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Red Sox short hops
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10/24/2004 1:42 AM ET
Red Sox short hops
Big bats lift Boston to win in World Series opener
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox are really taking this 1980 Team USA hockey thing to heart.

There was Doug Mientkiewicz sitting in front of his locker after the Red Sox beat the Cardinals, 11-9, in a wild Game 1 of the World Series on Saturday night at Fenway Park, wearing a replica Mike Eruzione jersey and speaking about pride and teamwork.


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The Red Sox have been watching the movie, "Miracle" for inspiration through their record come-from-behind victory in the American League Championship Series over the Yankees and now into the World Series. Eruzione scored the winning goal to defeat the Soviet Union in the semifinals. The next day the USA defeated Finland for the gold medal.

Theo Epstein, the Red Sox's youthful general manager, said he didn't want to disrespect the Cardinals, but the Yankees were their Soviets and now Boston has to get by Finland (St. Louis). The Red Sox lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0, and need only three more wins to do it against the Fins, er, Cardinals.

Vitals check
A look at key statistics through Game 1 of the World Series.

Team stats

Digits Trend The Deal
ERA 8.00 Keith Foulke saves the day for the staff with another stellar closing performance and earns win
BA .342 That's 21 runs in the last two playoff games vs. Yanks and Cards
Runs 11 Ties Red Sox's single-game World Series record set in Game 5 of the 1903 series vs. Pirates
Errors 4 Throwing errors, mental lapses, Manny's two fielding errors plague defense

Who's hot?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
David Ortiz .667 (2-for-3, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB) They finally walk him twice in a row after first-inning, three-run HR
Johnny Damon .333 (2-for-6, 2B, RBI) Game 7 against the Yankees got him started, and he hasn't stopped

Who's not?

Player Digits Trend The Deal
Tim Wakefield 12.27 ERA, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 2/3 IP Walked four and squandered 7-2 lead as Cards chase him with three runs in fourth
Kevin Millar .200 (1-for-5, one throwing error) His offense can't compensate for poor defensive judgment

Behind the numbers
The Red Sox won despite blowing leads of 7-2 and 9-7 and leaving 12 men on base -- including the bases loaded twice to end the second and third innings, and first and second to end the seventh. The Red Sox had 13 hits, plus the Cards walked eight, hit a batter and allowed another runner on a fielding error.

Frozen moment
You have to wonder what Millar was thinking when he decided to try and nab Reggie Sanders taking third on Mike Matheny's fourth-inning sacrifice fly. Millar cut off the throw from right-fielder Trot Nixon, double clutched and wildly threw, allowing Sanders to score.

Second guess
Wakefield walked the first three batters of the fourth inning, but Red Sox manager Terry Francona left him in the game to protect a five-run lead. That lead had shrunk by three before Wakefield walked Edgar Renteria, his fourth of the inning. Francona had finally seen enough and pulled Wakefield from the game before the debacle was complete.

Oh, those RBIs
Ortiz, with four RBIs on the night, tied a postseason record with 19 in the Red Sox's first 11 playoff games. The Angels' Scott Spiezio did it against the Giants in 2002, and Cleveland's Sandy Alomar Jr. did it against the Marlins in 1997.

More RBIs
The four RBIs by Ortiz matched a single-game Red Sox World Series record set by Carl Yastrzemski in the second game of the 1967 World Series against the Cardinals.

Last word
"There's no such thing as an ugly win just like there's no such thing as a pretty loss." -- Mientkiewicz

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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