(SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Lester eyes his fourth win this postseason on Monday
when the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals play a pivotal Game 5 of the
World Series at Busch Stadium.
Lester gave the Red Sox the early advantage in this series, as he scattered
five hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings to nail down the Game 1 win and improve
to 3-1 this postseason, while lowering his ERA to 1.67.
He is also 2-0 lifetime in the World Series and has yet to allow a run in 13
"His physical strength and endurance is unique," said Red Sox manager John
Farrell. "I think the one thing we all recognize is that power stuff wins in
the postseason. He's got it. He maintains it. And in addition to his physical
strengths, there's a degree of concentration that he's capable of maintaining
that gives him the ability to execute consistently."
Of course, during his Game 1 win a St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguer tweeted
out a picture and suggested that Lester may be hiding a foreign substance in
his glove. Videos then surfaced and the story seemed to take on a life of its
own before the Cardinals and Major League Baseball both said there was nothing
"I'm sure there's going to be a focus on my glove and focus on my hands and
what I'm doing, but I've got to worry about the Cardinals," said Lester. "If
I'm worried about what people are looking at, I'm worried about the wrong
things. I'm going to go out and pitch my game."
St. Louis, meanwhile, will turn to its ace Adam Wainwright, who will be trying
to bounce back from a poor showing in that Game 1 assignment. Wainwright lost
his second straight postseason start in that one and allowed five runs --
three earned -- and six hits in five innings.
The NL wins leader this season with 19, Wainwright is 2-2 this postseason with
a 2.25 ERA.
"I honestly don't know why my mechanics were as bad as they were, why my
delivery was off as much as it was," Wainwright said. "But I feel like I've
put in a lot of good reps in front of the mirror and watching film and feeling
my delivery, learning the basics all over again. I feel like I've made a lot
of good adjustments to be ready to throw some quality pitches the next time. I
threw maybe four or five quality pitches the whole time I was pitching (in
Wainwright is 4-0 with a 1.07 ERA in eight postseason games -- four starts --
in St. Louis.
Boston evened this best-of-seven set at two games apiece on Sunday with a 4-2
win, as Jonny Gomes cracked a three-run homer in the sixth inning to break a
tie and David Ortiz reached base in all four plate appearances.
The Red Sox bounced back nicely after losing Game 3 Saturday night on the
first walk-off obstruction call in World Series history.
Sunday's game ended abruptly with a pickoff when Red Sox closer Koji Uehara
caught Kolten Wong leaning off first base with Carlos Beltran at the plate as
the tying run for the Cardinals. Wong said his foot slipped as he turned to
get back to the bag.
"I knew I was dead," said Wong.
Gomes -- a late replacement when Shane Victorino was scratched from the lineup
because of lower back tightness -- homered into the Boston bullpen behind left
field with two outs off reliever Seth Maness, who had just entered for St.
Louis starter Lance Lynn.
"The one thing you can guarantee is when I'm in the lineup, I'm going to be
swinging," said Gomes.
Maness threw Gomes five sinkers, leaving the last one up in the zone.
"I just missed my spot," said Maness.
Beltran had an RBI single in the defeat for the Cardinals, who lost for the
first time this postseason when scoring first (8-1).
Of the previous 42 times that a World Series has been tied 2-2, the winner of
Game 5 has gone on to win the series 27 times, but just three times in the
last 10 occasions.
This is the 10th time that St. Louis has been in this position and has won
Game 5 just four times. However, it has gone on to win the series in eight of
Boston, meanwhile, has been tied 2-2 three other times and has lost the
series on all three occasions, despite winning Game 5 twice.
This series will shift back to Fenway Park for Game 6 on Wednesday.
The Sports Network