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Sunday, 27 October 2013 14:52

World Series Game 3 Recap

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With the series tied at 1 game a side, the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals entered a pivotal game 3 with a series advantage on the line. The Cardinals set the tone early. After the Red Sox went down in order to start the game, St. Louis's bats were aggressive early against Boston starter, Jake Peavy. The top of the Cardinals order rattled off 4 first inning singles against Peavy and collected 2 runs along the way. But Peavy didn't let his shaky first inning dictate his outing. Following the first inning Peavy went on to retire the next 6 in a row. In the 4th Peavy loaded the bases with no outs but was able to retire Pete Kozma, Joe Kelly, and Matt Carpenter in order and not allow the Red Sox deficit to grow any larger. While the fourth inning proved to be Peavy's last, his ability to bend and not break payed dividends for the Red Sox. Still down 2-0 in the fifth inning the Red Sox 21 year old rookie, Xander Bogaerts, set the table for a Boston rally with a lead off triple. Following Bogaerts, Jarrod Saltalamacchia would find his way on to first base with a walk which put runners on first and third with no outs. After Stephen Drew struck out, the Red Sox elected to pinch hit Mike Carp for Jake Peavy. After jumping ahead in the count 3-1, Carp hit an infield chopper which allowed Bogaerts to score from third and cut Boston's deficit in half. In the following inning, the Red Sox wasted no time starting another rally. Shane Victorino lead off with a walk and two batters later David Ortiz singles, which put runners on second and first with one out. St. Louis then brought in the ground ball inducing lefty, Seth Maness, to face Daniel Nava. The Red Sox left fielder greeted Maness with a RBI single on the first pitch of the at-bat which tied the score at 2 in the 6th inning. However, the Cardinals were able to quickly swing the scoreboard back in their favor in the following inning. Craig Breslow entered the game for Boston and allowed the first two batters to reach base on a single and a hit by pitch. Junichi Tazawa was then summoned from the bullpen and allowed a ringing double down the left field line which scored two runs and put St. Louis up 4-2. Identical to how the Cardinals rally started, the Red Sox 8th inning rally also began with a single and a hit by pitch. Dustin Pedroia then moved the runners into scoring position with a slow roller to short stop. With first base unoccupied, the Cardinals intentionally walked David Ortiz to load the bases with one out. Daniel Nava then hit a short hop to second base that St. Louis infielder, Kolton Wong, was only able to record one out on. The fielders choice chased home Jacoby Ellsbury for Boston's third run. With first and third and two outs Xander Bogaerts followed Nava with a single up that scored Victorino and tied the score at 4. The score remained tied until the bottom of the 9th inning when, quite frankly, all hell broke loose. After Matt Adams lead off the ninth with a strike out, Yadier Molina singled to right field to put to winning run on base for the Cardinals. John Farrell then decided to bring in the closer Koji Uehara to force extra innings. Batting in the pitchers spot, Cardinals slugger Allen Craig wasted no time against Uehara and roped a double down the left field line. With runners on second and third and one out Cardinals center fielder, Jon Jay, would assist in end the game in the most bizarre way possible. With runners in scoring position and one out, the Red Sox pulled the infield in on the infield grass. Jay sharply grounded an 0-1 pitch to second base. With the runner breaking for home plate, Dustin Pedroia threw to home and recorded the out. Then, Red Sox catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, saw Allen Craig taking third base and instinctively threw it to third but his throw was errant. Middlebrooks tried to lunge to his left and catch the ball but it went right past him. The ball flew down the third base line and rattled around in foul territory. As Daniel Nava was retrieving the ball, Craig tripped over Middlebrooks who fell over trying to corral the bad throw. Craig stumbled over Middlebrooks and headed towards home plate. Daniel Nava then threw the ball home and seem to have got Craig out. But the third base umpire, Jim Joyce, called interference on Middlebrooks at third base which didn't only allow the winning run to score but also sparked mass confusion on the field. As the Cardinals were celebrating their game 3 victory, Red Sox players and coaches conferenced with the umpires about the mayhem that just unfolded. Given the controversy around it, the interference call is going to get the bulk of the attention, but there's plenty of fingers to point on that play.--Saltalamacchia's throw to third was ill-advised. Middlebrooks should have come off of the bag to field the throw.-- But what really matters is that the Red Sox are down 2 games to 1 in the World Series, victimized by another mental error for the second straight game. Perhaps the only saving grace for Boston is that St. Louis' game 4 starter is the very hittable, Lance Lynn. But even if Lynn wasn't pitching, Sunday's game would still be critical for the Red Sox. The prospect of falling down in the World Series 3 games to 1 and having to face Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacca is basically a death wish. While it will be interesting to see how the Red Sox respond on Sunday, the winning play in game 3 is one that will forever hold a place in baseball history.