(BaseballStL) -- Take note: when you give a major league team extra outs, especially a World Series-caliber team, that breeds complete disaster.
Exhibit A: Game 1 of the World Series in Boston.
Adam Wainwright didn’t receive any help from the Cardinals’ shaky defense from the start.
With runners on first and second and one out in the first inning, Wainwright induced a ground ball to David Ortiz with a shift to the right side of the infield. Matt Carpenter’s underhand toss to Pete Kozma at second base wasn’t caught, but was originally called an out. The umpiring crew reversed the call that Kozma lost the ball on the transfer from his glove to his hand. Replays clearly showed Kozma never made the catch.
The potential double play went for a bases loaded situation instead as Mike Napoli stepped to the plate. Napoli cleared the bases with a double to left centerfield for a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
Wainwright wouldn’t help his own cause in the next inning.
An infield pop-up to start the second inning wreaked havoc as Wainwright initially waved off Yadier Molina for the catch. It would fall in between the two instead for a leadoff single.
“Well, Wainwright is the first one that's going to say that that's his ball,” manager Mike Matheny said. “That's kind of in-between land where we typically tell our position players we want them to try to get that. It's a very tough play on the catcher. But Adam Wainwright wanted that ball, and as soon as he came off the field he was talking about how he should have caught it.”
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Three batters later, Shane Victorino reached on a fielding error by Kozma, his second of the game, to load the bases for a second straight inning.
Dustin Pedroia would make the two second-inning mistakes be costly with a one-out RBI single which was followed by a near grand slam from David Ortiz. Carlos Beltran, who would leave the game after the inning, robbed the Red Sox slugger as he slammed against the right field wall to extend his arm over to make the catch. The play went for a long sacrifice fly and a 5-0 Red Sox lead after two innings.
Wainwright needed 60 pitches to get the first six outs of the game. He would settle down for 1-2-3 innings over the next two innings, which he threw only 21 pitches to get, and worked around a one-out single by Ortiz in the fifth inning -- his final inning of work.
“I thought he got better as he went,” Matheny said. “I thought he threw better than what his line showed. We absolutely gave too many bases, gave too many opportunities. And extra outs in situations like this against teams like this, they're going to kill you. And that's what happened tonight.”
Wainwright’s final line: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Ortiz added two runs via a home run off Kevin Siegrist in the seventh inning, and Zander Bogaerts added a run on a sacrifice fly in the eighth to cap an 8-1 victory. The Cardinals lone run came on a Matt Holliday home run in the ninth inning.
Yes, Game 1 was a loss. It isn’t all bad. Wainwright turned things around after the first two innings and the Red Sox offense was heavily aided by the fielding blunders. Sure the Cardinals offense wasn’t sharp, but Jon Lester is no pushover and there were opportunities for runs.
The Cardinals didn’t do what their favorite word is and that’s ‘execute.’
So, should you, a Cardinals fan, be worried? No way. It is disconcerting that the offense stumbled again and the defense was horrendous, but October is all about pitching and the team will fix the defense. And the Cardinals happen to have the hottest pitcher on the planet (Michael Wacha) going in Game 2.