Red Sox will turn page, set focus to evening up Series
Players say tough ending to Game 3 won't carry over to Game 4
ST. LOUIS -- Daniel Nava was surrounded by a large media scrum in the visiting clubhouse at Busch Stadium late Saturday night, peppered with questions about losing a big game on a tough play and the difficulty that comes with rebounding from something like that.
He didn't want to hear it.
"You still have tomorrow," the Red Sox outfielder said after a tough 5-4 defeat to the Cardinals in Game 3. "You have to focus on tomorrow."
Difficult as it might be to recover from a game that ended on an obstruction call, the Red Sox's deficit in the Series is still only 2-1, and resiliency has pretty much been this Boston team's rallying cry all season.
The Red Sox will hang their hat on that heading into Sunday's crucial Game 4 -- air time is 8 p.m. ET on FOX, with first pitch at 8:15 p.m.
"That's the way it goes, man; it's part of the game," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Nothing is going to be handed to us. This is a good team. They play the game fundamentally right, they find a way to scrap and get on base and make things happen. So are we."
This is a Red Sox team that went from worst to first in one year. They lost Game 3 of the American League Division Series on a walk-off homer by the light-hitting Jose Lobaton, then came right back the next day and beat the Rays on the road to advance. They were one-hit by the Tigers in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series and were four outs away from dropping back-to-back games at Fenway Park, then David Ortiz hit the grand slam that turned the tide and ultimately led to a pennant.
Their next -- and, perhaps, final -- task is to bounce back from back-to-back games that have been lost on back-to-back errant throws to third base.
In Thursday's seventh inning, Craig Breslow retrieved the ball after it trickled off Saltalamacchia's glove and fired well high of third base, surrendering a one-run lead, turning a sacrifice fly into two runs and paving the way for a tough loss in Game 2 at Fenway Park.
On Sunday, Saltamacchia evidently got overaggressive with the score tied at 4.
After Dustin Pedroia dove to his right to field Jon Jay's grounder and fired home to easily get Yadier Molina at the plate, the Red Sox catcher made a snap throw to third base even though the hobbled Allen Craig would've easily been safe. His throw sailed wide of Will Middlebrooks, third-base umpire Jim Joyce signaled obstruction after Craig tripped over Middlebrooks and was thrown out by Nava at home plate attempting to score, and the Red Sox lost in the weirdest walk-off imaginable.
Now, they must move on. And they feel equipped to do so.
"The makeup of this team is that we're going to forget about this one and go get them tomorrow," Nava said. "There's nothing you can do. I think we've been in rough spots before, calls that haven't gone our way that almost have ended games, too. Fortunately, we've been here, too."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.