I love stuff like this, from SI’s John Donovan:
The Red Sox had no right winning Game 1. None at all. Sure, they got out to a nice 4-0 lead, and then when the Cardinals swung back a little, the Sox pushed the difference to 7-2.
Donovan’s full column holds more of the same. But hold on a second – did the Cardinals have any right to win last night? 10 earned runs from their pitching staff, 1-15 in the 3-4-5-6 spots? Who, exactly, deserved this game, if not the Sox? Maybe Larry Walker (sterling defense and scary offense). As for the Sox, when it mattered, Foulke pitched beautifully in the crunch (compare that to the Cards’ relief corps), and the hitters, though they left men on base, got lots of men on base and picked most of them up (see Cards “meat of the order” for a contrasting performance). They played terribly in the field, for sure, but the Cardinals may have played worse overall (Renteria’s error was a killer, as bad as any of the Sox’) – the only reason they were actually close was because Wakefield lost his control unilaterally and the Sox made 4 errors – otherwise the score may have been far more lopsided. Why do the Sox deserve ridicule and a diminshment of their win, but the Cardinals are let off the hook despite their abject failure to capitalize on the Sox’ errant play and their inability to shut down the Sox when they finally clawed their way back in the game?