Archive for the ‘World Series’ Category

MLB: World Series-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

A very special edition of the Getting Blanked podcast, featuring a conversation with Red Sox advance video scout and bullpen catcher Brian Abraham about preparing a World Series champion for battle. We talk about his day-to-day duties, catching Koji Uehara, World Series memories and also CATCHING KOJI UEHARA.

Brian provides some really interesting insights about what made the Red Sox work as well as the kind of stories you can expect from somebody so close to the action. It was a lot of fun just taking in these tales, we hope you feel the same.

RSS/MP3 Link here

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MLB: World Series-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

The World Series is over and the Boston Red Sox are your deserving champions. Maybe deserved isn’t the right word. By having the best record, they weren’t entitled to go all the way and claim the title. The Red Sox earned it. They earned the title of best team in baseball this year, from April to October.

Before the hot stove season kicks off and hot contract takes fill our lives, a few lingering thoughts about the just concluded World Series and its final game.

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MLB: World Series-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

They might not be your World Series champions but the Boston Red Sox will raise another banner at Fenway Park either way. The Red Sox dramatic turnaround from very good team to very bad team and back to very good team is complete as Boston beats St. Louis 6-1 to clinch the 2013 World Series, four games to two.

The Red Sox built a balanced club around an pre-existing core of all stars. They negotiated more than their fair share of injuries and turmoil to 97 wins and an AL East division title. Once into the playoffs, they went right through the teeth of two of the better rotations in baseball, besting the Tampa Bay Rays and then blasting through the tough Detroit Tigers rotation full of studs.

And now they’re the World Series champions, having defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. A testament to smart signings, to organizational depth and total buy-in from the front office all the way down to the players on the field. They put all these organizational pillars into play during the World Series, outpitching the St. Louis Cardinals, outhitting them and, for good measure, outmanaging them, too.

It all adds up to one thing – the Boston Red Sox, your 2013 World Series champions. Congratulations!

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MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

The Boston Red Sox need only to win one more game before they are crowned World Series champions. Standing before them is the formidable frame of Michael Wacha, the hard-throwing right-handed starter for the St. Louis Cardinals. Wacha dominated the Sox in Game Two of this series just as he’s dominated all in his path since his recall from the minor leagues in August.

Michael Wacha is a highly unusual power pitcher in that he lacks a big breaking ball. It was this lack of a good curve or slider that contributed to his now-famous tumble to the 19th in the first round of the 2012 draft. And yet here the rookie stands, sporting some of the gaudiest postseason numbers in recent memory.

If the Red Sox want to avoid a coinflip Game Seven, they need to get to Wacha if possible. One best possible path to clinching the series at six involves going away form one of the main pillars of the Red Sox Way – they need to swing aggressively at the first pitch.

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MLB: World Series-St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox

If the St. Louis Cardinals want to win the World Series this year, they must win two more games. They cannot afford to lose one and must tackle this challenge on the road at Fenway Park.

We can safely assume the Cardinals do want to win the World Series because they’re currently competing in the World Series. They want to win it very much and will do whatever they can to ensure victory each of the next two evenings.

This presents a timeless baseball paradox – there is only so much a team can do to “amp” up their performance. The Cardinals need to win but they still must bat in order, field the ball only when it is hit to them, and face the Boston hitters as they come. It is a practice in controlled, or at least managed, energy.

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MLB: World Series-Boston Red Sox at St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals managed four hits against Jon Lester tonight. Koji Uehara pitched tonight so we know the Cardinals four hits and zero walks total. They came to the plate a grand total of 30 times. Rearrange that order any way you like, that isn’t going to get it done.

Despite what the pregame shows and twitter moaners say, the order in which this collection of batters is not the issue. The rotting remains of Allen Craig are an issue. That Craig’s a better option than Matt Adams is an issue. The disappearance of leadoff man and regular season line drive machine Matt Carpenter is an issue. That there is no way to sufficiently shuffle the bottom of their order is a very real issue.

Carlos Beltran shifted to the cleanup spot tonight as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny looked for a spark. Grasping at straws, it also meant Carlos Beltran watched the final out of the game from an agonizing distance, rather than settling matters with his prodigious bat.

Given how good Koji Uehara is and how bad the Cardinals offense looks, does it really matter in the end? You can’t hit a game-winning home run down two runs without anybody on base. These issues have the Cardinals down three games to two in the World Series, needing to win twice at Fenway Park if they want to keep their title hopes alive, after they fell 3-1 to Jon Lester and the Boston Red Sox.

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MLB: World Series-Boston Red Sox at St. Louis Cardinals

There is nothing like the short series concept of momentum. After each game, you wonder how the winning team could possibly lose a single game. The losers? Doomed. From game to game, the pendulum feels like it swings from one extreme to another. The Cardinals kick the ball around as Boston’s pitching shuts down the offense? Plan the duckboat parade!

The Cardinals mound youth is served in Game Two? The Red Sox are in trouble! The Cardinals dynasty is well under way! The obstruction call? The Red Sox are doomed! Jonny Gomes is awful and doesn’t below in this game! Wait, I can’t even tell any more.

Of course, that is not the case. The World Series is as much in doubt now as it was before the first pitch of Game One. Two games apiece with the Red Sox once again holding home field advantage. The aces and kitchen sinks due to throw again as rotations turn over and the stakes rise. It’s a good time to be a baseball fan, in other words.

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