10/24/2004 2:29 AM ET
Sox, Cards downright offensive
Series gets out to fast start with high-scoring shootout
By Jim Street / MLB.com
|David Ortiz connects on an RBI single in the seventh inning of Game 1 on Saturday. (Al Bello/Getty Images)
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BOSTON -- The first-game shivers are out of the way in the World Series, and now what?
The two highest-scoring teams in the Major Leagues during the regular season combined for the highest-scoring Game 1 in World Series history on Saturday night, when the American League champion Red Sox edged the National League champion Cardinals, 11-9, at Fenway Park.
You want runs? You got runs. The 20 runs scored were two more than the Yankees (12) and Cubs (6) scored on Sept. 28, 1932.
Toss in some walks (14) and errors (5) and you get the picture of a wild night at Fenway.
The night was crisp, but the caliber of baseball wasn't.
"We had some really, really big hits and some plays on defense we would prefer not to see again," Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler said. "Under the circumstances, when you make four errors and come away with a victory, you must be doing something right.
"It's not easy to make four errors against a lineup like theirs and have a victory at the end of a World Series game. They are just too good of a team and that's what was special about tonight. We picked each other up over and over again."
There was a little stumbling, and some bumbling, keeping the game, well, interesting.
"There were a lot of walks and I think much of hit had to do with having two very good offensive ballclubs and two [starting] pitchers out there who are basically finesse pitchers, for the most part," Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said, referring to Cardinals right-hander Woody Williams and Red Sox knuckleball specialist Tim Wakefield.
"They have to work the corners. It's cold, and whether or not they have the same feel for the ball, I would say probably not. Whenever you are pitching against a team that has power up and down the lineup like both of these teams do, you can't throw balls just off the corner and catch the plate.
|Game 1 was the highest-scoring opening game of a World Series in history:||Runs
|20||Oct. 23, 2004||Red Sox 11, Cardinals 9|
|18||Sept. 28, 1932||Yankees 12, Cubs 6|
|16||Oct. 10, 1908||Cubs 10, Tigers 6|
|16||Oct. 10, 1978||Dodgers 11, Yankees 5|
|15||Oct. 17, 1998||Yankees 9, Padres 6|
"I just think it was a combination of things, and I hope we don't see it all week."
The Red Sox never trailed, but never felt comfortably ahead, either.
"It was a weird game," Red Sox closer Keith Foulke said.
Is this what we have to look forward to?
"We have the capability to put a lot of runs up on the board," Kapler said of the Sox, who scored 949 runs during the regular season, compared to 845 for the Cardinals. "I don't think we are going to give up nine runs very often. The good thing about our lineup is we can toe-to-toe and blow-to-blow with any lineup and proved that again tonight."
This is the first World Series meeting between these two teams since 1967, when the Cardinals won in seven games.
In case you are wondering, there were 21 runs scored in the first four games of that series by both teams combined.
Fast-forward to 2004. Sit back, enjoy and keep a calculator handy.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.