Normally, when a team such as the St. Louis Cardinals loses to the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, there is no shame involved. They didn’t win it all, but they were better than 28 other MLB teams. This Cardinals team should be proud of their accomplishment, but there should be some shame mixed in.
They sent their amazing rookie starter Michael Wacha out there once again to keep them alive. He had already saved them once in Game 4 of the NLDS when they were facing elimination at the Pittsburgh Pirates. He battled Clayton Kershaw head-to-head and won both times in the NLCS vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers. He gave a big boost to the Cardinals by winning Game 2 at Fenway Park.
Wacha continued to perform even as the pressure went up. Game 6 had more pressure than the other four starts combined. The crowd at Fenway was salivating over the chance to win at home for the first time since 1918. The Cardinals’ hitters needed to jump on starter John Lackey early to quiet the crowd a little and give Wacha some support. This was not an impossible task.
Lackey had started 15 previous postseason games and won five (his team won seven of the games he started). Only one of those wins was a clincher — Game 7 of the 2002 WS. His 2013 regular season record of 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA and a career-high 114 earned runs allowed shouldn’t have struck terror into the hearts of the Cardinals. This guy was beatable.
Yet, the Cardinals came out flat. They looked like they didn’t even want to be there. Sure, they showed a little spark in the seventh inning, but by then it was too little too late. They had a kid on the mound who had given his all every time he came out. They didn’t reciprocate. They gave him one last huge hill to climb, and when he faltered, they weren’t there to pick him up. That is a shame the Cardinals should be feeling right now.
Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.