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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Boston 4, St. Louis 1
Sam Adams 3, Budweiser 0

If that's the last time Pedro Martinez throws a pitch in a Red Sox uniform, he could hardly have left Red Sox Nation with a more impressive parting gift, his first win in a World Series game. He overcame a shaky first few innings with help from - gasp! - heads up defensive plays, and he got key outs when he needed them. Larry Walker's solo homer in the bottom of the 9th off Keith Foulke, marring Foulke's up-to-now scoreless postseason, was the only real hiccup after the early inning jitters.

It can, however, only get easier for St. Louis hitters, at home facing Derek Lowe and Tim Wakefield - though can they be confident that Jason Marquis won't be the fifth starter in a row not to survive five innings against this lineup? How long can their bats be kept quiet, how long can they fail to cash in on important scoring opportunities? The down-to-the-wire give-and-take of Game 1 gave way to the relatively one-sided affairs of Games 2 and 3. I know this team has some fight left in them, so I am making no assumptions about Game 4 or Game 5. I refuse to believe the Cardinals are dead until the last out has been recorded in the books - they've just proven themselves over the long season, and a long post-season, to be too good to just roll over.

Derek Lowe has a chance, even after a disappointing salary drive season that left him consigned to the fringes of the post-season roster, to one-up his outstanding performance against the Yankees in the Bronx in Game 7 of the ALCS. He too may be making his final appearance in a Boston uniform in Game 4.

Game 4 will be the first ever World Series that will bear witness to a total lunar eclipse, while the moon is nearly full to boot. What does this phenonemon forebode, if anything? If it means something strange is afoot, that could really cut either way. As strange as a Cardinal comeback would be at this point, would it really be that much more bizarre an occurrence than a Red Sox World Series victory?

Yankee fans probably slept pretty well after the 19-8 humiliation they handed the Red Sox at Fenway in Game 3 of the ALCS. I doubt, after seeing what happened to them, Red Sox Nation feels the same bravado their New York counterparts felt 11 days ago.


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