MLB

more stats

World Series Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, October 24th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Cardinals (7-5) at Boston Red Sox (8-3), 8:07 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Michael Wacha (3-0, 0.43) Boston - John Lackey (2-0, 3.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - There hasn't been a better starting pitcher this postseason than St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha. The Cardinals will need their rookie to be sharp once again if they want to avoid going home in an 0-2 World Series hole.

St. Louis and Wacha try to even the best-of-seven Fall Classic at a game apiece on Thursday when they play Game 2 versus the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The 2012 first-rounder, who was the compensation pick the Cardinals received from the Los Angeles Angels when Albert Pujols left as a free agent, has been absolutely magnificent this postseason. He outdueled Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw twice in the NLCS and has won all three of his postseason starts, while pitching to a 0.43 ERA.

"I want the ball in big situations," Wacha said. "There's none bigger than the World Series."

Since closing the regular season with 8 2/3 no-hit innings, Wacha, the NLCS MVP, has pitched 21 postseason innings, limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates and Dodgers to one run on eight hits.

"He throws hard," Boston outfielder Shane Victorino said. "That's about all I know. I'll watch some video, see what he features. I understand he's good. That's why he was NLCS MVP, not for any reason besides the fact that he's good."

St. Louis will need him to be on his game Thursday after it was shut down by Jon Lester in Game 1. Lester limited the Cardinals to five hits and struck out eight over 7 2/3 scoreless innings as Boston took Game 1, 8-1.

The Red Sox jumped on Adam Wainwright early via Mike Napoli's three-run double in the first inning, and David Ortiz added a home run and three RBI in the rout -- Boston's ninth straight World Series victory.

St. Louis did not record an extra-base hit against Lester (1-0), committed three errors and lost All-Star slugger Carlos Beltran to a right rib contusion in the second inning when the right fielder robbed Ortiz of a grand slam.

"We had a wake-up call," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "This is not the kind of team that we've been all season. And they're frustrated, I'm sure embarrassed to a point. You're going to have games like that periodically. But if you begin to accept that, then this could really not go anywhere."

X-rays and a CT scan came back negative, and Beltran is considered day-to-day.

Wainwright (0-1) only lasted five frames after getting touched for five runs -- three earned -- on six hits for the NL champs, whose only offense came on Matt Holliday's home run in the ninth.

"We went right after them. We pounded them in," said Lester, who became the third pitcher in World Series history to post scoreless starts in his first two Fall Classic outings. "We wanted to set the tone and get them swinging."

History could be on the Red Sox' side as nine of the last 10 and 14 of the previous 16 Game 1 winners have gone on to win the series. Also, since 1993, every home team to win Game 1 has gone on to win the World Series.

Boston will turn to another battle-tested veteran in Game 2 in John Lackey, who hasn't pitched in the World Series since Game 7 in 2002, when -- as a rookie -- he led the Angels to their first championship.

"It is a big game," Lackey said. "There's no running from that. And it's something you've got to embrace. It's something you've got to enjoy."

If anyone doubted whether or not Lackey was fully recovered from Tommy John surgery they need to look no further than his Game 3 performance against the Detroit Tigers that saw him outduel Justin Verlander and give control of the ALCS to the Red Sox.

Lackey, who will be pitching on eight days' rest Thursday night, tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in that one and is 2-0 this postseason with a 3.00 ERA.

"This is a veteran with a lot of success in the past, including postseason success," said Red Sox skipper John Farrell. "Given the challenges he's come through in the time he's been in Boston, we're glad he's not only come back from Tommy John, but regained the form he had pre-injury."

Lackey has pitched to a 3.10 ERA in 91 postseason innings, but has never faced the Cardinals at any point in his 11-year career.

"They're good," said Lackey, who had a 2.47 ERA at home this season. "They're in the World Series. There's no bad teams left. They've got a really good offense. It's really deep. Really similar to an American League lineup, for sure."

Game 3 of this series is scheduled for Saturday at Busch Stadium.

10/24 10:18:58 ET

  • Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Tomorrow at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Ole Miss at Arkansas

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:30 am on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Los Angeles

    Tonight at 10:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • HS Playoffs Round 2: Southern Durham at Cleveland

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Half
DUKE 7
UNC 28
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
Half
MIA 40
LAC 58
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
CHI
3rd
WVU 3
KST 20
 
Half
DUKE 7
UNC 28
 
9:30pm Tonight
TXST
ARKST
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
 
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
 
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
 
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
 
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
2nd
MD 59
FORD 46
 
2nd
WVU 73
GMAS 49
 
2nd
RAD 36
HOW 34
 
2nd
MURST 60
BRESCIA 30
 
2nd
VILL 39
BUCK 35
 
2nd
TENST 37
FISK 35
 
2nd
HARV 55
FATL 35
 
2nd
MINN 77
FRANKPRCE 36
 
2nd
TULA 51
MVSU 30
 
2nd
TCU 60
NO 42
 
2nd
NW 44
UNF 38
 
2nd
LSUALEX 48
NWST 51
 
2nd
IND 40
SMU 43
 
2nd
UAB 40
SFLA 38
 
2nd
EILL 42
UCD 50
 
Half
SAV 26
WINT 28
 
Half
NIOWA 29
MRGST 30
 
1st
MISS 28
SOUTH 15
 
Half
SCAR 35
CORN 21
 
1st
VANDY 13
LIP 6
 
1st
ARST 15
LMU 10
 
1st
ALA 22
SMISS 17
 
1st
GRCN 7
TXARL 9
 
9:35pm Tonight
NILL
IDAHO
9:35pm Tonight
CAL
SYR
10:00pm Tonight
GAELS
DEN
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PACU
 
10:30pm Tonight
SDST
CALST
11:00pm Tonight
UCLA
NICST
 
2nd
PHI 0
MIN 1
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 3
NAS 1
 
2nd Intermission
MON 2
STL 1
 
2nd Intermission
TOR 4
TAM 1
 
2nd
WIN 2
DET 1
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
ARI 1
 
1st
CAL 0
CHI 2
 
1st
COL 0
WAS 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
FLA
2nd
OAK 14
KAN 0