Red Sox overcome eight errors to take 2-0 Series lead
Posted: Monday October 25, 2004 1:32AM; Updated: Monday October 25, 2004 1:32AM
BOSTON (AP) -- The way the Cardinals hit Sunday night -- or didn't hit, actually -- all the Red Sox have to do is outscore their own fielding mistakes.
Boston has bungled its way through two nights of bobbled balls and bad throws, a near collision and a pratfall by the comically ungraceful Manny Ramirez.
And what did all those miscues add up to for Boston? Consecutive four-error games -- and two victories. So much for good defense winning in the postseason.
The Red Sox lead the World Series two games to none after a 6-2 victory Sunday in which they made one fewer error than the Cardinals had hits. Game 3 is Tuesday night in St. Louis.
"Maybe four is our lucky number," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Our pitchers made [good] pitches where it didn't affect the outcome of the game."
Third baseman Bill Mueller, normally a solid fielder, made a World Series record-tying three errors in the first six innings. He and second baseman Mark Bellhorn made back-to-back errors with two outs in the sixth inning.
The next batter, Reggie Sanders, hit another grounder to Mueller. And Mueller came through, fielding the ball cleanly and stepping on third for an inning-ending forceout.
Time after time, the Cardinals failed to capitalize on the errors.
"It's more frustrating because it's something we can control," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "We look more at what we do, not the things that they don't do."
Boston's fielding follies began in its 11-9 win in Game 1 on Saturday night.
Then, on consecutive plays in the eighth, left fielder Manny Ramirez let a ball get past him for one error then took an awkward tumble as he tried to make a sliding catch on another -- the ball hit off his glove.
Ramirez made the Red Sox's only error in the seven-game AL championship series against New York. They also made just one error in the three-game division series against Anaheim.
Boston allowed 74 unearned runs in the first 102 games, but gave up just 20 after trading shortstop Nomar Garciaparra July 31 and acquiring first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and shortstop Orlando Cabrera.
On Sunday, starter Curt Schilling came through when the fielders didn't as the four errors produced just one unearned run.
"Very few times on the mound do you get a chance to pick up the fielding for the guys playing behind you," he said. "I wanted to get out of that sixth inning and make it right for [Mueller] as much as anybody because I know how they feel when they make errors behind you."