Red Sox manager John Farrell was pleased with his team’s patience in an 8-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night.
“I think once again we were able to go into the game with our approach,” Farrell said of his offense. “I thought we had a lot of quality at bats that we were able to build some pitch counts against [Adam] Wainwright.”
Wainwright walked just 35 batters vs. 219 strikeouts on the season, but he walked Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the bottom of the first inning Wednesday. The Cardinals starter threw 31 pitches in the first inning, in part because the defense behind him wasn’t sharp and in part because his stuff wasn’t sharp, either.
“Everything I threw tonight was pretty garbage,” said Wainwright.
The Sox scored three runs in the first inning and two in the second inning to set the tone for the game, and, as has been the case lately, first baseman Mike Napoli was at the center of it. Napoli’s three-run double got the scoring started.
“I had the bases loaded,” said Napoli. “I’m just trying to get a ball up into the air in the outfield in that situation. Got myself into a good hitter’s count and got a pitch I could handle to drive out there.”
Farrell praised the play of his first baseman.
“His extra-base power is clear,” said Farrell. “I think of the nine hits he’s got, six have come of the extra base variety. He got on top of a fastball in that situation. He’s come up big for us. In Game 3 in Detroit and every game since he’s been right in the middle of a lot of our multi-run innings.
“We talked about it even coming out of the Tampa series. We ride the peaks and valleys with him. He’s got some streakiness to his career path.When he’s in the good side of those streaks he’s had the ability to carry us. He’s doing that right now.”