The Red Sox have gone from a 1-0 lead in the World Series to a 1-1 tie with home field advantage ceded to the Cardinals all thanks to a terrible performance from Craig Breslow.
For six innings before Breslow left his mark, this one was a classic pitchers' duel, with John Lackey and Michael Wacha going nearly pitch-for-pitch. While the Red Sox were making Wacha work harder in his innings, it would be John Lackey who blinked first. An 0-1 fastball to Matt Holliday, leading off the fourth, found its way into the triangle in dead center field. With Ellsbury misplaying the carom, Holliday was able to reach third, later scoring on Yadier Molina's groundout to make it 1-0.
The Red Sox would not strike back until the sixth, but when they did, they did so twice as hard. All it took was a walk to Dustin Pedroia, and one bad pitch to David Ortiz--a changeup that stayed too high in the zone. Ortiz took it a long way to the opposite field, planting it in the Monster seats to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.
What looked like the latest in an legendary line of game-winning postseason hits for Ortiz would, however, end up being no more than a blip. In the seventh, Lackey allowed a one-out walk to number seven hitter David Freese, then a single to Jon Jay. John Farrell had seen enough, pulling Lackey in favor of the usually-reliable Craig Breslow.
This time, though, Breslow was anything but. All over the place in his first at bat, a close 3-2 slider to Daniel Delasco just missed the zone, loading up the bases. Behind him, Matt Carpenter sent a fly ball to left field, where Jonny Gomes made the catch, then threw to the first base side of home. Salty made a poor attempt to come up with the ball, letting it squirt away to Breslow, who proceeded to throw the ball into the stands past third trying to catch Descalso going from second to third. Instead of a lead, instead of a tie, it was a 3-2 Cardinals lead, quickly made into a 4-2 lead by a Carlos Beltran single.
When the Sox got to the bottom of the seventh, Wacha was out of the game, but the Cardinals bullpen is not the Tigers bullpen. They made quick work of the Sox except for a couple of baserunners in the eighth, and that was that. Instead of a 2-0 series lead, the Red Sox are tied, and the Cardinals have seized home field advantage.
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