Archive for October, 2013

Venezuelan Winter League Update

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Tigers de Aragua (8-2)

The Tigers have gotten out of the gate strong.  Led by the power bats of Jim Murphy (.351, 2, 8) , Alex Romero (.278, 1, 10) and Jose Martinez (.278, 2, 8) they have not had problems scoring runs.  Murphy and Guillermo Rodriguez (.450, 1, 5) have each crossed the plate a team leading nine times.

Yohan Pino (1-0, 1.00) has provided two strong starts.  Victor Moreno (9.00) has somehow managed to produce three saves despite the ugly ERA and the six walks and five hits in just four innings of work.  He has given up a run in each of his four appearances except the first.  Eduardo Sanchez (2-0, 0.00, 1 save) may start taking over the closer responsibilities if Moreno fails to right the ship.  Sanchez has not given up a run in four appearances.

Navegantes del Magallanes (7-3)

Mario Lisson (.325, 4, 13) has slugged four homeruns and Jesus Flores (.240, 3, 7) three despite the low average to power the Navegantes to a fast start.  The Rangers have to be impressed with how well Rougned Odor (.364, 1, 4) is playing.  Adonis Garcia (.300, 1, 3) will try to prove to the Yankees that he is not too small to play in the Bronx Bombers outfield next year.

The Navegantes have been getting strong pitching from Mitch Lively (2-0, 1.29) and David Bromberg (1-0, 0.87).  Matt Palmer (1-1, 3.00) is tied with Lively for the team lead in strikeouts with 10.  Lively has worked more innings.

Leones del Caracas (6-4)

The trio of Danny Dorn (.355, 3, 8) , Jesus Aguilar (.425, 3, 10) and Gregorio Petit (.351, 3, 6) have each hit a trio of homeruns.  Aguilar leads the team in runs scored with 12 and has six walks to his five strikeouts.  He could be in the mix for the Indians first base job at some point next season.  Bobby Abreu (.258, 0, 3) continues to live on in the Venezuelan winter league.

The Cubs would like to see Cuban Yoanner Negrin (2-0, 1.80) build upon his first three starts with the Leones. He leads the team in strikeouts with 13 but the seven walks in 15 innings needs to be reduced. From the Italian League comes Brazillian Tiago de Silva (1-0, 1.13) who has had two impressive starts. Diegomar Markwell from the Netherlands has not given up a run in three appearances, covering five plus innings.

Caribes de Anzoategui (5-5)

The Cuban Leslie Anderson (.471) needs to show more pop if he hopes to play in the Rays outfield. Cory Aldridge (.351, 2, 9) is the hot bat for the Caribes. He has played the last two years in the Mexican League. Oscar Salazar (.192, 1, 1) may not be getting the hits, but he has gotten 10 walks to put his OBA at .432.

Pitching has been killing them, with no starter with an ERA under 4.00.

Tiburones de la Guaira (4-5)

Alex Cabrera (.440, 0, 7) is retired from the NPB and the major leagues but he still carries a big bat in Venezuela.  He has five doubles.  Carlos Sanchez (.412) would like to win a middle infield job for the White Sox.  His ten runs scored leads the team but he has been caught stealing twice in his two attempts.

The Tiburones have gotten strong pitching from Renyel Pinto (1.80), Edgmer Escalona (0-1, 1.86) and Pedro Villarreal (0.00).  The trio of pitchers have each made two starts but have no victories to account for them.  Kendy Batista leads the bullpen with two saves.  He hasn’t allowed a run to cross the plate in five appearances.

Aguilas del Zulia (4-6)

Felix Perez (.400, 2, 6) is the Aguilas top hitter.  Ender Inciarte (.357, 0, 5) is doing it with the legs, successful in all five of his base stealing attempts and leading the team in runs scored with nine.  The Phillies had selected him in the Rule V draft last year but didn’t keep him.  He hopes to bat lead off for the Diamondbacks sometime in 2014.  Mark Minicozzi (.349, 1, 10) is trying to resurrect his baseball career and leads the Aguilas in RBIs.

Josh Schmidt (0-1, 0.00) has not allowed an earned run, but one unearned run has led to his one loss.  Virgil Vasquez (0-1, 2.77) and Roy Merritt (0-1, 1.74) have also been pitching well in five starts but do not have a win to show for it.  Hassan Pena (1.80) has two saves in his five appearances.

