The highest scoring Game 1 in the history of the World Series occurred today (what is with the Red Sox and history?) with the Red Sox taking an 11-9 squeeze over the Cardinals on a Mark Bellhorn eighth inning home run off the foul pole courtesy of reliever Julian Tavarez.
Tony Womack was hit by a ball off the bat of David Ortiz in the seventh inning (ruled an infield single) that brought a run home to make it 9-7. In the top of the eighth, the Cardinals would score two runs off the trio of Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, and Keith Foulke. The ball seemed to go off of Womack’s collarbone. It’s a shame that Womack got hurt, he’s a good guy and does not begrudge the Sox for trading him in spring training. He was glad the Sox traded him to the Cardinals to give him a shot to play. Hopefully Tony gets better. (I can’t imagine writing this about Miguel Cairo if this had happened in the ALCS.)
It was a good game. It was an ugly game, but it was a good, competitive game that saw way too many walks by both pitching staffs and some key errors by the Red Sox staff (and one key error by the Cardinals’ Edgar Renteria) to provide the final margin of score. It was a good introduction to the World Series. I’m really enjoying this World Series. I had gone on record saying I wanted the Astros over the Cardinals (even though the Cardinals are my second favorite NL team) but now I’m glad it’s the Cardinals. Old-school World Series, good attitudes between each team, it’s going to be enjoyable through and through. Don’t get me wrong, an implosion would be nice, but I’m not wishing daggers and poison upon the Cardinals as I was for the Yankees and I’m not wishing for an implosion as I was for the Angels.
It’s also nice for me to write a semi-lucid post, something I haven’t been doing in the last week or so. That’s nerves for you.
Curt Schilling goes tomorrow with a bloody ankle. They sutured him up today, four stitches (as opposed to three for the ALCS) and apparently felt good enough about Schilling to remove Ramiro Mendoza from the roster and put Youkilis on. There are two rumors floating around for Mendoza. One is that Mendoza was hurt. Two is that Mendoza asked out of the game that he balked a run home, and therefore was shut down. Either way, it’s good news to have Mendoza off the roster (even though he pitched well in the regular season) for it means we can have a deeper bench and Schilling is A-OK. This year, Schilling was 12-1 at home with 18 GS, 127.2 IP, 3.45 ERA. Away was 14 GS, 9-5, 99.0 IP, 3.00 ERA. The reason he is not pitching on the road because they want to avoid having Curt Schilling bat with his foot.
3o-year old Matt Morris will pitch on three days rest tomorrow when he opposes Schilling. “I think the last time I pitched on short rest was a Wiffleball game when I was 10,” the Cardinals right-hander said before Game 1 on Saturday (ESPN).
This is good news for us. An already ineffective Matt Morris will be worse. In the NLCS, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa slated it so that Morris would pitch at home, not away. Why? Before we get into that, let’s look at his statistics from 2001 – 2004.
The table above may not look right to some people. If not, visit the link I provide to Matt Morris to view the last four seasons.
As you can see, Morris took a downturn this year. Virtually everything is down! From IP (excluding last year) to a big rise in ER, a low number of strikeouts, a K/9 ratio, WHIP, the list goes on and on. This is not good news. Morris is not the Morris of old, and this is his free-agency year. (I temper enthusiasm with the Red Sox version of Morris that did pretty darn well in the ALCS – Derek Lowe.)
On the road, Morris … well, let’s check out home first. At home, Morris had 16 games started, a record of 9-4, 112.1 IP, and a 3.69 ERA. On the road, 16 GS, 6-6, 89.2 IP, and a 6.02 ERA. And this is in Fenway, where the Red Sox hitters thrive. Good move, Tony …
Game Two is tomorrow, the coverage starting at 7:30 and first pitch at 8:10 PM. For all first-pitch times, the schedule, and recaps of the games, simply go here, for quick information.
Congratulations to the Red Sox for overcoming the flaws, congratulations to the Cardinals for taking advantage of the flaws. Onward!
PS – Are we really in the World Series? When is it going to hit me?