Date/Time: October 28th, 8:07 PM ET
Probable Starters: Lester (Boston) vs. Wainwright (St. Louis)
Moneyline: St. Louis -118
The Fall Classic is down to a best-of-three, and it all gets started tonight in what very well could be a must-win game for the St. Louis Cardinals at home against the Boston Red Sox.
The Sox have done their job already at Busch Stadium, winning one of the first two games to make it so the two teams have split the first four games. They are the ones that are seeming to coming up with the big time hits in this series, and it didn’t get any bigger than the three-run homer by OF Jonny Gomes that essentially won Game 4. Gomes was replacing an injured OF Shane Victorino, who missed Game 4 with a lower back injury. He is questionable for Game 5 tonight. What Boston does have though, is arguably the man that has been the best pitcher in the postseason outside of RHP Michael Wacha on the mound here in LHP Jon Lester. The Cards have had issues with lefties all season long, and that continued in Game 1 of the World Series when Lester allowed just five hits in 7.2 shutout innings of work. He struck out eight and walked just one, throwing 7.2 innings of work to get the job done.
The time is here for the Cardinals to panic. Lose tonight, and they have to win two straight games at Fenway Park to beat the World Series betting lines. Win tonight though, and Wacha is going to get a shot to win this series on Wednesday night in Boston. The bullpen has to be just a bit shaken after blowing saves twice in Game 3 and then giving up what turned out to be the game-winning three-run home run in Game 4. Inherited runners are killing the Cards in this series, as they have allowed six out of 10 inherited runners to score in this series, and RHP Seth Maness has been the worst of the bunch. That’s why we really don’t expect to see RHP Adam Wainwright come out of this game until he has thrown at least 110, and maybe even more pitches than that. Wainwright declared that his start was “the worst” in Game 1, as he allowed six hits and five runs, three of which were earned over five frames. The numbers weren’t as bad as the start really was, as he left his team in a position where it had no chance to battle back and win after giving up all five of those runs in the first two innings of play. Wainwright absolutely has to get off to a better start than that in this one if the Cards have any shot whatsoever at winning this game.
Aces come up with ace-like performances when they are needed the most, and it doesn’t get much bigger than here in Game 5 of a 2-2 series in the Fall Classic. We would already been looking ahead, but both of these men could pitch in relief in Game 7 if needed. Wainwright knows that this isn’t a game that will define his career, but it is one that can cement his greatness. He’ll get the job done and pitch a gem on Monday night to put his team within just one victory of yet another championship.
Boston Red Sox @ St. Louis Cardinals Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -118
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.