Local News
Eyewitness Sports
Medical Coverage
Call For Action
More Details
What's On WPRI
What's On Fox
2 Minute Test Drive
Experts Online
Online Store
Chopper 12
Station Info

MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 16, 2005
Education | House & Home | Money | Pets | Recipes | Relationships | What's Next | More Topics...
Lack of clutch hitting hurts Cardinals again
Email to a Friend Printer Friendly Version  

BOSTON (AP) -- Unable to come up clutch hits in the first two games of the World Series in quirky Fenway Park, the St. Louis Cardinals were in a hurry to get home.

The Cardinals left for St. Louis�where they�re 6-0 this postseason�in the middle of the night after their 6-2 loss to the Red Sox in Game 2 on Sunday night.

�We�re down two, and it�s going to be our turn to have homefield advantage, hopefully,� Jim Edmonds said. �Hopefully, we take advantage of it.�

World Series history is against the Cardinals. Of 33 teams who dropped the first two games on the road, only five have rallied to win the championship.

However, they beat the Astros in a pair of must-win games to take the NL championship series in seven games, knocking out Roger Clemens with a lightning-strike sixth inning in Game 7. And they�re perfect at home in the postseason.

�We�re tough mentally. We�re not down at all,� Reggie Sanders said. �I think the most important thing for us is to continue to play good, solid baseball, and we�re doing that, and things will turn around.�

In the World Series, the National League�s top offense still hasn�t clicked. A lineup that features three MVP candidates was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in Game 2, and the Cardinals also failed to capitalize on the Red Sox�s second straight four-error game.

St. Louis came from behind to win 48 of its major league-high 105 victories during the regular season, but even with the Red Sox�s defense stumbling the Cardinals were unable to rally in the first two games.

�We�ve made it hurt whenever we�ve had some extra outs given to us,� catcher Mike Matheny said. �But they got timely hits, and we didn�t.�

In an 11-9 loss Saturday night in the opener, the Cardinals stranded nine runners, four each by Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen.  Rolen (.358) and Pujols (.343) were among the top hitters in the NL with runners in scoring position, but they were 0-for-8.

The problem in the first two games has been sustaining rallies. The offense has been more of a case of isolated excellence.

Larry Walker was 4-for-5 Saturday night with a home, single and double, but there wasn�t enough support.

Pujols was 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored a run in Game 2, but Rolen and Edmonds were 0-for-7 and Walker was 0-for-4 ahead of Pujols in the lineup. Overall, the top six St. Louis hitters were 3-for-21.

In the first two games, Pujols, Rolen and Edmonds are 4-for-23 with one RBI.

�It�s more frustrating because it�s something that we can control,� manager Tony La Russa said. �I thought we had a bunch of terrific at-bats and we did enough offensively to get more than two runs.�

The Cardinals have missed their regular leadoff hitter, Tony Womack, dropped to seventh in the order because of concerns about a balky lower back.

Edgar Renteria had two hits in Game 1, but was 0-for-3 Sunday and is clearly more comfortable as the No. 6 hitter.

The Cardinals also were unable to take advantage of having a designated hitter in Boston�s Fenway Park. Their top power threat off the bench is John Mabry, who hit only 13 homers, and he didn�t play.

Both of the DHs batted ninth. Sanders was 0-for-3 in Game 1 and Marlon Anderson was 0-for-2 in Game 2.

Now, the Cardinals can go back to a familiar game.

�I like sending an extra hitter up there if that�s the rules, whatever the rules are,� La Russa said. �We�re used to playing without it.

�They�re going to lose one good hitter.�


Valentine's Day
Gifts, recipes, date ideas & more.
What's a Good Credit Score?
It's your right to know what credit scoring agencies are saying about you. Learn what's considered a "good" score.
Back and Neck Pain?
Suffering from lower back pain? Try our spine wizard!
Send questions and comments about this website to the .
All content © Copyright 2003-2005 WorldNow, WPRI, WNAC and Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.