Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Red Sox, Cardinals Meet Again with It All on the Line Story Lines Abound in Fitting Rematch of 2004 Series

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Red Sox, Cardinals Meet Again with It All on the Line Story Lines Abound in Fitting Rematch of 2004 Series

Article excerpt

Big Papi, Dustin Pedroia and the bearded guys from Boston. Michael Wacha, Trevor Rosenthal and those fresh mugs from St. Louis.

Pretty neat faceoff in this World Series.

Cardinals-Red Sox, once again in October. Fully rested, they will start Wednesday night at Fenway Park with Boston opening as a slim favorite.

Postseason stars from past and present -- Carlos Beltran, David Freese, John Lackey, David Ortiz and Adam Wainwright.

Juicy plot lines -- can Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina shut down Jacoby Ellsbury and the running Red Sox? Can all-world closer Koji Uehara stop Matt Holliday and the Cardinals?

Plus, plenty of history -- think Stan Musial vs. Ted Williams in 1946, Bob Gibson vs. Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 or Pedro Martinez vs. Albert Pujols in 2004. Or, perhaps more memorably that previous time, Curt Schilling and the bloody sock vs. The Curse.

The Red Sox and Cardinals are hardly archrivals, however. They haven't played since Kevin Youkilis homered over the Green Monster in the 13th inning June 22, 2008.

This year, Boston and St. Louis bounced back from disappointments and tied for the most victories in the majors with 97. Not since the Braves and Yankees in 1999 have league win leaders met in the World Series (the Cardinals and Red Sox were the top-scoring teams in their leagues, too).

Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Boston's scraggly band rose under first-year manager John Farrell, a season after the team hit bottom under Bobby Valentine with its most losses in nearly five decades.

Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams and St. Louis rebounded a year after wasting a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series against the Giants. Manager Mike Matheny got lots of help from a rookie-laden staff.

Wacha was the MVP of the NLCS and is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.43 in the postseason. Rosenthal took over the closer role with a 100-mph fastball. Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez and others also made major contributions. …

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