Although extended instant replay does not debut in Major League Baseball until the beginning of next season, an unprecedented reversed call in the first inning proved to be a key turning point in Game 1 of the World Series as the Red Sox routed the Cardinals by a score of 8-1.
With one out and runners on first and second, David Ortiz hit a ground ball to second baseman Matt Carpenter, who flipped it to shortstop Pete Kozma to set up what looked like an easy double play opportunity. The ball deflected off Kozma's glove, but second base umpire Dana DeMuth called Dustin Pedroia out, claiming that the drop occurred on Kozma's transfer. Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue the call, and the umpiring crew decided to reverse it and award Pedroia second base. This overrule infuriated Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who said that the reversal was unlike anything he had ever seen before.
"What was explained was that [the umpires] wanted to get the call right," Matheny said. "They got together as a group, and five of them believed that the call was different than the one that was made. That's not a play I've ever seen before, and I'm pretty sure that there were six umpires on the field that have never seen that play before either. It's a pretty tough time to debut that overruled call in the World Series. I get that they were trying to get that call right, I get that. It's just a tough one to swallow."
After the discussion over the reversed call caused a short delay, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli continued his clutch postseason hitting by hitting a bases-clearing double to put Boston up 3-0. After Pedroia made it 4-0 in the fourth with RBI single, Ortiz hit a deep drive off of Adam Wainwright that was robbed at the fence by right fielder Carlos Beltran. As a run scored on the play, Beltran slammed into the fence and had to leave the game with a right rib contusion.
"Carlos was taken out of the game with an injury to his ribs," Matheny said. "He went in to have x-rays done and a CT scan locally, and everything came back negative. He's going to be day-to-day."
With an early lead in hand, Red Sox starter Jon Lester was brilliant in his second career World Series start. In 7.2 scoreless innings, the southpaw surrendered only five hits while striking out eight batters.
"I think you can go one or two ways [with a big lead]," Lester told reporters. "You can kind of let your guard down, take a deep breath and go, 'OK, we got the lead,' and not really pay attention to the next inning. We try to win each inning."
Ortiz added a two-run home run off of Cardinals' lefty Kevin Siegrist in the seventh, and rookie Xander Bogaerts drove in Daniel Nava with a sacrifice fly an inning later to make it 8-0 Red Sox. Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday got St. Louis on the board in the top of the 9th with a solo shot into the light tower over the Green Monster, but his effort proved to be way too little, way too late.
"We had a wakeup call," Matheny said. "That is not the kind of team we have been all season. They're frustrated, and embarassed to a point. We get an opportunity to show the kind of baseball we've played all season long, and it didn't look anything like we saw tonight. You're going to have games like that periodically, but if you begin to accept that, then this could not really go anywhere. Right now, everyone's gathering themselves and putting things together to get back to what they've done all season."