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MLB St Louis Cardinals

2013 World Series: 5 Questions Facing St. Louis Cardinals

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5 Questions Facing St. Louis Cardinals In The World Series

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are heading to their fourth World Series appearance in the past decade. They defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLDS and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. Now they get to face the only team to beat them in their three previous World Series appearances, the Boston Red Sox.

Not only did the Red Sox beat them in 2004, they swept the Redbirds. It was a staggering blow to a franchise and fan base that had last been in the WS in 1987 and lost that time too. Many Redbirds fans are happy that their team has a chance now to turn the tables.

Only one active player from each team remains on the current rosters. Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina was a young apprentice to Mike Matheny back then, and David Ortiz of the BoSox was the designated hitter at home and the first baseman in the road games. Matt Holliday was not on that 2004 Cardinals team, but he knows the pain they felt. The Red Sox also swept his Colorado Rockies in the 2007 WS.

For these current Cardinals, it’s probably not very much about revenge. Many members of the 2013 roster will be appearing in their first WS. That includes Carlos Beltran, who has been chasing a chance for a ring since 1998.

The Red Sox surprised almost everyone with the year they had. Their first-year manager John Farrell has really whipped them into shape after the 2011 collapse and the lost 2012 season under Bobby Valentine. It helped that they shed a lot of huge contracts to the Dodgers.

It is the first time in a while that the two teams with the best records in their respective leagues have faced off in the WS. If the Cardinals hope to prevail, they must answer some questions.

Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.

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5. Will the Green Monster Give Matt Holliday Nightmares?

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Holliday has improved his defensive game enormously while with the Cardinals, but that wall poses problems for anyone. The Tampa Bay Rays had some trouble with it in the ALDS, and they play at Fenway all the time.

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4. How Will Shelby Miller Do?

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Does anyone remember Shelby Miller? He’s the Redbird rookie who won 15 games for them this year. He has been in the bullpen for the two previous series as a possible long reliever, but hasn’t been used. If the Cardinals need him in an emergency, can he step up? He’s been trying to keep himself ready for anything, but he last pitched in a game on September 25.

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3. Can Allen Craig Contribute?

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Craig has been doing all he can to get ready for this opportunity. He could be the DH at Fenway and be a pinch hitter at home. His last real at-bat was on September 4.

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2. Will the Bats Show Up?

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Until their 13-hit breakout in Game 6 of the NLCS, the Cardinals batters were carrying an abysmally low average through the postseason. Fans hope that warm-up will continue into the WS.

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1. Can the Rookie Pitchers Maintain Their Poise?

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Wacha has three postseason wins under his belt in 12 major league starts. Everyone is wowed by his poise under pressure. The Cardinals have some other important rookies in their bullpen. Setup man Carlos Martinez, closer Trevor Rosenthal, lefty Kevin Siegrist and double-play specialist Seth Maness will also need to keep their cool for their team to win and get Beltran his first ring.