Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Why Boston Is About to Get Hit by a Freight Train

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

I want to start this off by saying that Boston’s Bearded Boys are an intimidating and worthy opponent.

That said, I think that Boston Red Sox fans seriously underestimate the St. Louis Cardinals, and are about to learn a very hard lesson.

Many Boston fans scroll through the Cardinals’ roster and think “Wacha, Kelly, Siegrist, Carpenter, Craig, and Adams? Who are they? They can’t be that good, or I would have heard of them.” I hate to break it to you, but you are very, very, very sorely mistaken.

In an attempt to educate Red Sox fans and prepare them for a series that will be hard fought (even if Boston does win), I want to share a few facts about some of the Cardinals players that you might not recognize immediately.

Matt Carpenter is St. Louis’ starting second baseman. He had never played the position before this season (at any level), but he works harder than nearly any player on the team and it shows. Offensively, he’s a legitimate MVP candidate, having led the league in hits, doubles, and runs. Defensively, you’d never know that he’s supposed to be a third baseman by trade, and the Cards turned more double plays (177) than 28 of the other 29 teams. So he’s not a liability, he’s a stud, and one of the best lead off hitters in baseball. Get ready for him.

Michael Wacha is a name you need to get used to hearing if you plan to follow baseball in the near future. He’s pitched eighteen games (three in the postseason) and has already taken 2 no-hitters beyond the seventh. I know he’s a rookie, but no, pressure does not affect him. He’s won a do-or-die game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh and out dueled Clayton Kershaw twice so far this Wach-tober (as we like to call it). He isn’t scared of Fenway or Boston, and isn’t going to crack under pressure. Expect to see that 0.43 ERA stick around.

Matt Adams has power. I don’t care who you are or how far away that right field fence is: if you leave a pitch on the lower inside part of the plate, the ball will leave the ball park. Period. He’s done it time and again and will continue to do so. Watch him.

Carlos Martinez is going to give the Red Sox hitters nightmares, and not about his hundred mile an hour fastball. I know that your team loves fastballs, but that’s not Martinez’s best pitch. No, that nasty curve ball that moves more than a Plinko chip is his best pitch. He’s been catching comparisons to another famous Martinez that you might know a little bit better. Enjoy trying to hit him. If you can’t, I’m sure that the Dodgers will happily sympathize with you.

Allen Craig hit .454 with runners in scoring position this season. ’nuff said.

Finally, I want to mention a name that you undoubtedly know, but also probably underestimate: Yadier Molina. I fear that Boston may think “yeah, I’m sure he’s good, but no one is actually that good, and we have a ton of speed! Molina can’t actually stop us.” I want to assure you that he really is that good, and I want to tell you a little story:

I have a vivid memory of some ESPN analyst picking the Rangers over the Cardinals in 2011 because Texas’ speed was going to run all over the Cards. If you take a look at the record books, there was exactly 1 stolen base in the 2011 World Series. So much for that theory.

I want to emphasize that I do not think that the Red Sox themselves will be as shocked by the skill of the Cardinals team, and I also don’t think that St. Louis will have an easy time of it, but I do think that if Boston’s fans don’t prepare themselves a little bit, that they may have the wind knocked out of them and that can affect a team a lot. Be careful, Boston fans: this Cardinal team may be much better than you expect.

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Tags: St Louis Cardinals

  • Brian Longenecker

    The Rangers were better. Nelson Cruz just forgot. Red Sox in Six. This is not the Dodgers they are facing.

    • Ovadia

      A. No, the Rangers were not better. They blew two 2-run leads in game six, and lost three other gams besides. The Cardinals got rings; the Rangers didn’t. Texas was not the better team.

      B. The Red Sox aren’t the Dodgers, but the Cardinals aren’t the Tigers either. Our bullpen doesn’t tend to fold up and die.

      C. The Sox may win in six, but they would have to beat Wainwright and Wacha twice to do so. That would be no easy feat, so don’t be so sure.

      Thanks for reading!

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  • Ashanti Matt Lee

    The Red Sox are fans are not idiotic and are generally some of the most baseball educated fans out there. We are all are well versed and have studied stats and watched video of any Cardinal player that looks to have a significant impact. That includes Lance Lynn, Micheal Waca, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran, David Freese, Matt Holiday, Jonh Jay, Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams, Shelby Miller, Edward Mujica, Trevor Rosenthal, Kieth Siegrist, Joe Kelly as the most notable ones.
    The Cardinals have great pitching and great hitting as well as play great defense. I have always been amazed on how the Cardinals are able to identify great talent and have guys coming through the farm system that seem to be abe to contribute right away. Also, their uncanny ability to make any average pitcher become very good-kyle lohse, jeff suppan….
    Back in 2004 the Red Sox had dominant pitchers and a killer lineup; this team may be a little deeper top to bottom but I think the Cardinals hold the edge in many areas. The pundits are saying that the Red Sox hold the edge in the bullpen but the Cardinals have some ABSOLUTE FLAME THROWERS.
    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Cardinals took it in six. As a Red Sox fan, I am hoping the Sox can find a way to win the title against such a talented squad.

    • Ovadia

      The point of this article was not at all to imply that Boston fans are stupid. They are frequently identified as some of the most knowledgeable and best fans around.

      To be honest, I’ve read some articles written from a Bostonian perspective that seem to seriously undersell some of the Cardinal players (in an unreasonable and seemingly ignorant, not malicious, way).

      Again, I didn’t want to imply that the Cardinals were leagues better than the Red Sox, but they also aren’t leagues behind either, in spite of a team filled with young players.

      I agree that it will be a good series, and I think that it’ll be tough for Boston to win if they lose won of the first two games, and I think it’ll be tough for them to beat Wainwright and Wacha on consecutive nights.

      Whatever the outcome, it’ll be fun. No doubt about that.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Tony

    The one thing that jumps out to me about the Sox is that weird stat: 73 K’s in the games against the Tigers, and that’s without pitchers batting. That is jaw-dropping. How is it even possible? That’s more than 12 per nine innings. The Cards, who did not enjoy a great offensive series against the Dodgers, struck out 50 times, in a total of 55.1 innings, or about 8 per nine. That’s bad, but that’s also with pitchers batting.

    The Red Sox cannot do that and beat Wainwright and Wacha. We should know early on in Game 1 what Waino can and can’t do against them. If he gets them out with his curve, they can kiss the game goodbye, because he’ll be fooling them with the fastball later on when they don’t expect it. David Ortiz is a hero because of one swing, but in the series he was 2 for 22. Lightning struck twice for the Sox against the Tigers. You can’t count on that again. The Sox did not manufacture runs, and were flat bad against the Tigers’ starters…