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BOSTON - As the clock ticks toward Wednesday nights first pitch of the World Series, theres a sense around Fenway Park that justice is being served. In this day of wild card play-in games and short five-game Division Series which can be won as often by the team thats hot as by the team thats truly better, its rare for the two teams with their respective leagues best records to meet in the Fall Classic. Thats what will happen this year when the Boston Red Sox (regular season: 97-65; playoffs: 7-3) meet the St. Louis Cardinals (regular season: 97-65; playoffs: 7-4.) Identical regular season records, nearly the same postseason marks and two organizations considered amongst the best in baseball at drafting and developing talent and molding young men into bona fide major leaguers. It should come as no surprise that since these two teams met in the 2004 World Series, each has returned more than once. The Red Sox swept the Cardinals in 2004. Boston swept the Rockies in 2007. The Cardinals beat Detroit in five games in 2006 and edged Texas in seven in 2011. Both have managers - Bostons John Farrell and St. Louis Mike Matheny - who will skip in the World Series for the first time. Heck, Mathenys so young he played on that 2004 Cardinals team that lost to Boston quickly. "It was a lesson learned," said Matheny of the World Series nine years ago. "Not that our team at that point was half-stepping or we werent prepared but we just hadnt been hit like that all season long. So it was a little bit of a shocker." "Theres probably a little more sense of urgency to the decisions you make, particularly with matchups on the mound," said Farrell of the biggest difference hes noticed while managing playoff baseball. "And sometimes you kind of go a little bit more with your gut with the way guys are currently playing, as opposed to the approach you might take during the regular season." Those who dig great pitching will get a marquee matchup right away. Red Sox ace left-hander Jon Lester will pitch Game 1, up against Cardinals ace right-hander Adam Wainwright. Lester got the ball the last time Boston played in a World Series game. He got the win and the Sox clinched their last title in Game 4 of the 2007 series. "I remember just the anxiety of trying to just get to the field and calm down a little bit," said Lester. "Different point in my career, I think, too. Obviously (Wednesday) there will still be nerves, there will still be all that to be expected, but I think I know who I am a little bit more as a pitcher and what to expect from myself." "This year I felt strong from the get-go," said Wainwright, who won 19 games, with a sub-3.00 ERA, just two years removed from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. "I felt strong throughout Spring Training. Usually I get a dead-arm phase in Spring Training. I never once had a dead-arm phase this entire year." The Cardinals lost left-hander Jaime Garcia early in the season but have been buoyed by the emergence of Michael Wacha, who will pitch Game 2. Drafted just last year with the 19th overall pick - a compensatory pick for the loss of Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels - Wacha has taken the Cardinals by storm. After only 15 regular season appearances (nine starts,) Wacha has allowed only one earned run in 21 innings (0.43 ERA) over three postseason starts. His 0.571 WHIP is off the charts. Following Wacha will be a combination of Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn. Boston will start John Lackey in Game 2. Farrell will go with Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy for the first two games in St. Louis, although he hasnt yet determined the order in which hell use them. St. Louis pitching hasnt seen a lineup the quality of Bostons and so it will be intriguing to see how it handles the Red Soxs potent mix of power (David Ortiz, Mike Napoli) and speed at the top of the order (Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino.) Ellsbury and Victorino combined to steal 73 bases in the regular season. They were caught a combined seven times. That said, there arent many catchers the quality of Yadier Molina, who threw out a whopping 43-percent of would-be base stealers. As impressive a percentage as that is its actually below his career average of 45 per cent and his career high of 64 per cent, set in 2005. "We all understand and I played against Yadi for many years and I tip my hat," said Victorino. "To me, hes arguably the best catcher in the game both offensively and defensively … Does it shut down your running game a little bit? Absolutely but you have to stay aggressive and capitalize on every mistake and every dirt ball you can possibly do." The Cardinals will get first baseman Allen Craig back. He hasnt played since spraining his left foot in a September 4 game against the Reds. Craig will serve as the designated hitter in the first two games at Fenway Park. If his foot responds, expect to see him at first base when the series shifts to Busch Stadium. As for the challenges of playing in Fenway Park, with the Green Monster and its strange dimensions in centre and right fields, Craig says he and his mates wont be psyched out. "I think we just need to stay really focused and narrow-minded on just playing the game," said Craig. "Were going to go out and play our game and not worry about the Green Monster and all the nooks and crannies in the outfield. Obviously were aware of the field and how we need to attack it defensively and offensively but were just going to focus on playing the game, doing what we do, doing what got us here." Canadian Ryan Dempster, with the Red Sox, is looking for his first World Series ring. So is St. Louis Carlos Beltran, whose career .337/.449/.724 postseason slash line makes him one of the games great playoff performers. This Fall Classic appears poised to live up to the billing. The two best teams will go at it. Bring it on. Mike Evans Jersey .ca look back at each of the Top 10 stories of 2013. Today, we look back at LeBron James and the Miami Heat winning their second straight NBA championship. Gerald McCoy Jersey . - Dominika Cibulkova erased three match points in the second set Wednesday and beat Agnieszka Radwanska 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Sony Open. http://www.thebuccaneersfansclub.com/Bl ... te-Jersey/. His second visit, not so much. Roark (7-5) allowed four runs on 10 hits and one walk over six innings in a 7-2 setback in front of several friends and family members, as the Cubs snapped his personal streak of four consecutive victories on Friday. Kendell Beckwith Jersey . -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released veteran guard Davin Joseph, a mainstay on their offensive line over the past eight seasons. Luke Stocker Jersey . -- Blake Griffin scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 22 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers outlasted the Golden State Warriors 98-96 on Thursday night to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.FLIMS, Switzerland -- Canadas mens team won its first game at the world junior curling championships Thursday, while the womens squad suffered a pair of losses. Braden Calverts Winnipeg rink rallied to defeat Italy 8-7. After giving up three points in the second end, Calvert came back with a single, then stole two more points in the next two ends to tie it up at the fifth-end break. The Canadians trailed 5-4 after seven ends but stole two in eighth and controlled the rest of the game to secure their first win. "That was definitely a big comeback," Calvert said. "We just stuck with our game plan and it finally paid off in the end. "It definitely takes a hit to the teaams confidence when you go behind by three so early on.dddddddddddd. We knew we just had to get the two (points) and force the one repeatedly and we did that and we were lucky to get out on top today." The Canadians started the round robin with two losses Wednesday against Russia and Sweden. On the womens side, Edmontons Kelsey Rocque lost 6-4 to Russia and 8-6 to South Korea. The losses evened Canadas record at 2-2. "Were playing all right, I guess," Rocque said. "Ive been struggling a bit. We just arent capitalizing." The women will meet Sweden and Switzerland on Friday, while the men will face off against defending champion Scotland and China. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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