There was a party Wednesday night at Fenway Park. And the Cardinals were merely serving the cocktails.
Jon Lester threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and the Red Sox offense tagged the vaunted St. Louis staff early and late as Boston captured Game 1 of the World Series in an 8-1 rout. The only Cardinals run came on a ninth-inning solo blast by Matt Holliday. It was served up by Red Sox righty Ryan Dempster, who pitched just two total innings in the first two rounds. Dempster wound up finishing the game.
The Cardinals’ problems began in the bottom of the first inning when Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright issued a leadoff walk to Jacoby Ellsbury. It was just the 37th walk in 38 starts this year for the Cardinals’ ace and it kicked off a crushing opening frame for the visiting club. Dustin Pedroia followed with a one-out single and then David Ortiz reached on a botched would-be doubleplay. More on that here. Mike Napoli then hit a bases-clearing, three-run double into the left-field gap, scoring Ellsbury, Pedroia and Ortiz with one swing.
Wainwright made it just five innings, yielding five runs — three earned — in by far his worst outing of the 2013 postseason. And the St. Louis bullpen — save for John Axford — wasn’t really any better.
Game 2 of the World Series is on Thursday night, back at Fenway Park.
It’ll be Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha vs. Boston’s John Lackey.
Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.
Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.
The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.
Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.
Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.
According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.