This was not what Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals had in mind. The normally sure-handed National League champions were undone by sloppy fielding, poor communication and ineffective pitching in an 8-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox in the opening game of the 2013 World Series.
After finishing tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the fewest errors in the Senior Circuit during the regular season and not committing multiple errors in any postseason game during their run to the World Series, the Cardinals were charged with three errors in Game 1.
Perhaps the gaffe most emblematic of the Cardinals' struggles at Fenway Park on Wednesday night isn't even included in that number. With the Sox already leading 3-0 after one inning, Wainwright began work in the second with Stephen Drew at the plate. The Cards' ace induced Drew to lift a pop fly high above the infield with an 87-mph cutter. Wainwright stepped down off the mound as the ball rose up over the Fenway infield while St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina popped out of his crouch. With the batterymates coming together, the ball began its descent. Wainwright looked at Molina. Molina looked at Wainwright. Then the ball dropped right between them.
(GIF via @YahooSports)
"I called it. I waited for someone else to take charge. That's not the way to play baseball," Wainwright told reporters after the loss, via The Associated Press. "It was totally my error."
(GIF via @BuzzFeedSports)
Although Wainwright referred to the goof as "my error," the official scorer at Fenway credited Drew with a single on the play. He would eventually come around to score the first of two Boston runs in the inning on a Dustin Pedroia single to stretch the home advantage to 5-0. In between Drew's infield single and Pedroia's run-scoring single, Shane Victorino reached on an error by shortstop Pete Kozma. It was Kozma's second error of the game, with the first coming on a potential inning-ending double play in the first. The Cardinals' third official error of the night came courtesy of a short throw to first by third baseman David Freese in the seventh. One batter after Freese's wayward throw allowed Pedroia to reach base, David Ortiz crushed a two-run homer to right-center field. Of the eight total runs scored by the Red Sox in Game 1 only four of them were earned.
GIF ALBUM: All 3 Cardinals Errors In World Series Game 1
(GIF via @DCSportShopped)