Cardenales de Lara (3-6)

Jairo Perez (.321, 3, 5) has three homeruns but only five RBIs to show for it.  Joe Thurston (.333) is the leading hitter and that is a low average for a team leader.  Joc Pederson (.269, 2, 4) has a crowded Dodger outfield to work his way into, but he leads the team in runs scored with eight.  He also has two doubles, a triple and two homeruns.  Jesus Montero (.318, 1, 3) is playing first base indicating his catching days are in the past for the Mariners.

Scott McGregor pitched four shutout innings in his only start.  Red Patterson (1.13) has one start and one relief appearance to his credit.  Anthony Vizcaya (5.40) has not given up a hit yet, but his four walks in three plus innings allowed two to cross the plate against him.

Bravos de Margarita (2-8)

They always seem to be in last place.  Adam Duvall (.282, 2, 7) has been the hot early bat.  Bay Sox Caleb Joseph (.313) hopes to win a back up catching spot in the major leagues if it is not with the Orioles.  Antoan Richardson (.282) an ex-Bay Sox, has five successful stolen bases in five attempts.

Fernando Nieve has not allowed a run in his two starts.  Eric Berger (1.50) pitched four shutout innings in his first start.

Rakuten Wins to Advance to First Japan Series

Monday, October 21st, 2013

After a day of rain, the weather dried up enough to allow the The Rakuten Eagles to beat the Chibba Lotte Marines 8-5 to advance to their first ever Japan Series, where they will play the Yomiuri Giants, who have played in more Japan Series than any team in the NPB.  The Eagles were led by the foreign bats of Andrew Jones, who slugged a 2-run homer and sacrifice fly to drive in three and Casey McGeehee, who contributed a solo shot that gave the Eagles the lead for good.

Jones drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the first to give the Eagles an early 1-0 lead.  They rallied for two more in the second, Ginji Akaminai driving in the second run with a single to go up 3-0.

The Marines struck back fast in the fourth, erupting for four runs, three of them driven in by designated hitter G.G. Sato on a ball driven over the left field fence.  That created a bit of uneasiness to the 24,000 plus fans who were hoping for an Eagles clinch.

Jones gave them a reason to cheer when he launched a 2-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to give the Eagles the lead back 5-4.

The Marines tied it in the top of the seventh on a Shunichi Nemoto RBI single.  McGehee responded back in the bottom frame with a solo shot.  It was a lead they would not relinquish.

Eagles rookie pitcher Takahiro Norimoto, who had started the second game, shut the Marines down in order in the eighth and Senichi Hoshino called upon Masahiro Tanaka to work the ninth to finish the game and pick up the save.  He gave up two out back to back singles before getting the Marines top hitter Tadahito Iguchi to ground out to end the game and complete the save.  The win went to Casey McGehee’s former Brewer teammate Takashi Saito.

Camden Debut (cont - 5)

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Larvell’s blood began to boil like the water in a flaming tea pot, the veins from his neck rising above his skin. He wasn’t in the best of moods to begin the day, especially after yesterday’s meeting with Mr. Hwa. Jackie had told him if he ever started getting angry and there were no nerf balls in his vicinity to throw at a wall, he should count to ten before he opened his mouth. He started counting, taking his eye away from his phone displaying the faulty Oriole lineup card that was the cause of his anger. He didn’t quite reach ten before he blurted out to Rigo. “Where’s Kevin in this lineup?”

Rigo darted his head back as Larvell shoved his phone in Rigo’s face. “I don’t know. I didn’t make the lineup.”

That answer didn’t help any, especially with Rigo fixated on his cell phone to review emails. Larvell tried counting to ten again. This time he got to eight. “Is Moose here? Where’s Moose? F**k it. I’ll just call him.”

The Orioles lineup card for the day read:

Grover Grimsley 2B
Freddy Kwon SS
Clarence Hunter LF
David Bennett 1B
Carl Hamilton RF
Lee Ramirez C
Sal Stuart DH
Johan Slaughter 3B
Eric Feller CF

There was no Kevin Beamer in the lineup. “Moose. Kevin is not in the lineup,” Larvell whispered into the phone with an angry tone, placing his hand over his mouth to try to mute the anger escaping from his lips to the others in the room. “You tell that jackass of a manager Frank that if Kevin is not in the lineup I’m going to release Lee Ramirez before the game starts and all of the other catchers we have on the roster until he puts Kevin in the lineup. S**t, I’ll release him if he doesn’t put Kevin in the lineup and I’ll go down there and manage this game myself. At this stage I don’t want Jason pitching to a new catcher. Especially today. Understood?”

