Monday's Red Sox-Cardinals World Series Game 5 matchups: Jon Lester vs. Adam Wainwright

October 28, 2013 - 6:17 am
Jon Lester will be looking for a repeat of his performance from Game 1 of the World Series as he takes the mound for the Red Sox in a crucial Game 5 at Busch Stadium on Monday night. It will be the final baseball game in St. Louis this season, as the 109th Fall Classic will shift back to Fenway Park for its conclusion. Lester was brilliant in his last start on Wednesday, as he held the Cardinals to five hits and no earned runs over 7 2/3 innings. Red Sox fans have gotten used to Lester dominating opponents this postseason, as he is 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts. It's been a tale of two seasons for Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA), as the southpaw had a lackluster first half with a 8-6 record and a 4.58 ERA prior to the All-Star break. However, after July 16, Lester reverted back into the ace pitcher that the Sox had gotten used to seeing from 2008 to 2011. In his final 13 starts of the season, Lester compiled a 7-2 record with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Lester is no stranger to postseason baseball, as he is one of 60 pitchers to start in 10 playoff games. Lester's career postseason ERA of 2.06 ranks as the third lowest of any pitcher in MLB history, trailing only Christy Mathewson (0.97) and Waite Hoyt (1.85). The 29-year-old lefty has been able to step his game up to another level when pitching under the bright lights of the World Series, as he has not surrendered a run in 13 1/3 innings over two career starts. Lester will be opposed by Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.91 ERA), who will be looking to rebound after an uncharacteristically sloppy start in Game 1. Entering Wednesday's contest, Wainwright was one of the most dominant pitchers in the 2013 postseason with a 3-0 record and a 1.57 ERA in five starts. However those numbers went out the door when Wainwright took the mound at Fenway, as he was shelled for five runs, three of them earned, over five innings of work. Perhaps the play that best summed up Wainwright's bizarre night occurred in the bottom of the second, when the pitcher, a Gold Glove-winner in 2009, let a simple Stephen Drew pop-up fall between himself and catcher Yadier Molina after calling for the ball. Drew later scored on an RBI single from Dustin Pedroia. "I called it. I waited for someone else to take charge. That's not the way to play baseball. It was totally my error," Wainwright said after the game. Despite pitching the majors since 2006, Wainwright had not faced the Red Sox until Game 1. Red Sox vs. Wainwright (RHP)  Shane Victorino (26 plate appearances): .200 BA/.231 OBP/.360 SLG, 1 home run, 3 RBIs Stephen Drew (23 plate appearances): .143/.217/.190, 1 double, 6 strikeouts Jonny Gomes (14): .154/.214/.462, 1 home run, 3 RBIs David Ross (14): .231/.286/.538, 1 home run, 3 RBIs Mike Carp (3): .000/.000/.000 Jacoby Ellsbury (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Mike Napoli (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 3 RBIs David Ortiz (3): .500/.333/.500, 1 RBI Dustin Pedroia (3): .667/.667/.667, 2 singles, 1 RBI Xander Bogaerts (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout Quintin Berry, Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have not faced Wainwright. Cardinals vs. Lester (LHP) Matt Holliday (9 plate appearances): .333 BA/.333 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts Yadier Molina (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 single, 1 strikeout Carlos Beltran (4): .500/.750/.500, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Matt Carpenter (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 single, 1 strikeout Matt Adams (3): .000/.000/.000 David Freese (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Pete Kozma (3): .000/.000/.000 Shane Robinson (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 single, 1 strikeout Jon Jay (2): .000/.500/.000, 1 walk Adron Chambers, Tony Cruz, Daniel Descalso and Kolten Wong have not faced Lester.