Yes. Oh, yes. We are off to a mighty good start. This is exactly where we want to be: right out on top. I can’t be the only one sensing some familiarity with this whole situation. So much time has passed, and so much has happened since then. We are a completely different team now in innumerable ways. But we are good. And we can do this.
So the first game of the World Series is in the bag. Oh, yes, it is indeed good to be back.
We started out very solidly. Ellsbury led off the first with a walk. Victorino lined out, Pedroia singled, and Papi reached on a force attempt with a little help from a missed catch to load the bases. And then Napoli hit a bases-clearing double. That was the best outcome short of a grand slam. Three runs on one swing, and he looked really comfortable executing that hit. Excellent.
Drew and Ross hit back-to-back singles to lead off the second. Then Ellsbury flied out and Victorino reached on a fielding error to load the bases. Drew scored on a single by Pedroia. That’s not exactly the big response to a bases-loaded situation I was hoping for, but it’s better than nothing, especially since that run increased our lead to four and since Papi followed it up with a sac fly that scored one more.
We took a long break before resuming our scoring in the seventh with some long ball. The Cards made three pitching changes in that inning alone; they made the third one after Pedroia reached on a throwing error. And then Papi welcomed the new pitcher by homering on his very first pitch. He hit it all the way out to right center field. It was a massive home run. It was beautiful. As was the insurance we added in the eighth, when Nava doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sac fly by Bogaerts.
For Lester, it was a great performance. He had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth but grounded into a double play. That was the worst of it, and he didn’t even allow a single run. He was quite the laborer; he was really committed to keeping his head down and grinding through. This is the great thing about Lester. Even when it’s not easy for him, he still manages to make it work.
He very nearly went the distance, too. Two outs into the eighth, he was relieved by Tazawa, who ended the eighth. Dempster pitched the ninth. Together, our staff almost pitched a shoutout; Dempster proved to be the undoing when he gave up a solo shot on his fourth pitch. But aside from allowing a single, he put the Cards away after that.
And that was a wrap. Game one is done, 8-1. We now lead the series. I want it. Let’s get it.
In other news, the Pats dropped a painfully close one to the Jets, 30-27.