Jim Joyce.
The Red Sox have plenty of positives to take away from Game 3, though. The middle of the lineup contributed to the run production for the first time all week. Youngsters Daniel Nava and Xander Bogaerts either scored or knocked in each of the 4 runs that the Red Sox put up last night. David Ortiz is as hot as ever. This era’s Mr. October has come up with big hit after big hit in this postseason, having lost none of his postseason majesty despite a relatively cold ALCS. Felix Doubront pitched two excellent innings, as he battled through the heart of the Cardinals’ order in relief of Jake Peavy (who pitched well besides his first inning). Ryan Dempster’s arm is fresh in the bullpen if Buchholz struggles in the early innings. All is not lost for these Red Sox.
However, we must keep in mind that the Red Sox are down 2-1, and if they don’t clean up their play, they won’t need to come home to finish the series. The key of Game 4 is the mantra that the Sox have played with all year long. “Score early and score often.” Especially against the Cardinals, the Red Sox need to be patient in the count through the early innings to create opportunities for pounding the starting pitchers. In Game 1, the Red Sox did exactly that against Wainwright, and it showed with a 5-0 lead through two innings. The Sox waited to score until the sixth and fifth innings in the second and third games, respectively. They need to get to the starter early create momentum. The Cardinals are 8-0 in this postseason after having scored first.
The Red Sox will use their bats the way they have used them all season long in Game 4. Clay Buchholz will seize this opportunity to go down into Red Sox lore. He will pitch like the Clay Buchholz we know and love, and he will be mentioned in the same sentences as the bloody-socked Curt Schilling. The Sox will knot the series at 2 tonight and bring baseball back to Boston for at least one more night.
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