Larvell took a deep breath. That was a mouthful and he felt proud he didn’t raise his voice beyond a whisper. Unfortunately those nearest to him had heard the rumblings and were staring at him aghast, making him feel like a monkey in the zoo throwing his own poop.

“I’ll get on it.”

“If he has a problem with that call me.”

“Will do.”

As he closed his phone and noticed the stares he walked to another corner of the room, motioning for Rigo to follow. The owner’s box was getting crowded, with everyone holding a glass of wine or other beverage of choice in one hand and a cardboard box with a Jason Woo bobble head inside occupying their other hand. Some of them had taken the Jason Woo bobblehead out of the box. It was a good conversation starter for those who didn’t know each other.

Mr. Hwa had arrived early. Larvell tried his best to ignore him. It was not the time to talk to him or words he would regret later would spill out. They had smiled from across the room once, Mr. Hwa raising his glass of wine and clicking it against the bobble head box in his other hand in a toast. Larvell only nodded his head in acknowledgment since he had no drink in his hand. He didn’t even have a bobblehead.

Mr. Hwa brought his assistant Mr. Zhang. Mr. Zhang still had the mole on his cheek with the three slivers of hair growing out from this mole like a weed. Each guest was allowed to bring a date. Mr. Hwa had made an interesting selection for his date. Never had Larvell seen Mr. Hwa bring a woman to any event, though he had mentioned a wife and remembered Rigo talking about a wife.

There was the white haired, wrinkled, bowling ball shaped Congressman Tommy Helms standing near the buffet line filling his plate. He looked much older when seen in person. Those pictures he put on his website were outdated by at least twenty years or they were very touched up. He was also heavier than his pictures by at least twenty pounds, the food piled on his plate leaving no question why. He was with an attractive Asian woman. Larvell thought she’d be prettier if she didn’t have her hair split in pig tails. She also was a little too skinny and flat of chest to satisfy Larvell’s taste.

He watched as this pig tailed Asian woman left the buffet line, darting towards an older, pint sized Asian lady whose hair was trapped in a bun. She was the only woman in the room whose height was not aided by high heels. She wore simple sandals and a plain dress that painted her vanilla. They hugged and looked at each other like they had not seen each other in a long time. Larvell would have never given this woman any notice if he had not watched the pig tailed woman run towards her.

This pint sized Asian woman had just entered the room with John. Larvell recognized John even without his white hair. The pigtailed Asian woman had released her grip from the vanilla looking Asian woman and was now giving John an enthusiastic embrace. Larvell was curious of the connection. John’s scalp was now the color of Moose, smooth and bald as a billiard ball, though he had some white hair growing on his chin, the birth of a new goatee.

Standing behind this Asian threesome was also a younger Asian woman with silky black hair that flowed to her shoulders, wearing a sundress the color of a rainbow. Larvell could sense the warmth in her face. She was the prettiest and most radiant Asian woman in the room. Larvell suspected this was Kevin’s wife. He wouldn’t expect anything but the best from Kevin. She was standing near an Asian couple who were old enough to be her parents. The older man stood erect, stately in his suit and tie. He could have been a politician or diplomat with his cavalier look. The woman by his side had similar characteristics to the younger woman. She was also quite attractive, hiding her age well, a permanent smile etched upon her face as she watched the enthusiasm displayed by the pig tailed Asian woman.

Since this pig tailed Asian woman had arrived with Senator Helms and his wife, Larvell guessed she must be Misty. The threesome didn’t seem to care who was watching as they chatted to each other wildly. No one in the room could understand them since they were speaking in Chinese, laughing and gaggling like a group of ducks near water. They all carried the box with the Jason Woo bobblehead inside.

In her phone calls to him Larvell remembered Misty mentioning some affiliation with Jason. He could not remember what it was. At the time it was not important for him to remember. The three of them seemed very happy to see each other. After the excitement wore down John introduced Misty to the other three Asian guests, Kevin’s wife and her parents. Larvell wondered if Kevin’s parents were here. He didn’t know half the people in the room. He assumed if they were here they would be near his wife and would have entered the room at the same time.

