Trevor Rosenthal celebrates with catcher Yadier Molina after winning Game 2.
(Photo: Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports)
BOSTON -- They named a milkshake after St. Louis Cardinals rookie sensation Michael Wacha.
Now, the good folks of St. Louis may have to name the Gateway Arch after him.
Wacha, putting on the greatest rookie pitching performance in postseason history, had one hiccup, but still continued his October domination, making the Boston Red Sox his latest victims.
The Cardinals knocked off the Red Sox, 4-2, behind Wacha and a dash of Red Sox follies at Fenway Park, evening the World Series 1-1, but clearly shifting the momentum to the Cardinals.
The next three games are scheduled at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and if the series returns to Boston, Mr. Wacha will be the one greeting them.
"It's not secret how good their pitching is,'' said Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who lost his first World Series game. "They were the best team in the National League.''
There's no guarantee there will be a need for Wacha to pitch again this season. The Cardinals have the matchups they want in the next three games: Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn and ace Adam Wainwright scheduled against struggling Jake Peavy, a fatigued Clay Buchholz, and a rosin-less Jon Lester.
Yes, the Cardinals may not be making a stink out of Lester's glove from Game 1, but you can be assured the umpiring crew will take matters in their own hands, and prohibit any foreign substances from appearing in his glove this time.
And, yes, with no DH in St. Louis, the Red Sox will be forced to sit Mike Napoli or Ortiz. Red Sox manager John Farrell says that Ortiz will start at first base in Game 3, but is uncertain about the next two games. Meanwhile, Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran not only made a surprising return after bruising his ribs in Game 1, but contributed a couple of hits.
"We feel confident, we feel good about ourselves,'' said Beltran, who had little hope of playing. "We know how good we play at home."
And they know how good they are when Wacha is on the mound. Wacha, 4-0 with a 1.00 ERA this postseason, set a postseason rookie record by pitching 19 consecutive scoreless innings. He also became only the fourth pitcher to yield one or no runs in his first 25 postseason innings, joining Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Don Sutton.
"The kid continues to impress,'' manager Mike Matheny said. "I don't know what else you could ask.''
Wacha suffocated the Red Sox's powerful lineup for six innings, with the exception of that old dynamic duo of Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz, who each reached base two times.
Ortiz threatened to put a quick end to this Series. His two-run, sixth inning homer on a 3-and-2 changeup gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead, ending Wacha's scoreless skein.
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports