Boston 1st: The first four hitters -- Damon, Cabrera, Ramirez and Ortiz -- accomplish two things: they make Jeff Suppan throw a lot of pitches and they hit him very hard. Damon lines out to right, Cabrera is retired on a line drive that hangs up in the soggy air long enough for Jim Edmonds to run it down, Ramirez hammers a home run to deep left, and Ortiz lines a single. Varitek ends the inning with a force out. Suppan: 24 pitches. The Sox did the same thing with Matt Morris in the first inning of Game 2, making him throw 32 pitches.
Cardinals 1st: Pedro, one day after his 33rd birthday, is pitching with extra rest in his first World Series game -- and what will be his final appearance in a Red Sox uniform. He gets Edger Renteria on a grounder to second, but he walks Larry Walker. Pujols hits a hard grounder to third. Mueller dives to his right, trying to short-hop it, but it squirts under his glove and rolls into foul territory. Rolen walks on five pitches to load the bases. Cardinals fans are chanting "Paaay-dro!" (to the tune of the classic "Dar-ryl"). On 2-2, Edmonds (2-for-20 lifetime against Pedro, though that was (mostly, if not entirely) in 1998 and 1999) flies out to short left field. Manny has plenty of time and he makes a perfect throw home to nail Walker. Double play, inning over. Pedro: 23 pitches.
Red Sox 2nd: Quick inning for Suppan. Mueller lines to center, Nixon pops to short and Bellhorn strikes out.
Cardinals 2nd: A 1-2-3 inning for Pedro also. Sanders flies to shallow left, Womack grounds to second and Matheny strikes out. Pedro is not sharp. He's missing with a lot of high fastballs.
Red Sox 3rd: Pedro leads off, watches four pitches (three of them are strikes) and goes back to the dugout. Damon grounds out to second. Cabrera works a full count walk. Ramirez flies to right. Suppan: 52 pitches through three innings.
Cardinals 3rd: Suppan reaches on an infield single, tapping the ball slowly down the third base line and beating the throw from Mueller, who was playing relatively deep. With Renteria batting, Suppan is nearly picked off, but he flops back to the bag. Renteria belts a ball to the opposite field -- Nixon slips and falls on the soggy warning track -- and it's a double. Second and third, no outs. With Walker up, the infield is back. Boston is willing to let St. Louis tie the game in exchange for an out.
Walker grounds out to second on the first pitch. Renteria is 3/4 of the way to third, but Suppan is barely off third bag. Ortiz fires across the diamond and Suppan is out. Double play 4-3-5. Replays show Suppan darting back and forth, unsure of what to do -- with his third base coach giving up about halfway through the farce (he throws his hands up and turns away). Renteria has to scamper back to second. Pujols grounds out to third and Boston escapes unscathed. ... McCarver: "You cannot butcher up a play any worse than Suppan just did."
Red Sox 4th: Boston comes back and scores with two outs. Mueller doubles to left center and scores on Nixon's single over Walker's head in right. Nine of Boston's 19 runs in the World Series so far have been with two outs.
Cardinals 4th: Pedro finds his groove. 10 pitches, 8 strikes. Rolen grounds to third, Edmonds flies to center, Sanders strikes out.
Red Sox 5th: Damon begins with a double to right, also over Walker's head. He's being cautious out there in the soppy grass. Cabrera shows bunt and then dumps a single to right. First and third. LaRussa calls the bullpen; Reyes starts warming during Ramirez's at-bat. Manny grounds a single into left, Damon scores. Red Sox 3-0. Ortiz flies out to center, but Cabrera does not advance. Varitek forces Manny at second (nice stab by Pujols at first to start the play; the relay is late) and Cabrera takes third. Mueller gives Boston a fourth run with a single to right.
Red Sox 6th: Facing Kiko Calero, Cabrera doubles to left center and Ramirez walks. In comes Ray King, who gets Ortiz to ground to first. He walks Varitek on four pitches (an unintentional intentional walk to load the bases) and gets Mueller to hit into a double play to third base.
Cardinals 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th: After Renteria's double in the third, only one more St. Louis hitter reaches base (Walker's home run in the bottom of the 9th).
4th: Rolen (cs) 5-3. Edmonds (f) F8. Sanders (cbbs) K.Cardinals 9th: Fox shows a fan wearing a Cubs jersey and a Cardinals hat. WTF? Can you imagine someone at Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium with a Red Sox hat and a Yankee uniform shirt?
5th: Womack (cbcbff) K. Matheny P6. Anderson (b) P5.
6th: Renteria (cfb) 4-3. Walker (b) P4. Pujols (bbcc) K.
7th: Rolen (bb) 3U. Edmonds (cbbsb) K. Sanders (csfb) K.
8th: Timlin in. Womack (c) 5-3. Cedeno (bcs) 6-3. Mabry (bb) 3U.
9th: Foulke in. Renteria (bfbfb) K. Walker (ff) homered to left center. Pujols (b) F7. Rolen (cbf) K.
Rant: Joe Buck on Foulke (paraphrased): "If you're looking for a difference between the Red Sox in 2003 and the Red Sox now, you're looking at him." Buck goes right into the old "committee" crapola and says now that Boston has a "real" closer, things are looking good. Yes, Foulke is better than anyone the Red Sox had closing during the 2003 season, but Foulke goes to sleep every night hoping to be as lights-out as the Sox bullpen (Timlin, Embree, Williamson) was in the 2003 ALCS. If only that fucking idiotic shitwit Gump hadn't refused to use them when it mattered most.
Also: Spotted in my neighborhood on dinner dog walk: Guy with worn Yankees warmup jacket and a crisp, out-of-the-box, nearly-gleaming Cardinals hat -- Double Loser!