It was no surprise to see the agent for Jason, Arnold Suzic in the room, dressed to impress in a red tuxedo with matching bow tie. No clip on for Arnold. He was the only man wearing a tuxedo in the room, something Larvell was not used to seeing at a baseball game. This was not supposed to be a formal gathering, though with Arnold everything was formal. This man was a tough negotiator. Larvell did not look forward to the battles he would be having with him once Jason Woo reached his arbitration eligible years.

Two attractive women were standing by each side of Arnold, both of them blonde and made taller by their high heels. The two women towered over Arnold. One of the women Larvell guessed was Stephanie Farmer, Arnold’s assistant. She looked stunning in a short black dress showing off her tan and sculpted legs. The other woman Larvell guessed to be Arnold’s wife. She was also very attractive, hiding her legs by wearing a dress that draped down to her heels. Arnold didn’t seem to mind these two women towering over him, confident in his own self.

One person absent from the owner’s booth was the owner Ruben Pendergrass. According to Rigo the secret service had informed him Ruben was not cleared to be in his own booth or any area even close by. Ruben had packed up and left his office a couple weeks ago. With the bad newspaper publicity still surrounding him Ruben probably would not have come even if invited. Larvell wondered if he had seen the last of Ruben. He didn’t even say good bye before he left. Ruben came in late one night over the weekend to clear his office. He took everything, including the carpet and the blinds, without telling anyone of his intention. Since he was still the owner of the team no one questioned his leaving the office barren.

AFL Review

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Besides MVP and Cy Young awards what do Josh Hamilton, Ryan Howard, Joe Mauer, Dustin Pedroia, Albert Pujols, Buster Posey, Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay have in common?  All of them at some time in their young baseball life perfected their craft in the desert air of the Arizona Fall League.  These players were not born to be MVPs and Cy Youngs.  They had to work at it just like everyone else.

Below is a review of some of the early impact players of the AFL and the possible MVP candidates of the future. 

Eastern Division 

Mesa Solar Sox (7-2-1)

Kris Bryant (.423, 4, 12) has been a beast after being the second pick in the draft this year, even stealing two bases.  He looks like he could be ready for some major league playing time in 2014 with a .962 slugging percentage.  Another Cub hitter making some noise is Albert Almora (.417, 1, 8) .  The Angels may have to find room at first base for slugger C.J. Cron (.385, 2, 6).  Stephen Souza (.308) has been doing it with his legs with six stolen bases in six attempts.

Sammy Solis (2-0, 1.17) has been sharp in his two starts, showing the Nationals that he is recovered from his surgery and may be prepared to make his major league debut in 2014.  Another National pitcher Matt Purke (2-0, 0,00) has yet to give up an earned run in his two starts and seven innings of work.    

Salt River Rafters (4-6)

They lack the power bats of the Solar Sox.  Stephen Piscotty (.414) leads the team in batting and stolen bases (5 for 5).  He also has two triples.  James Ramsey (.364, 1, 4) leads the team in runs scored with six and is tied for the top spot with many others in RBIs.  Ramsey and Piscotty were first round picks by the Cardinals in 2012, Piscotty a supplemental pick.

Drew Hutchinson threw four perfect innings in his last start and has yet to give up an earned run and only three hits in his two starts.  The unheralded Bo Schultz (2.16) has been a surprise.  He was signed as a nondrafted free agent by the Athletics in 2008.  The Diamondbacks hope they have found a diamond in the rough six years later.  

Scottsdale Scorpions (4-6)

The Scorpions only hot bat has been Tommy La Stella (.444, 0, 6).  He leads the team in batting average and RBIs.  Allen Hansen (.286) has been scoring runs with a team leading six but he has also been making errors (5).  He also has a 1/11 walk to whiff ratio which the Pirates would like to see him improve on.  Three of the four hits for Pete O’Brien (.167, 3, 5) have left the park.  Like Hansen he has a poor 2/11 walk to whiff ratio.

There have been no real standout pitchers.  Jameson Taillon did not give up an earned run in his one start and two innings of work.  Chasen Bradford has made four relief appearances and given up only one hit and a walk in four innings of work.  That gives him a Uehara like 0.46 WHIP.  Fred Lewis and Cody Satterwhite have also made four appearances without having a runner cross the plate.   

