Cardinals, Red Sox renew October rivalry
Lance Lynn squeezed through a door leading into the Green Monster, shimmied along a cramped space behind the famed left-field wall and peered out a tiny metal slot in the Fenway Park scoreboard.
“A little snug for me,” the burly St. Louis pitcher said.
Plenty of Cardinals got their first look at the century-old ballpark during a workout Tuesday, a day before they opened the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Hardly the first time we’ve seen these old rivals together, however. From Stan the Man and the Splendid Splinter, to Gibby and Yaz, to Pedro and Pujols, the Redbirds and Red Sox have created their own history.
Now, they’re set to meet for the fourth time in “that Octobery kind of air,” as Cardinals Game 1 starter Adam Wainwright described it.
Jon Lester will oppose him Wednesday night, facing a lineup that got a late boost. Allen Craig, who hit a major league-leading .454 with runners in scoring position but hasn’t played since Sept. 4 because of sprained left foot, is set to return.
“I feel like I’m in a good spot,” said the cleanup man, who will be the Cardinals’ designated hitter.
Weather could be a factor, too. Temperatures are supposed to dip into the low 40s and rain is in the forecast.
Boston was listed as a slim favorite in the matchup between teams that tied for the big league lead in wins. The clubs haven’t met in the regular season since 2008, and Red Sox speedster Jacoby Ellsbury was looking forward to this pairing that some are billing as the Beards vs. the Birds.
“It will be exciting to see some unfamiliar faces,” he said.
David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and many of their scraggly Boston teammates figure to get a good look at the Cardinals’ crop of young arms, led by postseason ace Michael Wacha and relievers Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist.
Ortiz is the link to the Red Sox team that swept St. Louis in the 2004 Series — Boston never trailed at any point — and ended an 86-year championship drought.
Hirschbeck is crew chief
Poland’s John Hirschbeck will umpire his fourth World Series and will be crew chief for the matchup between the Red Sox and the Cardinals.
Hirschbeck will be behind the plate for Wednesday night’s opener at Fenway Park, with Mark Wegner at first, Dana DeMuth at second, Paul Emmel at third, Bill Miller in left and Jim Joyce in right. Hirschbeck also worked the Series in 1995 and 2006 and was crew chief in 2010.
DeMuth will be working his fourth Series and Joyce his third but first since 2001. This will be the second Series for Miller and the first for Emmel and Wegner.
Umpires will continue to wear “WB” patches honoring umpire Wally Bell, an Austintown native who died Oct. 14. Bell umped the 2006 World Series and this year’s All-Star game.