ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - After Monday’s Game Five loss to Boston left St. Louis on the brink of defeat in the World Series, the Cardinals are pinning their hopes on outstanding rookie starter Michael Wacha.
In his postseason debut Wacha won an elimination game against Pittsburgh, then in the National League Championship Series he twice got the better of LA Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to win the Most Valuable Player award for the series.
The 22-year-old, who has become one of the hottest young pitchers in baseball, also earned the win in Game Two of the World Series.
However, Boston’s 3-1 victory on Monday means Wacha has no margin for error in Game Six on Wednesday. The Cardinals must win the remaining two games in Boston to win the World Series.
Cards second baseman Matt Carpenter was under no illusions about the challenge his team faced but said they would support Wacha as best they could.
“It’s going to be tough, no doubt about it, but there’s no quit in this team,” he said in a subdued home team locker room at Busch Stadium.
”So we’re going to come out with all the confidence in the world in him and hopefully we can score some runs.
“If you can get to Game Seven, anything can happen.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said winning two games in Boston would be a “great challenge”.
“We’ve got to have Michael come out and throw a big game,” the manager said.
Talking about Monday’s Game Five loss, Carpenter said the blame did not rest with starter Adam Wainwright, who dueled with Boston’s Jon Lester through six innings tied 1-1 before the Red Sox rallied for two runs in the seventh.
“Waino battled, pitched good. We just couldn’t score any runs for him,” Carpenter said.
Editing by Peter Rutherford