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Things went wrong, quickly, for St Louis in Game 1
BOSTON (AP) - Carlos Beltran reached over the bullpen wall to deprive David Ortiz of a second-inning grand slam, then rubbed his right side in pain. He soon left the game and the ballpark, headed to the hospital for X-rays.
Even the good defensive plays were costly for the Cardinals.
One of the best-fielding teams in the league over the regular-season, the NL champs bungled their way into an early deficit in Game 1 of the World Series and went on to lose 8-1 to the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. St. Louis committed three errors in all, with several other misplays that spotted Boston to a 5-0 lead after two innings.
“That is not the kind of team that we’ve been all season,” manager Mike Matheny said. “They’re frustrated, (and) I’m sure embarrassed to a point. We get an opportunity to show the kind of baseball we played all season long and it didn’t look anything like what we saw tonight.”
Shortstop Pete Kozma botched a potential inning-ending double play relay to load the bases in the first. Center fielder Shane Robinson bobbled Mike Napoli’s double, allowing the bases to clear. Pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina, both Gold Glove winners, allowed an easy popup to fall between them at the start of Boston’s two-run second.
Wainwright, who waved his arms but then made no attempt to catch the ball, said the responsibility for the misplay was “with the starting pitcher.”
“I called it. I waited for someone else to take charge. That’s not the way to play baseball,” he said. “It was totally my error.”
Kozma made another error on a bouncer to his right in the second inning. Asked in the clubhouse afterward what happened, the Cardinals shortstop said, “Which one?”
The three errors and four unearned runs both matched season highs for St. Louis.
“That’s the game in the playoffs: You give them extra outs, they’re going to score,” said Kozma, who made only nine errors all season and had never made two in a game before. “That’s how the games work: one thing happens and then you’re down 3-0.”
But Beltran’s catch, which turned a grand slam into a sacrifice fly and saved three runs, might actually turn out to be the most damaging. After finishing the half-inning, Beltran left the game with what was called a bruise and was taken to the hospital for X-rays and a CT scan.
“Obviously, he’s sore,” designated hitter Allen Craig said. “But hopefully he can get back tomorrow.”
Beltran, who is in the World Series for the first time in his 16-year career, batted .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs in the regular season and has 12 RBIs in the playoffs this year. An eight-time All-Star, he hit.337 with 16 homers and 37 RBIs in 45 career postseason games heading into the World Series.
Beltran had 12 RBIs in the NL playoffs this year. He struck out in his only at-bat Wednesday.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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