On CSNNE's "Playoff Central" postgame show, Lou Merloni couldn't fault Red Sox manager John Farrell's decision to pull John Lackey and bring in lefty Craig Breslow in the seventh.
The formula that had worked so well for the Red Sox backfired in Game 2 of the World Series as the Cardinals came up with three runs in the seventh and went on to win 4-2 and even the Series at 2 heading to St. Louis on Saturday.
"John Farrell has stressed that the seventh inning is when the most lead changes happen," Merloni said. "It was the right move. He [Breslow] just didn't get it done tonight."
A tying sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter led to a second run when Breslow threw the ball away after a throw to the plate wasn't handled by Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Two errors were charged on the play. That gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead after the Red Sox had come back to go ahead on David Ortiz's two-run homer in the sixth.
Tony Massarotti on "Playoff Central" pointed out how rare it had been for the Sox bullpen to give up a lead.
"It's the first time since Aug. 20, they've lost a lead after the seventh inning," Massarotti said. "Breslow had been ridiculously sharp, especially in the Tampa Bay series. To me, he was a little off. He started the outing with a walk [to No. 9 hitter] Daniel Descalso."