(BaseballStL) -- Michael Wacha’s efforts over six innings gave the Cardinals what it needed in Game 2 to even the World Series one game apiece on Thursday.
Erratic at times, Wacha suffered only one blemish on the night when David Ortiz slammed a two-run home run to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning.
That was it.
Wacha had allowed only four walks in 21 innings pitched this postseason. He allowed four walks in six innings pitched against the Red Sox in Game 2.
That was the difference in Wacha’s inefficient start on Thursday from his three other postseason starts.
“I didn't have my best stuff tonight,” Wacha said. “Definitely a little bit more wild. Didn't have the command. I tried to let my defense be behind me and pitch to contact, and they made some great plays.”
The high walk count led to a high pitch count of 114 pitches, 65 went for strikes. It was the highest pitch count of his young career.
Wacha may have been at his best in the bottom of the fourth inning when the first two batters reached base for Boston. The 22-year-old rookie got Mike Napoli to ground into a double play which was followed by a pop out from Jonny Gomes to end the threat.
Before Ortiz’s sixth-inning blast, Wacha became the fourth pitcher to allow zero or 1 run in his first 25 postseason innings, according to Elias. The other three pitchers: Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Don Sutton.
“The kid continues to impress,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “I don't know what else you could ask. Put him on any stage and he does a real nice job of limiting distractions.”
While it was more of a ‘battle’ for Wacha, it ended the same -- with a ‘W’. It was his fourth in as many postseason starts.