The defense behind Adam Wainwright did not show up in Game 1 of the World Series.
(Photo: Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports)
By Bob Nightengale
USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON - If you happen to see the St. Louis Cardinals wandering the streets, will you please alert security, and tell them the World Series started.
Certainly, those couldn't have been the real Cardinals team that showed up Wednesday night, embarrassed 8-1 by the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 at Fenway Park, leaving Little Leaguers covering their eyes in horror.
If the loss wasn't painful enough for the Cardinals, the one time they finally do make a spectacular play in the field, All-Star right fielder Carlos Beltran bruises his ribs on a grand-slam robbing catch of David Ortiz.
And spends the rest of the night at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Yes, it was that kind of night for the Cardinals, who resurrected memories of the last time they were in town for the World Series, and swept away in four games by the Red Sox in 2004. The Red Sox certainly don't mind providing the reminders, and are hauling out players from that 2004 World Series team to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
What's next, inviting Don Denkinger from the 1985 World Series, and re-living the blown call that cost the Cardinals the championship to the Kansas City Royals?
Yes, you know times have changed when second-base umpire Dana DeMuth can blow a call once again in favor of the Cardinals, only for it to be correctly overturned, and changing the Cardinals' entire fate in the first inning.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who looked like he would escape that first-inning jam with that umpiring break, instead watched his teammates impersonate the Houston Astros. The Cardinals dropped balls. They kicked balls. They watched balls drop in front of them.
The aggravating aspect for the Cardinals isn't the fact they lost, but just how they unraveled in a comedy of errors and blunders. It began when Wainwright induced a double-play grounder from DH David Ortiz, only for shortstop Pete Kozma to drop second baseman Matt Carpenter's awkward flip. It was originally ruled an out, and that Kozma dropped the ball before throwing it to first.
Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue. The umpires huddled, and then made the right call. And then it was Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's turn to scream. We'll sure miss those days at next year's World Series when instant replay will ruin all of our fun.
Mike Napoli made the Cardinals pay with a three-run double to center field, that was kicked by center fielder Shane Robinson. In the second inning, Wainwright induced a lazy pop-up by Stephen Drew between home plate and the pitcher's mound. Wainwright looked at catcher Yadier Molina. Molina looked at Wainwright. And no one even made an attempt to catch the ball.
If the Cardinals' Way is duplicated again this Series, it's time to put out those orange construction barrels to caution folks.
This could get ugly.
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