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Cardinals edge Red Sox in World Series Game 2: Grades

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

The young guns of the Cardinal bullpen get high marks for Game 2. (USATSI)
The young guns of the Cardinal bullpen get high marks for Game 2. (USATSI)

MORE: | Game 2 boxscore

The Cardinals prevailed over the Red Sox by a score of 4-2 in Game 2 of the World Series. Before the series shifts to St. Louis, let's hand out some report cards for Thursday night's action ...

A+The Cardinals' bullpen, to be specific. Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal combined for three innings, six strikeouts, one hit and no runs. Combined, 28 of their 35 pitches went for strikes. Martinez worked two high-leverage frames, and Rosenthal whiffed the side in the ninth. At 23, Rosenthal is the oldest of the two.
ADavid Ortiz certainly did his part, what with his clutch, sixth-inning, opposite-field homer and an eighth-inning infield single that brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate. He was the only Boston starter not to leave a runner on base in Game 2.
A-Michael Wacha. It wasn't a flawless night, but facing the Red Sox in Fenway, where they averaged more than 5.0 runs per game in the regular season, Wacha limited the opposition to two runs over six innings of work. He wasn't as crisp as he had been in his prior three postseason starts (four walks in Game 2), but he blanked Boston until the Ortiz home run mentioned above. In a vacuum, it wasn't quite an “A” outing, but considering the competition and considering that Wacha is a 22-year-old rookie, well …
BJohn Lackey. Only one run scored while he was on the mound, he struck out six, showed excellent command of his curve and spotted 71 of his 95 pitches for strikes. He deserved better than the Boston bullpen and defense gave him after he was lifted with one out in the seventh.
FThe script got flipped on Craig Breslow's watch. After relieving Lackey in the seventh, he permitted a double steal, walked Daniel Descalso despite having the platoon advantage (Descalso drew exactly three walks off lefties in the 2013 regular season), gave up a sac fly, brought home another run on a throwing error, and then gave up a two-out RBI single to Carlos Beltran. By the time he was done, Breslow had helped turn a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit, which would stand.
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