Western Division

Surprise Saguaros (6-4)

Henry Urrutia (.471) is raking.  Two of his eight hits have gone for doubles but his run production is still slim (3).  Mitch Haniger (.394, 2, 12) and Travis Shaw (.294, 3, 11) have been the power bats for the Saguaros.  Mitch leads the team in runs scored with eight. 

Taylor Jungmann has made one start, working three innings without giving up a run.  Jungmann was a Brewers first round pick in 2011.  David Goforth has not given up a hit yet in his four relief appearances, walking just one hitter.  David was also drafted in the 2011 draft by the Brewers but in the seventh round.   

Glendale Desert Dogs (5-4-1)

Yorman Rodriguez (.323) is finally fulfilling his potential after the Reds shelled out $2.5 million in 2008 to sign him.  He leads the Desert Dogs in total bases (15) and runs scored (7).  Brandon Jacobs (.333, 2, 2) has two solo homeruns in three games.  Another third baseman who was drafted in the 2013 first round is Colin Moran (.160).  While he has been struggling to get the hits the Marlins have to be happy with his seven walks giving him a respectable .344 OBA.  Player of the year Byron Buxton (.227) has gotten off to a slow start.

Nick Wittgren leads the team in whiffs (9) despite pitching in relief.  In four relief appearances he has yet to give up a run and has nary a walk.  Stephen McCray (2-0, 0,00) has also held the opposition scoreless in two starts covering six plus innings.  He has only given up two hits.  

Peoria Javelinas (3-7)

The leading RBI man for the Javelinas is defensive catching whiz Austin Hedges (.368, 0, 5).  He has three doubles.  An interesting participant has been Japhet Amador (.292, 1, 4) who the Astros signed out of the Mexican League.  Amador is listed at 6′4″ 305 pounds.  He has yet to walk and whiffed eight times.  Chris Taylor (.389) is the Javelinas top hitter.

Matt Heidenreich has yet to give up a run in his two starts and has only given up one hit in six innings of work.  He has been a bit wild, walking five in those six innings.  Keyvius Sampson has yet to give up a hit in his three appearances covering four innings.  That is good news for the Padres, who drafted him in the fourth round of 2009.     

Doosan Bears to the Championship

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

The Doosan Bears beat the LG Twins 5-1 to go to the finals to face the KBO winner and two time defending champion Samsung Lions.  Jun-Seok Choi slugged a solo shot and Jae-il Oh tripled and scored after the centerfield bobbled the ball to extend their 2-1 lead to 4-1.

Hui-Kwan Yu worked seven innings, giving up just six hits and one run to get the win.  He walked three and struck out five.  He was voted the MVP of the series.  Derek Hankins worked the last two innings to pick up the save.

The LG Twins again gift wrapped a number of runs to the Bears.  Their error in the first inning allowed the first run to score.  Two hit batsmen, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly allowed the second run to score.

Red Sox to the World Series

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

One year after jettisoning off to Los Angeles mega contract superstars Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett and settling into last place in the AL East in 2012 with a dysfunctional team, the Red Sox have made it to the World Series.  Before the season started myworld had selected them to finish in the basement of the AL East in 2013.  They appeared to be in a rebuilding mode and their free agent signings seemed to be more stop gap to fill roster holes until their minor league system became ready rather than post season ambitions.

One of those roster gap signings myworld questioned was Shane Victorino.  While he had some good years with the Phillies his career trajectory was on a downward spiral, with injuries becoming more frequent and his range in center becoming less as he aged.  That downward path took a quick upturn while playing for the Red Sox.  Down 2-1 last night his grand slam homerun in the seventh inning gave the Red Sox a 5-2 win and a trip to the World Series.  Don’t worry Red Sox fans because everything little thing is going to be all right.

Up until that point it appeared the Tigers were intent on sending this series to a seventh game.  Victor Martinez 2-run single in the sixth had given the Tigers a 2-1 lead.  If not for a base running blunder by Prince Fielder the inning could have been much worse, but he was caught breaking late for home after Dustin Pedroia tagged out Victor Martinez for the first out and a potential big rally fizzled.  

Max Scherzer was also on the mound and he had only given up three hits through the sixth inning.  He proved a little wild, walking four and hitting a batter.  A double play and caught stealing limited the Boston damage to just one run.

The walks and number of pitches it required him to throw began to take its toll in the seventh inning.  Johnny Gomes started the inning with a double off the top of the green monster.  After an out Xander Boegarts drew the fifth walk from Scherzer and it was time for the bullpen. 

