Does he or doesn’t he? Overshadowing the Cardinal’s admittedly sucky performance last night is the question of whether Jon Lester was throwing a ‘Spit’ ball.

Now if you’re not much up on Baseball they don’t actually spit on the ball, but it is a fact that the aerodynamics of a pitch are such that any foreign substance on the ball, or abrasion of its surface can effect the trajectory. Vaseline is very old school, in the most recent cases I remember the accusation was that sand or emery paper, or just strong and carefully filed fingernails were used. Officially the Cards are discounting the idea which is gosh darn sportsman-like of them.

Of course mere spitters don’t explain the terrible fielding and awful pitching which is what * really* allowed the Sox to be so dominant last night.

The rout started in the 1st Inning. Leadoff Walk, Line Out, Single. 2 On 1 Out. Error, Bases Loaded.

I’m going to stop there for a moment and explain. The ball went to 2nd to start a Double Play but Kozma lost the handle and it popped out of his glove before he could make the throw to 1st. The 2nd Base Umpire called it an Out on the field when it just so obviously wasn’t. Now supposedly a call like that can’t be over ruled (there is no crying or instant replay in Baseball), but an Umpire * can* ask for assistance and when the 2nd Base Umpire finally did the Crew Chief came out and basically said, “What are you? Blind? Drop by Lenscrafters tomorrow because you need new glasses.”

Or words to that effect.

Now you might expect me to be upset because I am marginally rooting for the Cards, but I’m not really. It’s been my contention for years that plays at 2nd are horribly called and all a 2nd Baseman or Shortstop has to do is think about signaling an intention that he maybe might step on the bag for the not so tie to go to the Fielder rather than the Runner as the rules clearly state.

And the Cardinals were made to play for their mistake- 3 RBI Double, Sox 3 – 0. It continued in the 2nd. 2 On 1 Out, Error, bases loaded 1 Out. RBI Single, RBI Sacrifice, Sox 5 – 0. Quiet until the 7th, then 2 Outs, an Error, 2 RBI Home Run. 7 – 0 Sox. Sox struck again in the 8th, Leadoff Double, Wild Pitch, Sacrifice, 8 – 0 Sox. Playing for pride the Cards avoided a Shut Out with a Solo Shot. Red Sox 8 – 1, lead Series 1 – 0.

And for you Cards fans I suggest you look at the last number very carefully before you despair. As bad as they looked last night they could have lost 100 – 0 and it would still be just the one W. Good teams are * supposed* to win at home.

If you’re looking for bad news it’s unclear if Beltran will start tonight. No broken ribs but he’s bruised up pretty seriously and they don’t play him because of his fielding, but because of what he can do at the plate.

John Lackey (10 – 13, 3.52 ERA R) will face Michael Wacha (4 – 1, 2.78 ERA R). In the post-season Lackey has not lost, 2 – 0, 11 hits for 4 runs in 12 innings and an ERA of 2.84. For a rookie Wacha has been a pleasant surprise, also undefeated at 3 – 0 post-season he has 8 hits and 1 run in 21 innings pitched for a stunningly low 0.42 ERA. Advantage Cardinals.

On the other hand you saw what good that did in Game 1.

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