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Beyond the box score, World Series Game 1

Posted by David D'Onofrio  October 24, 2013 01:00 AM

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Red Sox 8, Cardinals 1; Red Sox lead series, 1-0
8-for-33, BB, 7 K, 2 2B, HR
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF 0-for-3, R, BB, K: By working Adam Wainwright for a leadoff walk, Ellsbury not only set the table for the Sox’ three-run first, he also reached base for the 12th time in his last 13 playoff games. In only three of those contests has he gone without scoring a run. That’s a tablesetter.
Shane Victorino,RF 0-for-4: The results weren’t exactly there, but Victorino looked a heck of a lot better at the plate Wednesday thana he did in the ALCS. In his first at-bat he stung a hard liner that Matt Holliday came charging in to catch in left, then in the seventh he had a hit taken away when first baseman Matt Adams got to a softer line drive in the hole. It was an encouraging 0-for-4 for Victorino. And suffice it to say, you may have seen him duplicate his post-grand slam histrionics had the bang-bang call gone his way and he’d thrown out David Freese from right field on Freese’s ninth-inning single.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI: He started coming around toward the end of the ALCS, collecting four hits over the final three games, and it appeared to carry over. Pedroia singled in each of his first two at-bats, the latter making becoming the first Wainwright allowed this season after falling behind 3-0 in the count, and plating a run.
David Ortiz, DH 2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, SF : Talk about a good sign for the Red Sox offense. After struggling mightily in the Tigers’ series, Ortiz hit one ball that would’ve been out had Carlos Beltran not robbed him of a grand slam, then left nothing to chance by belting one over the bullpen. If the Cardinals’ plan was to use lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist to match up with Ortiz in this series, that bomb has to now have them doubting that idea at least a little bit. And don’t sleep on the hard single Ortiz slapped to left-center, either; that’s often an indication that he’s staying on the ball and locked in.
Mike Napoli, 1B 1-for-4, 3 RBI, 2B: Then with the Rangers, Napoli was a beast in the 2011 series against St. Louis -- as he reminded Cardinals fans with the frozen rope he sent to left-center in the first inning, which scooted to teh wall for a three-run double. It was his only hit of the night, but he did sting another shot to center in the seventh.
Jonny Gomes, LF 0-for-3: Lester made it a pretty stress-free night for the Red Sox outfield, but Gomes still managed to made everybody notice him. Completely leaving his feet, he made a diving catch to take a hit away from Matt Adams in the fifth. He then made everyone notice him again, when he fumbled the ball while retrieving a Matt Carpenter single -- but as is usually the case with Gomes, he didn’t hurt the team. As also usually seems to be the case, Daniel Nava got a hit when he got his turn, that coming when he pinch-hit for Gomes in the eighth.
Xander Bogaerts, 3B 0-for-3, RBI, SF, 2 K: He is human, after all. Bogaerts struck out twice and lined to short in his first three trips, but just when it looked like he might fail to make an impact on the game for the first time when given an opportunity this postseason, he crushed a liner to left that went as a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Stephen Drew, SS 1-for-4, R, 2 K: Here’s what it said in the official game notes: “Stephen Drew singled in the second inning to snap a string of 11 consecutive at-bats without a hit. Dating back to Game 3 of the ALDS, Drew has gone 2-for-29.” The details of that single were conveniently omitted -- but when it’s going the way it’s been going for Drew, you take whatever you can get.
David Ross, C 1-for-4, R, 2 K: He had a hit, but that’s a bonus. Ross is in there for his ability to call a game and receive pitches -- both of which are why the Sox are 4-1 when he starts in these playoffs, and have yielded an average of just two runs per game in those five contests.
9 IP, ER, 7 H, BB, 10 K, HR
Jon Lester, SP 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, BB, 8 K: The lefty allowed less than four runs for the ninth time in 10 career postseason starts, and has now logged 13.1 World Series innings without yielding any runs. Thanks in no small part to a comebacker he induced from David Freese with one out and the bases loaded in the fourth, then turned into a 1-2-3 double play, his ERA in these playoffs is 1.67. And for his postseason career it’s now 2.22. By comparison, Curt Schilling’s was 2.23.
Junichi Tazawa, RP 0.1 IP, K: After Lester got the first two batters of the eighth, and pushed his pitch count to 112, Farrell summoned Tazawa to finish the inning. He did that quickly, striking out the only man he faced.
Ryan Dempster, RP IP, ER, 2 H, K, HR: It was a mop-up inning of little consequence to the outcome -- but, according to Gomes, it was hardly inconsequential for Dempster: “One of the really big things that happened tonight, you talk about a 15-year vet who’s wanted to play baseball since he was 4 years old. He gave up that homer (to Matt Holliday), gave up a hit after, but I don’t think anyone in here had the emotions and the grit and grind that he had. That was a pretty emotional moment when he was on that moment, and one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time.”
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Dave D'Onofrio is a sports journalist who focuses on the Red Sox and Patriots, and also writes's "Off The Field" blog about what Boston's sportsmen do away from the More »

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