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Williams roughed up early10/24/2004 12:40 AM ET
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Woody Williams' World Series debut was one the St. Louis right-hander would like to forget.
Though he wasn't charged with the loss, thanks to rallies by his teammates, Williams' rough start in Game 1 of the World Series on Saturday night had the Cards playing catch-up all night long.
"It's a shame I let everybody down," Williams said. "Not taking anything away from [the Boston Red Sox], but I wasn't sharp at all."
Williams, who came in 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in the current postseason and 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in five career playoff starts, didn't make it past the third inning.
Eleven of the 19 Boston batters he faced reached base.
"When I made a good pitch, they fouled it off. When I didn't, they hammered them," Williams said. "All these Gold Gloves on the field and I didn't use them."
His offspeed stuff wasn't finding the strike zone consistently, and he was also having trouble getting his fastball over the plate consistently. It didn't help matters that the plate umpire was Ed Montague, who has a bit of a reputation for having one of the tightest strike zones around.
Williams, however, didn't blame the umpires, the elements or anything -- except himself.
"When you fall behind in the count and you have to throw the ball over the plate you're going to get hurt," Williams said. "Especially against a lineup like theirs. I'm not going to make excuses, I just didn't pitch well and I don't know why.
"Our guys came back and battled, but I put us in a big hole and it's completely my fault we lost this game."
Williams left the game with one out in the third after allowing a run-scoring single to Johnny Damon. By then, Boston had raked him for seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out one and allowed a three-run homer to David Ortiz in the first.
The runs were the most allowed by a starting pitcher in a World Series game since San Francisco's Russ Ortiz gave up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings on Oct. 20, 2002, against Anaheim. It was the most runs allowed by a St. Louis pitcher since right-hander Danny Cox gave up seven in Game 2 against Minnesota on Oct. 18, 1987.
"I didn't think it was that bad of a pitch Ortiz hit out, that's three runs," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "You know, he's like most really good starting pitchers. Sometimes early on, they struggle, they keep you in the game and then all of a sudden they crank out four, five, six innings. But he gave up three in that third inning. Just ... he was up ... he was up a lot. You could see the target was down.
"He had been trying to throw a sinker down and [Orlando] Cabrera ends up hitting him; one of those nights where he's up. That's either you do or you don't. I don't know what the explanation was. He wasn't locating well and a lot of times he gets into a groove; he never got into it."
Williams didn't have any answers either.
"Hopefully I'll get it figured out before next time," he said.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.