Red Sox vs. Cardinals an even matchup

Red Sox vs. Cardinals an even matchup
October 21, 2013, 10:45 pm
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The Red Sox and Cardinals are the two remaining teams in Major League Baseball . . . but there can only be one.

Game 1 of the World Series is Wednesday night. It's Jon Lester vs. Adam Wainright.

Dan Shaughnessy joined Bob Neumeier to discuss the matchup.

"They both won 97 games out of 162. So the parity sort of starts there," Shaughnessy said. "The team that the Sox beat in 2004 kind of rolled over. They were like just in the way of this machine that the Sox had going at that point. I don't see this one going that way."

The Cardinals have gotten great contributions from their pitching staff - from the starters to the bullpen. Adam Wainright and Michael Wacha are a combined 5-1 in this postseason.

"I go with that all the way, but again we just got through, and the Sox played [Davod] Price and [Matt] Moore, and then you had [Justin] Verlander and [Max] Sherzer. And they just dismissed all these great starters so far. That's a good omen. I think the thing to look for is if the Red Sox batters can get into these deep pitch counts, get these guys out of the game, and again when you got out of the game to Detroit, you had a crumby bullpen coming to you. In this case, probably not, but these starters look like they're every bit as good as the starters the Sox just got through with."

And unlike with the Rays and Tigers, the Cards have plenty of dependable players in the pen.

"After what we just saw in the last two series with [Fernando] Rodney, [Joaquin] Benoit, guys that you didn't trust at all, I think this time you're going up against a team where they do trust their bullpen, they do trust their closer."

So, is this the toughest all-around pitching staff the Sox have seen so far? Let us know in the comments section.