My thoughts on game six of the World Series continue below the fold.
This has been a fascinating but painful World Series for serious fans of the Red Sox and Cardinals. Poor execution was decisive in two games for each team. The Cardinals found the game slipping away in the first inning of game one when their shortstop failed to catch a routine toss that might have been a double play and but the Cardinals on the defensive immediately. In game four, the game ended on a pickoff play that shouldn’t happen in a little league game. The Red Sox lost two games with wild throws to third base. Neither throw should have been made. (And lost in the chaos of the obstruction call is the play by Pedroia that would be legendary had it ended differently. Watch it . Pedroia is maybe 75 feet from home plate. He has to dive to his right, stab the ball, get up, and throw home. The throw is perfect.)
There have also been some strange managerial decisions at crucial junctures that seemed inexplicable. Why pitch to Ortiz in the first inning of game 5? (I don’t know what the Cardinals have pitched to him at all in most situations, but with first base open in game 1 that seemed particularly surprising.) Why leave Wainwright in the game to face David Ross in game 5 when he has just walked Stephen Drew, a player who has one hit in the series on paper, but no real ones. Why did Farrell keep Breslow in the game after walking Descalso, the number nine hitter? Why leave him in the game to face Beltran after he has thrown the ball into the stands?
It has been a particularly hard series for this Red Sox fan. Two of my sons are very serious Cardinals fans. I have at least four very good friends who are also very serious Cardinals fans. I’m rooting for the Red Sox but I feel for my sons and friends especially when the Cards lose so painfully.
Everyone seems to think the Sox have the edge going forward. They have a small edge. They are home and they play well at home. But tonight is very dicey. Wacha was dominant in game 2. Lackey was also superb but he pitched an inning two nights ago. Will he be effective? And if there is a game seven, the Red Sox will be forced to go with Peavy who has been very ineffective or some mix of Dubront, Workman, and maybe Lester on two days rest. Like any Red Sox fan over the age of about 34 or so, I always fear the worst.
My wish for the rest of the series, whether it goes six or seven, is that the winners wins it in style and not due to a grotesque mistake by the other side.