Meadville Tribune

Sports

October 22, 2013

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Cardinals, Red Sox set to renew October rivalry

BOSTON — Lance Lynn squeezed through a door leading into the Green Monster, shimmied along a cramped space behind the famed left-field wall and peered out a tiny metal slot in the Fenway Park scoreboard.

“A little snug for me,” the burly St. Louis pitcher said.

Plenty of Cardinals got their first look at the century-old ballpark during a workout Tuesday, a day before they opened the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox saw a neat sight, too. As they took batting practice at dusk, a giant, vibrant rainbow formed high in the sky beyond center field. Slugger David Ortiz noticed.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “It’s a Dominican thing.”

Whatever, Big Papi. Something special always seems to happen when the Redbirds and Red Sox meet, from Stan the Man vs. the Splendid Splinter, to Gibby vs. Yaz, to Pedro vs. Pujols.

Now, they’re set to meet for the fourth time in “that Octobery kind of air,” as Cardinals Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright described it.

Jon Lester will oppose him Wednesday night, facing a lineup that got a late boost. Allen Craig, who hit a major league-leading .454 with runners in scoring position but hasn’t played since Sept. 4 because of sprained left foot, is set to return.

“I feel like I’m in a good spot,” said the cleanup man, who will be the Cardinals’ designated hitter.

Weather could be a factor. Temperatures are supposed to dip into the low 40s and rain is in the forecast.

Boston was listed as a slim favorite in the matchup between teams that tied for the big league lead in wins. The clubs haven’t met in the regular season since 2008, and Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury was looking forward to this pairing that some are billing as the Beards vs. the Birds.

“It will be exciting to see some unfamiliar faces,” he said.

Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and many of their scraggly Boston teammates figure to get a good look at the Cardinals’ crop of young arms, led by postseason ace Michael Wacha and relievers Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist.

Ortiz is the link to the Red Sox team that swept St. Louis in the 2004 Series — Boston never trailed at any point — and ended an 86-year championship drought.

“Obviously I’m aware of the history of the two teams,” Ellsbury said. “Once the first pitch happens, all that goes out the window.”

The Red Sox are trying to win their third crown in 10 years. St. Louis is aiming to take its second title in three years and third in eight seasons.

“Some of us have some pretty bad memories of being here in 2004, and we’re looking to kind of right that ship,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.

Matheny was the Cardinals’ catcher that year, backed up by rookie Yadier Molina. Now Molina is considered the best defensive catcher in baseball, charged with trying to stop Ellsbury and a Red Sox team that’s run a lot in the postseason.

“It’s fun to be part of this history, to be here in Fenway Park, to be part of this Series against Boston,” Molina said.

“It’s different to play here overall. Playing defense, offense, pitching. It’s different, but at the same time it’s fun,” he said.

David Freese grew up in St. Louis and became MVP of the 2011 Series. He heard about Stan Musial vs. Ted Williams in 1946, knew about Bob Gibson facing Carl Yastrzemski in ‘67 and recalled watching on TV when Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke fielded Edgar Renteria’s tapper to finish off 2004.

“I remember the comebacker that ended it. The sweep. You don’t expect a World Series to end in four games,” the 30-year-old third baseman said.

Freese said he’d always hoped to get a chance to play at Fenway, and he got his first look Tuesday.

After Matheny stood near the mound and pointed out the particulars of the dirt triangle in center field, Freese stepped in for batting practice. He launched a long drive that hit high off the Green Monster in left-center, the loud thwack echoing all around the ballpark.

“That’s my Wall ball,” he hooted to teammate Matt Holliday.

Good for a hitter, maybe not so great for a pitcher.

“A ballgame can change with one swing of the bat in this ballpark,” said Wacha, who also climbed into the wall. “It’s pretty crazy. Crazy dimensions, that’s for sure.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Kyle Wise Panthers rally to beat Huskies

    Through three innings Tuesday afternoon at home, it looked like it was going to be a very long day for the Saegertown baseball team.
    The wind and the cold didn’t appear to bother Harbor Creek starting pitcher Issac Mattson as the senior struck out nine batters through the first three frames, including four strikeouts in the first inning alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greggs and Bison knock Bulldogs down to earth

    Back to reality.
    Coming off one of its biggest wins in recent years on Friday with a 10-5 victory over previously unbeaten Saegertown, Meadville fell victim to possibly being over confident against Fort LeBoeuf.

    April 22, 2014

  • Devils sweep Tigers

    Just six days earlier, the Cambridge Springs boys volleyball coaching staff sat on the sidelines at Saegertown High School perplexed and disappointed as they watched the Blue Devils give away opportunity after opportunity.

    April 22, 2014

  • Abby Clulow Cardinals overcome offensive woes to remain unbeaten

    Abby Clulow is confident that sooner or later the bats are going to come alive for the Cochranton softball team. She is also pretty confident that until then the Lady Cardinals will continue to find a way to get the job done.
    After all, how could she feel any differently?

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fight.jpg Brewers win in 14th after early brawl with Pirates

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pivotal Game 3 awaits Pens and Blue Jackets

    Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.
    Now they’re heading home for tonight’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins hoping to make even more history.

    April 20, 2014

  • Blue Jacket_DiRi.jpg Blue Jackets edge Penguins 4-3 in double overtime

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • College Softball: DePauw earns NCAC sweep over Allegheny

    It’s gut-check time for the Allegheny College softball team.

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggs.jpg Big first inning leads Meadville to win over Saegertown

    So, how does one go about beating the Saegertown baseball team? It’s a question that District 10 programs have been asking themselves for years now.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor, Osborne lead Panthers to 12-1 win over CASH

    Saegertown freshman Kendra Taylor had no reason to believe that Friday afternoon’s non-region softball game would go like any other.

    April 18, 2014

Sports Scoreboard
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Business Marquee
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Poll

In terms of the overall livability and workability of the City of Meadville, which component of the city’s infrastructure should receive top priority?

Streets
Stormwater control
Parks
Other
It’s too difficult to single one out
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks