Cardinals starter Joe Kelly hit 98 MPH with his fourth pitch of the game, striking out Jacoby Ellsbury looking. It might have been a harbinger of things to come. Kelly retired the first nine Red Sox he faced, using a hard, tailing two-seam fastball to induce six ground outs and three strikeouts.
Ellsbury got his team’s first hit when he snuck a grounder past a diving Matt Carpenter into right field to lead off the fourth inning against Kelly. David Ortiz drew a two-out walk, but Daniel Nava struck out to end the inning, failing to capitalize on his team’s first opportunity to get on the board.
Kelly has needed just 51 pitches to get through the first four innings. It’s quite the development as the Red Sox have succeeded throughout the 2013 post-season by taking pitches and driving the opposing starter’s pitch count up early.