|© 2004 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Cards miss chances in Game 210/25/2004 3:46 AM ET
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Matt Morris learned on Sunday night what it must have been like to pitch to his teammates this year. Despite having good stuff and getting a slew of ground-ball outs, Morris found himself in too much two-out trouble and was chased in the fifth inning of a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox in Game 2 of the World Series.
Boston now leads the series, 2-0, as the teams head to Busch Stadium for Games 3, 4 and if necessary, 5. The Cardinals have gone 6-0 at home this postseason, but only 1-5 on the road. They were the Majors' best road team in 2004 with a 52-29 record. It was the eighth straight World Series road loss for St. Louis, dating back to 1985.
Morris saw a pair of innings get away from him after getting two outs. In the first, he had Manny Ramirez down 0-2 with two outs and the bases empty before walking the slugger. That soon turned into a two-run Red Sox lead.
On the other side of things, St. Louis' offense had an uncharacteristic night as it failed to make the most of extra outs. The Red Sox committed four errors for the second straight game, but the Redbirds converted them into just one unearned run.
"They had some good approaches on us, but they've capitalized when we've made mistakes," said catcher Mike Matheny. "And by contrast, we haven't really been able to get a lot of hits consecutively and get something rolling."
The latter element, of course, is thanks in part to Curt Schilling, who again overcame an injured ankle to pitch a big game for the Red Sox. He held the Cards to four hits and one run over six innings, striking out four and walking one. St. Louis frequently had chances against the right-hander, but he snuffed out threat after threat.
Morris could not do the same. After losing Ramirez in the first, he walked David Ortiz, bringing Jason Varitek to the plate. The Boston catcher boomed a triple into the triangle in right-center, scoring both sluggers and giving the Red Sox the early lead.
"I think I got too cute with Manny," said Morris. "I didn't finish him off. I gave him a curve and he didn't offer. I gave him a cutter and he didn't fish for it. I should have put him away, but I didn't. They did a good job laying off close pitches."
Thus handed the lead, the home team never looked back. St. Louis pitchers have issued 14 walks in the first two games of the series. During the regular season, the Cardinals handed out the second-fewest free passes in the National League.
"Walks always hurt," Matheny said. "The walks and the hit batsman came back and got us almost every time. You give guys a free pass and it usually comes back to haunt you."
The Cards halved the deficit in the fourth when Albert Pujols doubled and came around to score on a Bill Mueller error, but Morris was unable to hold the Sox down. He hit Kevin Millar with a pitch, and after Mueller doubled with two outs, Game 1 hero Mark Bellhorn followed with a two-run double to center.
"I felt good," Morris said. "I felt like my stuff was fine, my velocity was fine. I just made some mistakes with a few pitches and you can't do that against them."
Normally you can't do it against the Redbirds either, but on this night St. Louis let Schilling and the Red Sox get away with miscues repeatedly.
In the second, Reggie Sanders missed second on a hit-and-run play and had to go back to the base on a single. The ball would otherwise have put him on third base. The problem was compounded when the next batter, Matheny, lined out and Sanders was doubled off second.
Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds combined to go 0-for-7, so Pujols scored only once despite three base hits. St. Louis went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
"We hit some balls right at guys," Edmonds said. "Curt made some good pitches. [Mike] Timlin came in and did a good job, and Keith [Foulke] came in and did a good job. They've got a solid team. ... They did a good job. They took advantage of their situations and we didn't."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Cardinals Homepage | MLB.com