Red Sox short hops10/25/2004 2:13 AM ET
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Fact check:
The last time the Red Sox were in the World Series -- 1986 against the New York Mets -- they opened with victories in the first two games, that time on the road at Shea Stadium with the middle three games at Fenway Park.
Don't get too giddy just because the Red Sox defeated the Cardinals, 6-2, at Fenway in Game 2 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead again in the World Series with the next three to play at Busch Stadium beginning on Tuesday night.
The Mets came back to tie that 1986 series with two straight wins at Fenway and then won it all in seven games. In Game 6, the Red Sox were one strike away from winning their first title since 1918 in the 10th inning when they collapsed, the Mets' winning rally ending when Mookie Wilson's grounder went through first baseman Bill Buckner's legs. The Sox led, 3-0, in Game 7 and wound up losing it, 8-5.
A look at key statistics through Game 2 of the World Series.
||Curt Schilling gives big-time starting performance despite right ankle injury
||Have had no trouble in two games solving Cards starters Woody Williams and Matt Morris
||That's 27 runs in their last three postseason games
||Winning despite giving the best team in the National League oodles of extra outs
||1-0, 0.00 ERA
||Became first pitcher in MLB history to win World Series games with three teams -- Philadelphia, Arizona, Boston
||.500 (3-for-6, 1 2B, HR, 4 RBIs, 3 R)
||Fourth-inning, two-run double is just another in a series of big hits
Behind the numbers
||.500 (3-for-6, 1 2B, RBI, R, three errors)
||Two hits can't offset three ugly errors at third base
||.333 (2-for-6, HR, 4 RBIs, 2 R)
||He cools off and looks like a mere mortal with an 0-for-3 and a walk
Schilling has an 0.99 ERA in his last five World Series starts for Boston, Arizona and Philadelphia, dating back to the 1993 series when the Phillies played the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Cardinals had a chance to get to Schilling early with one out in the second inning and runners on first and second. But Mike Matheny stung a line drive that was snared by Mueller, who tagged Reggie Sanders heading into the third base for an unassisted double play.
Manager Terry Francona could have pulled the laboring Schilling in the fifth inning. But he kept him in with a runner on first and one out. Edgar Renteria bounced to short into a double play. Schilling weathered back-to-back errors by Mueller and second baseman Bellhorn in the sixth before finishing up his four-hit performance.
Team errors, many errors
The eight errors are the most for any team in the first two games of the World Series, breaking the record of seven committed by Detroit against Pittsburgh in the first two games of the 1909 World Series. The last team with more than eight errors in an entire World Series was the Milwaukee Brewers, who had 11 vs. the Cards in losing the 1982 series in seven games.
Mueller's three errors
Tied a World Series record for most in a game by a third baseman held by Pepper Martin of the Cards in Game 4 of the 1934 Series and Buck Herzog of the New York Giants, who did it in Game 3 of the 1911 Series.
"I told Billy I was going to get the next out. I mean, you can't understand unless you're in that clubhouse. I care more about these 24 guys than anybody I've ever played with. I'd do anything for these guys and I think I feel the same way about them when it comes to me. Very few times on the mound do you get a chance to pick up the fielding for the guys playing behind you, and there was a chance for me to do that. I wanted that to happen so bad, I wanted to get out of that inning and make it all right for him as much as anybody, because I know how they feel when they make the errors behind you," -- Schilling on Mueller's visit to the mound shortly after his error in the sixth inning
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.