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Cards eager to start over at home
10/24/2004 11:09 PM ET
BOSTON -- The St. Louis Cardinals, down two games to none in the World Series after Sunday night's 6-2 loss to Boston, didn't waste any time getting out of Fenway Park.

Then again, you can hardly blame the Cardinals if they seemed anxious to head home for Game 3 at Busch Stadium, where they are 6-0 in this postseason and have outscored opponents, 43-23.

"We're down two, but we're going home and hopefully we'll take advantage of it," center fielder Jim Edmonds said. "It's nice to have a day off and we'll start over when we get to St. Louis."

Considering how well the Cardinals have played up until now, after winning 105 regular-season games and beating Los Angeles and Houston to reach the Fall Classic, their performance so far against the Red Sox has been disappointing to say the least.

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The Cardinals have been outscored 17-11, the staff ERA is 9.00 and the team batting average through two games is .239. The Cardinals have hit just one homer and the team slugging percentage of .373 is well below the club's usual level.

"We didn't get our offense going here like we'd hoped," second baseman Tony Womack said. "You know we're a better offense than we've shown. We did some things, but we also didn't make the most of all our opportunities. We'll get it going when we get back home.

"[Down] 2-0 doesn't mean we're out, it just means we're going home."

The situation is not unfamiliar to the Cardinals, who are 1-6 on the road this postseason. After going ahead, 2-0, on Houston, the Cardinals dropped three straight at Minute Maid Park before coming home and winning back-to-back elimination games against the Astros at Busch Stadium.

Facts machine
The Cardinals have lost their last eight World Series road games since winning Game 2 at Kansas City on Oct. 20, 1985, matching the second-longest World Series road losing streak:
1925 (Games 2-6-7)
1933 (Games 1-2)
1965 (Games 3-4-5)
1987 (Games 3-4-5); 1991 (Games 3-4-5)
8*St. Louis (NL)1985 (Games 6-7)
1987 (Games 1-2-6-7)
2004 (Games 1-2)
8Brooklyn1916 (Games 1-3-5)
1920 (Games 4-5-6-7)
1941 (Game 1)
1958 (Game 5)
1991 (Games 1-2-6-7)
1992 (Games 3-4)
*Current Streak

"I'm telling you, the home field and the crowds this year are big factors," Cardinals reliever Ray King said. "It's really helped us, playing at home has been a big boost for us all year, and especially in the playoffs. Hopefully it will continue, we need it to continue."

Pitcher Matt Morris, who took the loss Sunday, agreed.

"I think getting back home will be good for us," he said. "It's been a weird playoff, the home-field advantage has really been a home-field advantage. Hopefully it will continue that way for us.

"This is coming down to a five-game series, and we've got to win four of them. But we have an off day and we've been able to come back from being down before. This team doesn't quit and we're not out of this yet by a long shot. We've come back all year, you've seen it happen."

Pitcher Cal Eldred said despite being down 2-0, the Cardinals do not need to make drastic changes. The right-hander said the same approach the team has had all season long, "just continue to play fundamental baseball," will help the Cards get back on the winning track.

"I promise you we're not done yet," Eldred said. "We've been down before, we were down to where we had to win against Houston or go home, and we got it done. This team has been resilient all year and we will bounce back at home."

Sellout crowds in excess of 50,000 mostly St. Louis fans are expected at Busch Stadium. It will also mean National League rules, meaning no designated hitter.

All are advantages the Cards didn't have at Fenway Park.

"It's going down to the wire," Morris said. "We've put ourselves in a hole, but we've been there before."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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