In the ALCS against the Tigers, the Red Sox bullpen was a relative strength. Against the Cardinals, that advantage is no longer there. I'd venture to say that St. Louis has the edge with their top-level relievers. Craig Breslow had been very good in the playoffs. Last night he blew it. He entered a 2-1 game with 2 on and 1 out. His pitching didn't preserve the lead, and his throwing error didn't preserve the tie. Breslow blew it.
Offensively, the Red Sox only managed 4 hits. Give credit to Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha for that. David Ortiz collected 2 hits, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia had the others for the Sox. The Red Sox 5 through 9 hitters combined to go 0 for 17 with 8 strikeouts.
Give credit to the Cardinals pitchers in this one. Wacha was excellent. Then Carlos Martinez pitched 2 great innings, striking out 3. And closer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the 9th. I was hoping Mike Matheny would pull Martinez when Ortiz came to the plate in the 8th. Ortiz hit a single, but I think the move to keep Martinez in the game was correct. He was mowing the Sox down.
The Red Sox could have stolen this one had Breslow done his job. Even if he kept the score at 2-2, then anything could have happened. I don't want to peg one loss on just one pitcher. Especially since most of the hitters did nothing. But Breslow didn't do his job, and it cost the Sox a win, and a 2-0 advantage going to Missouri.
Although I do have a feeling that if the Sox see Wacha again, they'll do much better against him.
Also remember that the Sox started the ALCS 1-1, and that ended well.
Now this series is 1-1. Which isn't the end of the world. The Sox lose the DH because stupid NL fans like watching pitchers bunt and strikeout. That's entertainment to you people? Anyway, Jake Peavy takes the mound against Joe Kelly Saturday night. Kelly was 5-7 this year, with a 3.53 ERA. In the NL. So hopefully the Sox can tag him for a few runs and Peavy can pitch well against an NL team, which he has done this year.