The so-called “March to the Arch” has completed, as the World Series shifts to the Gateway to the West and suddenly become a best-of-five series. Boston and St. Louis split a pair of games at Fenway Park and now play the next three at Busch Stadium.
Each team has taken advantage of defensive miscues early in this series. The Red Sox took Game 1 as the Cardinals committed three errors and Boston ran away 8-1. In Game 2, the Sox were the victims of a crucial error that led to St. Louis taking the lead and finishing with a 4-2 win.
Nope, this isn’t 2004, nor is it 2007 for that matter. There will be no sweep.
Instead, one team will look to take the upper-hand in Game 3 tonight. On the mound for Boston is Jake Peavy. The right-hander is 0-1 in two postseason starts, with a no-decision in a Sox win in the ALDS and suffering a loss after getting smacked around by Detroit in the ALCS. In that game, Peavy gave up seven earned runs in just three innings and Boston lost 7-3. Aside from that, Peavy has been very reliable since coming to Boston at the trade deadline. He was 4-1 after the trade, was 12-5 with a 4.17 ERA overall this year and noted that he’s extremely excited to pitch in the World Series.
Here is the lineup for the Red Sox tonight (first pitch – 8:07 pm EDT; TV – FOX):
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, 1B
5. Nava, LF
6. Bogaerts, 3B
7. Saltalamacchia, C
8. Drew, SS
9. Peavy, P
Facing that lineup is the Cards’ Joe Kelly, who went 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA in just his second year in MLB. Kelly has had three starts in the postseason and is 0-1 with a loss to the Dodgers in the NLCS. He’s gave up two earned runs in his first two starts and four in the loss. He hasn’t pitched more than six innings in any of those starts and has only gone longer than six innings once in his last 10 starts dating back to August 27.
Daniel Nava will make his first World Series start in left field. Jonny Gomes has been the go-to guy thus far, but he is 0-for-7 this series and Nava's ability to get on base is in his favor right now.
The argument will be made each year about the DH when the World Series is in the NL park. That conversation has ramped up significantly this season with the addition of the Astros to the AL, evening out the two leagues at 15 teams apiece and causing an Interleague matchup every series. This World Series is no different, as Boston manager John Farrell had to choose which bat to sit and the unlucky man was power-hitter Mike Napoli in favor of David Ortiz. There is a chance Napoli could make a start in one of these three games, but it’s unlikely to be in favor of Ortiz, who is arguably the most clutch October hitter of all-time. On the opposite end, the Cardinals have a player, Allen Craig, who was the DH in Boston and is one of their better hitters, yet he will be on the bench tonight as well. Craig was one of the Cards’ top hitters before injuring his foot and missing significant time to end the season. In fact, his first game back was Game 1 of the World Series. Without a DH, St. Louis is without one of its better hitters, too.
Good (for them) to be home
The Cardinals are 5-1 at home this postseason and won 54 games at Busch, the second most in MLB this year. To that end, Peavy compiled a 5.27 ERA on the road this season as opposed to 2.73 at home. Peavy’s going to have to bring his “A” game tonight for Boston to take a 2-1 series lead.
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