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Booming bats silenced in Series10/28/2004 12:28 AM ET
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- The most surprising aspect of St. Louis' four-and-out performance against Boston in the 100th World Series was the lack of offense by the usually potent Cardinals attack.
The Cardinals, who led the National League in hitting and runs, managed just 12 runs and hit only .190 against the Red Sox.
"I wouldn't have thought in a million years we would have been shut down like this," St. Louis outfielder Reggie Sanders said. "I'm stunned by that, because this offense has never been stopped like we were in this Series."
The Cardinals had slugged their way here and were no slouch on the base paths this season either. But against the Red Sox, the Cardinals managed only two home runs, both by Larry Walker, and stole just one base in the Series.
Sanders was hitless (0-for-9), so was third baseman Scott Rolen (0-for-15). Center fielder Jim Edmonds, who beat Houston in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a walk-off home run, hit .067 (1-for-15) with no extra-base hits or RBIs.
Those three had combined for 98 homers and 300 RBIs during the regular season.
"When you run into guys like [Curt] Schilling, then Pedro [Martinez] and [Derek] Lowe, that's tough for any offense," Pujols said. "Even when they don't have their best stuff they know how to make pitches. Give them credit, they did a good job of shutting us down."
Pujols was admittedly disappointed in the showing of the offense.
"If you've seen us all year you know we're better than this," Pujols said. "It's a shame we didn't show what we could do, but a lot of that is the [Boston] pitchers."
The middle of the order, cleanup hitter Rolen and No. 5 hitter Edmonds, hit a combined .033 (1-for-30) with no RBIs.
"That's not going to get it done," Rolen said. "Obviously I'm very disappointed and I feel like I let the guys down. They did a good job of making their pitches and changing things up, and I didn't adjust like I should have."
While the Cardinals pitching staff -- which posted a 6.09 ERA -- was also a disappointment, their load would have been lessened had the offense been able to churn out runs as it did during the regular season when the Cards averaged 5.27 per game. But after scoring nine in an 11-9 loss in Game 1, the Cardinals managed just three runs total in the final three games.
"That's not going to win many games," Pujols said.
The Cardinals did not have the lead once in the Series, putting more pressure on the pitching staff, which might have been tired considering this late juncture of the season.
"We didn't run out of steam, we just ran into a team that was hot," reliever Ray King said. "Their pitchers came right at us and shut us out."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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