Red Sox vs. Cardinals: Game 1 Blowout Won't Keep Series from Reaching Game 7

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

If there is a such thing as a statement game in a World Series, that is exactly what the Boston Red Sox provided in Game 1 with an 8-1 blowout victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Red Sox seized momentum from the first inning going forward after the umpire crew reversed a pivotal call at second base. Instead of there being two outs with two runners on (which was the initial situation following the out call at second), Boston had the bases loaded and one out after the reversal.

It was absolutely the right call, but it is still surprising to see an entire umpire crew reverse its initial ruling without the benefit of replay review. Boston proceeded to score three runs and was eventually out ahead 5-0 by the end of two innings.

To make matters worse for the Cardinals, Carlos Beltran left the game with an injury after crashing into the short right field wall in Fenway. X-rays and a CT scan came back negative, but it could certainly be something that lingers going forward. Shane Victorino struggled for a stretch following a similar play earlier in the year.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports pointed out the poor timing of Beltran's injury in respect to the outfielder's career.

Beltran is one of the best postseason players in the history of baseball and an integral part to the Cardinals’ lineup. Combining his injury with the fact that team ace Adam Wainwright got roughed up makes things look rather bleak from the St. Louis perspective. After all, it’s certainly difficult to overcome a rough World Series outing from your go-to guy.

Hopefully for the Cardinals’ sake it won’t be in the back of his mind next time he takes the mound.

If you are one who believes in momentum, it’s hard to argue in St. Louis’ favor after last night. The Red Sox may only hold a one game lead, but the Cardinals would have to win four of the next six with a banged up Beltran if they hope to bring the World Series trophy back to St. Louis.

But in baseball momentum only goes as far as the next starting pitcher. St. Louis has its wonder kid and NLCS MVP Michael Wacha going in Game 2 and will look to even up the Series. If the Cardinals can do that heading back home, any momentum Boston garnered from its Game 1 blowout will be a thing of the past.

It’s easy to overreact to one game, especially one that was won in such an easy fashion by the team with home field advantage. But don’t forget the Cardinals posted the best record in the National League for a reason.

With Wainwright, Wacha, Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn, St. Louis has a slightly deeper starting rotation than Boston. Jake Peavy has struggled in a Red Sox uniform, and Clay Buchholz has had some issues giving up the long ball in the postseason. Boston will likely need another spectacular performance from Jon Lester to win this series.

Furthermore, chances are there won't be blowouts like we saw in Game 1 going forward in what was supposed to be an evenly matched World Series. Close games almost always come down to bullpens, and the Cardinals have an excellent one to pair with their deep rotation. Trevor Rosenthal and company will be ready to step up going forward in pressure-packed situations.

With each league sending its best team to the World Series for the first time since 1999, this will go seven games.

St. Louis' pitching will make sure of it.

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