James Taylor was in the house, but the Cardinals would not let Game 2 of the World Series at Fenway Park become a One Man Parade. Terry Francona knew this. The Red Sox skipper had seen how Cardinals pitchers had approached David Ortiz, one of this postseason's most feared hitters, in Game 1. After Ortiz slammed his first inning, three-run homer on Saturday night, he was walked in his two subsequent at bats on a total of eight pitches. Francona's response to the Cardinals' Bonds-like treatment of Ortiz, who hits cleanup in Boston's order? Before Game 2, Francona dropped Kevin Millar from fifth to sixth order, replacing the first baseman in the five-hole with catcher Jason Varitek, who would now follow Ortiz in the batting order.
"The reason we're having Varitek hit fifth is that you can see the way they approached David yesterday," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before Game 2. "They really needed to have a reason to pitch to him, and if they don't pitch to him, we want to have the optimum lineup."
Francona's move paid immediate dividends. In the bottom of the first, Morris retired Johnny Damon and Orlando Cabrera on two groundouts before walking Manny Ramirez and Ortiz. On a one-and-two count, Morris threw a pitch down and in on to Varitek, who scorched it to Fenway Park's center field triangle for a two-run triple. The Red Sox never looked back.
From the Bench
What was the Cardinals' Game 4 starter, Jason Marquis, doing on the mound in the seventh inning? La Russa explained before the game that Marquis could find action in Game 2 but still start in Game 4. Said La Russa, "Jeff Suppan pitches Tuesday and we've got Marquis listed and I think he'll pitch Game 4. The only thing is that we also have Marquis listed in our right-hand relief side today because we used up Danny [Haren] and Matt [Morris] is going on three days' rest. If we need some innings, Marquis can pitch. But I think Marquis can pitch a little bit today and still start Game 4." Marquis logged a hefty 25 pitches in his one inning of work. ... La Russa was very pleased with Morris' Game 2 start. "I think Matt did a heck of a job," La Russa said. "You look at it, he gives up four runs on two swings with two outs. He walked the third and fourth place hitters, both guys are dangerous, just barely walked him. I thought he did a great job. Threw a changeup and Varitek got to it. The other one, you know Bellhorn same kind of deal, curveball got away, hits the hitter. I thought he was outstanding. At that point, he was starting to force it and on three days' rest. I got him out because I think this we're pushing it too far, he might hurt himself and that's what I told him. I said, "Matt, you've given us enough. It's crazy to go any farther.". ... La Russa opted for Marlon Anderson as his designated hitter after starting Reggie Sanders at DH and So Taguchi in left field on Saturday. Anderson was a .237 hitter during the season and was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
Word spread around Fenway hours before Game 2 that Curt Schilling would not be able to make his start as scheduled. Schilling put all rumors to rest when he emerged an hour before game time in left field, outside the Cardinals bullpen, to the roar of the Red Sox faithful already at their seats. Schilling, however, might not make a second start in the series because the unprecedented surgical procedure to stitch together his injured right ankle might be too damaging to keep repeating, according to team physician Bill Morgan. Schilling was asked after his virtuoso Game 2 performance about his availability for the rest of the series. "I haven't thought about it," he said "I mean, you know, I'm thinking about Pedro on the mound Tuesday in St. Louis. I'm a little beat up right now. It's the first time in my life I think I've felt my age. We'll see what happens." ... Seen at Fenway for Game 2: Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck, Stephen King, Jimmy Fallon, and James Taylor, who sang the national anthem.
What happened to the juggernaut Cardinals offense? In two games, the Big Three of Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds are 4-for-23. Look for the Cardinals' bats to awaken in St. Louis. No team in the NL was a better home team than the Cardinals, who were 53-28 during the regular season at Busch Stadium and are 6-0 there in the postseason.
St. Louis has the right pitcher going to the mound in Game 3 in Jeff Suppan, who has been sharp this postseason and is clearly the Cardinals' most reliable starter at the moment. The Red Sox counter with Pedro Martinez in what could be his final start in a Boston uniform.
Said Francona on Sunday night, "I expect Pedro to pitch his fanny off. I think he's got rest. I think he feels good about himself. You know, we'll have a day off so we can rest our bullpen a little bit. Any time we start Pedro, believe me, we're excited about it."