Gordon: Matheny punches wrong button Live

With Game 4 in the balance at 1-1 in the sixth inning, manager Mike Matheny had a decision.

Starting pitcher Lance Lynn retired the first two batters he faced. Then Dustin Pedroia laced a single to bring David Ortiz to the plate. Big Papi has been murdering the baseball. Lefty specialist Randy Choate warmed in the bullpen.

But Matheny left Lynn in to pitch around Ortiz, walking him semi-intentionally. With two runners on and two out, Matheny summoned sinkerball pitcher Seth Maness to face Jonny Gomes.

Maness had done a nice job stranding inherited runners this season. But this time he served up a three-run homer for Gomes . . . and  that was that for the Cardinals. They went on to lose the game 4-2 and allow the Red Sox to even the series at two games each.

"We took a shot," Matheny said. "It didn't work."

Of course, fans wouldn't have to debate that topic if the Cardinals hit the ball with any regularity Sunday night. But they did not, even with Red Sox starting pitcher 
Clay Buchholz failing to reach 90 miles per hour with his so-called fastball.

His best stuff seemed to be in his hair, which was a hot topic on the internet.


Carlos Beltran gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with a RBI single in the third inning. Jacoby Ellsbury helped the cause by failing to field Matt Carpenter's single to center field cleanly.

Boston tied the game 1-1 on Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly. But Lynn escaped further damage after walking the bases full.

The game meandered into the top of the sixth inning where Matheny did not get the pitching results he wanted.

The Cardinals had a spasm of offensive life in the seventh inning, when pinch-hitter Shane Robinson hit a two-out double and came home on another Carpenter hit.

But that was it for the offense. The game ended on a fitting note when rookie Kolten Wong was picked off while pinch-running for Allen Craig in the bottom of the ninth. That denied Beltran an opportunity to tie the game with a big fly.


INSTANT ANALYSIS

Here is how some of our favorite sports pundits assessed the game, via Twitter:















THE QUOTE MACHINE

Here is what the players were saying after the game, via Twitter









VISUAL EVIDENCE

Looking at some of the game action:


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