A few notes, quotes and observations from Game 1:
• The Cardinals had three errors, a dropped pop-up and a wild pitch that led to a run. A fundamentally sound team was inept tonight and the Red Sox attacked every mistake.
“That’s the way we have played all season. When the opposition makes mistakes we take advantage of them,” David Ortiz said.
Was Game 1 a fluke or are the Red Sox that much better? We’ll learn more in Game 2. There’s a lot riding on the shoulders of young Cardinals starter Michael Wacha.
“We had a wake-up call,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “That’s not the kind of team we’ve been all season and they’re frustrated. I’m sure embarrassed to a point.”
• Thanks to Jon Lester, the Red Sox now have a 2.86 ERA in 11 postseason games. Lester is 3-1 with a 1.67 in his four starts.
Lester is often criticized for not being a true ace. But he has been just that since the All-Star break and even better in the postseason. Lester dominated the Cardinals with his four-seam fastball and cut fastball.
“We wanted to set the tone and get them swinging. That’s important for my game as far as getting that fastball and cutter involved, and make sure that they’re not able to just lock in and key on certain areas on me,” Lester said.
• The impact David Ross is having on this postseason is significant. The Red Sox are 3-1 in games he has started. His knowledge of the Cardinals (from his time in the National League) is going to be a great assistance to the Sox even when he’s not catching.
• The umpires did the right thing in changing that call in the first inning. Much will be made about it, especially in St. Louis, but it’s really about doing the right thing in the end.
“As a crew we want to get everything right,” crew chief John Hirschbeck said. “We want to be perfect at our job. … Sometimes that doesn’t happen but the ultimate thing is you want to get the play right.”
DeMuth admitted he blew the ball and that Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma never caught the ball. “It’s an awful feeling,” he said.
• Ortiz has 16 career postseason home runs, four coming this season. He is tied for eighth-most in postseason history. Ortiz has 57 career postseason RBIs. Only Bernie Williams (80), Manny Ramirez (78), David Justice (63) and Derek Jeter (61) have more.
• Not sure how much of a correlation there is here. But the Red Sox are 7-0 in the postseason when Jonny Gomes starts. That he is 5 for 28 (.179) seems almost secondary to his magic powers of winning and beard growing. Gomes did make a nice catch in the fifth inning.
• Mike Napoli has 16 RBIs and nine extra-base hits in his last 19 postseason games. “I love this stage. It’s in the spotlight. I really enjoy this time of year, I guess,” he said. “It’s just going out there and getting the job done.”
• The Clay Buchholz situation is far from being settled. Buchholz have himself an out tonight, saying he would not pitch if he thought he would hurt the team. The Red Sox are clearly preparing Felix Doubront for a possible start.
• Ryan Dempster gave up a run in the ninth inning. But he was smiling wide as he talked about pitching in the World Series for the first time in his long career. “I’m going to have trouble getting to sleep,” he said.
• James Taylor will perform the National Anthem before Game 2. Several members of the 2004 Red Sox will throw out first pitches. Tim Wakefield. Mike Timlin, Jason Varitek and Kevin Millar were among the ’04 Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday. Curt Schilling was there, too, working for ESPN. … There was a moment of silence before the game for Colleen Ritzer, the Danvers High teacher who was murdered, allegedly by a student. … Retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will receive the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award before Game 2. He will be honored on the field as well. … Game 1 brought out the celebrities. Local products Ken Casey, Matt Damon, John King, Mike O’Malley, John Slattery and Micky Ward were at Fenway along with Patriots players Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Rob Ninkovich and Matthew Slater and owner Robert Kraft. Actors Jon Hamm, Timothy Hutton and Rob Lowe took in the game as did singers Kenny Chesney and Nick Jonas.