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Post-season Gameday Thread, #25: Crunch time

This series is now effective a best of three, so the winner is going to fly back to Boston needing just one more win, while the loser will enter win-or-die mode.

Rob Carr


Jon Lester, LHP
2013 Reg: 15-8, 3.75
2013 Post: 3-1, 1.67

Adam Wainwright, RHP
2013 Reg: 19-9, 2.94
2013 Post: 2-2, 2.25

5:07pm Arizona time, Fox. Series level 2-2
With one swing of his bat last night, Jonny Gomes perhaps tipped the balance of the series back to Boston. After losing Game 3 in dramatic fashion on an interference call Saturday night, last night's contest became almost a must-win for the Red Sox. Largely thanks to Gomes three-run homer, they came through, though the game also ended in unique fashion, becoming the first post-season contest in history to end on a pick-off: I'm sure rookie Kolten Wong was chewed out bigtme for his mistake, considering post-season powerhouse Carlos Beltran was at the plate, representing the tying run.

Instead, the result means that the series cannot now end in St. Louis, and will instead return to Fenway for Game Six on Wednesday night and, if necessary, a Game Seven on Thursday. But which of these two teams will prevail tonight, and get on the plane with two chances to clinch the title? This is a rematch of Game 1, which saw Wainwright lose to Lester, allowing five runs in the first two innings, though he wasn't helped by some atrocious defense, notably from Pete Kozma. I'm sure the Red Sox will look to jump on him again early, led by David Ortiz, who will likely be MVP in they win, having gone 8-for-11 with four walks so far, an OPS of 2.114.

A good job for Boston he is, because the rest of their hitters are batting .138 (16-for-11), and even with Ortiz, the team OPS is .571. It has definitely been a series dominated by pitching thus far, with St. Louis little better, at a .609 OPS. But it's Boston who have scored more runs to date, by an 18-12 margin, and if that holds, will be in the driver's seat and looking to clinch in front of their home fans later this week.