Game balls: Rating Game 110/24/2004 1:00 AM ET
By Paul C. Smith / MLB.com
MLB.com is awarding "game balls" or, in this case, Wally the Green Monster to represent the Red Sox, and arches that represent the Gateway to the West in St. Louis. Let's see who earned the extra credits in Boston's very entertaining 11-9 victory on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
Five arches: On top of the world
Four arches: Clear view down-river
Three arches: Walker underneath
Two arches: Saw it in the guidebook
One arch: I thought you said St. Paul
Larry Walker: With a single, two doubles, a home run, two RBIs and a run scored, Walker provided much of the Cardinals' firepower. He even made a nice running catch of a ball off the bat of Manny Ramirez in the first inning. But Walker could not do it all by himself and is used to getting a little more support.
Woody Williams: After getting wins in the first games of the NLDS and NLCS, Williams could not pull off the posteason trifecta. He threw a lot of pitches early, his control was a little off and the Red Sox found his slider very hittable. Chances are, Williams will look like a different pitcher back in St. Louis.
Cardinals bullpen: After Williams left the game in the third inning, the bullpen was twice called on to hold the Red Sox down and give the Cards' hitters a chance to catch up. That's exactly what happened. But the St. Louis relievers let Boston go ahead again both times. First they were hurt by two walks by Kiko Calero in the seventh. Then Julian Tavarez served up Mark Bellhorn's homer in the eighth.
Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen: They may have been hot in the NLCS, but the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters were not the power source for the Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series. They combined to go 0-for-8 with one strikeout and together left nine runners stranded on base. That certainly doesn't happen often.
Five Wallys: Wave the Red Sox flag high and mighty
Four Wallys: Makes Red Sox Nation feel good
Three Wallys: The fur could use a little fluffing
Two Wallys: Might be time to dry-clean the outfit
One Wally: You're stuck rallying the faithful in northern Maine
Mark Bellhorn: His bat was non-existent throughout the ALDS and much of the ALCS until Game 6. But Bellhorn has come alive at the plate with two bullseyes on the foul pole down the right-field line. His two-run shot in the eighth inning made the difference in the game, but he also had a single, drew two walks and scored three runs. It's a big plus to have that kind of bat low in the order.
David Ortiz: Who's your Papi? The answer in the ALDS was Ortiz. The answer in the ALCS was Ortiz. In the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series, Papi hopped on top again with a three-run home run. Give the Cardinals credit, though, as they were smart enough to try to pitch around him the rest of the night and have to be considering doing the same the rest of the series.
Keith Foulke: Officially, Foulke had a blown save in Game 1, but that had more to do with the previous relievers and Ramirez's defense than Foulke's pitching. The Red Sox know they have a stud in Foulke and have every intention of riding him to the finish line.
Doug Mirabelli: His third-inning hit and run scored were bonuses because all the Red Sox wanted from Mirabelli was his usual magic act of catching fluttering baseballs thrown by Tim Wakefield.
Johnny Damon: Just as the Red Sox hoped, he got things going in the first inning with an 11-pitch at-bat that gave his teammates a good first look at Williams and ended with a double and the first run scored. Damon also had a single and a shattered-bat groundout to second that was just as effective as a bunt.
Manny Ramirez: It was an up-and-down night for Ramirez. He had three hits and his first two RBIs since the ALDS, but he also had a rough night in the field. A couple of errors in the eighth inning allowed the Cardinals to pull into a tie again. And Ramirez also was lucky not to be caught between first and second in the seventh inning when no one covered first.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.