Drew Smyly came in to pitch to face the lefty Jacoby Ellsbury.  Jacoby hit a ball to ex-Red Sox Jose Iglesias, noted for his defensive proficiency.  Jose gave the Red Sox a parting gift by booting the ball to load the bases, trying to be too quick in his flip to second to turn a double play on a ball hit up the middle rather than taking a sure out.  Jose Veras came on in relief to face the righty Shane Victorino, got ahead of him in the count 0-2 then hung a curve ball that Victorino walloped over the green wall. 

The Red Sox were able to wait until the ninth to bring in Koji Uehara.  He gave up one infield single, but struck out two, including Jose Iglesias for the final out of the game.  The Red Sox are in the World Series with the rally cry of the day being “don’t worry because every little thing will be all right.”             

Brother Elephants For Sale

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Bears Move One Win Away from Finals in KBO

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

The Doosan Bears beat the LG Twins 5-4 to move one win away from facing the Samsung Lions in the finals.  Bears outfielders were able to gun down two runners trying to score in the ninth inning to escape with the victory.

Sloppy play led to the first four runs, with the Twins scoring one and the Bears scoring three, one on an obstruction call.  Won-Seok Lee had an RBI double in the sloppy third inning.

The Bears extended the lead to 4-1 after an RBI triple by Su-bin Jeong in the fourth.  The Twins came back with single runs in the next two innings on an RBI single by Seong-hoon Jeong and a wild pitch.

The Doosan Bears got an RBI single from Ju-hwan Choi in the sixth to make it 5-3.  That brought the wild ninth.

A triple by Young-eui Kim and single by Jin-Young Lee pulled the Twins to within one.  A wild pitch advanced the pinch runner Dae-hyung Lee to second where he tried to score after a Seong-Hoon Jeong single.  Bear left fielder Jae-cheol Leem rifled Lee out at the plate.  Jeong advanced to second on the throw and was also pinch run for.  A single to right by Byung-kyu Lee nailed the pinch runner Sun-jae Moon after a perfect throw home from Byeong-heon Min to end the game.

The Twins made four errors in the game.  You can read more of the narrative here:

Eagles One Win Away from Advancing to their First Japan Series

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Manaba Mima picked a good time to pitch his first Ichi-gun shutout of his career going the route in the Rakuten Eagles 2-0 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines.  The Eagles now lead the series three games to one.  Motohiro Shima drove in both runs with a double in the second.

The Marines put two runners on in the second and third innings but after that Mima only allowed two more runners to reach, none past first base and one of those runners was erased by a double play in the ninth inning.  Mima was a second round pick of the Eagles in the 2010 draft.  This is his third year playing Ichi-gun.  This year he went 6-5, 4.12 after going 8-10, 3.08 last year.

Cardinals Thump Dodgers and Kershaw

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

The St. Louis Cardinals showed no mercy on favored Cy Young winner for 2013 Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, knocking Kershaw out in the fifth inning after ten hits and seven runs in their 9-0 win. The Dodgers defense didn’t help any with Yasiel Puig making two errors. Kershaw finished the season against the Cardinals 0-4 with a 5.09 ERA. Against the rest of his opponents he was 17-7, 1.64.

Michael Wacha continued to be awesome on the mound, working seven shutout innings to extend his scoreless streak for the NC championship series to 13 plus innings. He gave up only two hits and was voted the MVP of the series, the first rookie to do so since Livan Hernandez in 1997.

For the 22 year old Wacha it will be his first World Series appearance after being drafted in the first round by the Cardinals last year. It will also be the first World Series for the 35 year old Carlos Beltran, whose numbers have been the best in post season play, but never enough to catapult his teams to the World Series. He got three hits yesterday, including driving in two runs and will get to add a World Series appearance to his baseball resume.

The Dodgers never visited second base until a leadoff double by A.J. Ellis in the sixth. He remained stranded at second as the next 12 Dodgers were retired in order.  Cardinal pitchers only faced 29 batters as one of the two hits was erased via a double play.  Wacha walked one.

The Cardinals pinged Kershaw to death like a thousand bee stings with four singles, a double and a walk to score their first four runs in the third inning. In the fifth the bees continued stinging with two singles and a double to force Don Mattingly to remove Kershaw. Ronald Belasario and Jay Howell could not stop the bleeding, giving up the five spot in the inning.