SCORING FIRST: St. Louis takes advantage of an error by center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to score an unearned run in the third inning for a 1-0 lead.
Carlos Beltran _ who else in October? _ knocks in Carpenter with a single. That makes Beltran 8 for 10 with runners in scoring position this postseason.
The Cardinals are 8-0 when scoring first this postseason.
FINDING A WAY: It’s evident Buchholz is missing his best stuff. Not a surprise. The velocity on his fastball is down about 3-4 mph from his average heater this season.
But he’s thrown a couple of pretty good breaking balls _ and what he does have tonight is an effective two-seam fastball. It’s sinking well and running away from left-handed hitters. If he can harness his two-seamer and work off that, maybe Buchholz can induce a steady stream of grounders keep the Cardinals at bay for a while.
Interesting challenge for him _ finding a way to hang in there without his regular weapons. This is not a guy who has a reputation for mental toughness.
After he opened 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA this season, Buchholz was selected to the AL All-Star team. But he missed the next three months, longer than expected, with a strained neck. That led to his toughness being questioned, and Buchholz was aware of the criticism.
When he came back in September, Buchholz went 3-1 in four solid starts. He finished the regular season 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA, but was a mixed bag in three playoff starts.
ANOTHER LOOK: Ken Rosenthal on Fox reports MLB will review the obstruction rule in the wake of Saturday night’s bizarre ending.
Doesn’t mean the rule will be altered. But since it was such an unusual call in an enormous situation, baseball will examine it again.