W2W4: World Series Game 3

October, 26, 2013
10/26/13
12:11
AM ET
Where and when: Busch Stadium, Saturday at 8:07 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers: Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 ERA)

Kelly
• Scouting report on Kelly: Postseason pressure is old news to Kelly. As a rookie last year, Kelly pitched out of the bullpen in seven of the Cardinals' 12 postseason games, giving up only two runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched. However, St. Louis wasn't able to advance to their second consecutive World Series, leaving Kelly without any appearances in the Fall Classic.

So how has Kelly prepared for a World Series start in Game 3?

"To tell you the truth, I don't really like to lock in and focus on my start until the day of," Kelly said Friday in his news conference at Busch Stadium. "The night before I usually stay up playing video games all night. Competitive gaming, more 'Call of Duty.' "

"[When] game day comes around, I'm definitely going to be locked in and ready to go."

Despite being winless in his three postseason starts so far, Kelly has pitched well for the Cardinals; all three games he has pitched in have been decided by two runs or fewer. After being moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation in July, Kelly went 10-2 in 15 starts, defeating each of the other four National League playoff teams (Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Los Angeles) in the process.

"He enjoys life, he's all the time doing some things you wouldn't expect him to do," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Friday. "But when it comes down to pitching, he's ready to compete. He's a competitor."

Kelly has never faced Boston in his career.

Peavy
• Scouting report on Peavy: Eleven years in the majors, three All-Star appearances, and a 2007 National League Cy Young have all led up to this moment for Peavy.

"This is what I've lived for my whole life, my whole baseball career I should say," Peavy said Friday. "To have this opportunity to go out there on the biggest stage and have a chance to help your team win a World Series game and a World Series title.

"I'm as prepared as I'll ever be physically and mentally. We'll go out there tomorrow night and see if we can execute pitch by pitch and find a way to win."

Peavy struggled against the Detroit Tigers in his Game 4 start, giving up seven runs and five hits in three innings pitched. Overall, the 32-year-old is 0-1 in his two postseason starts with an 8.31 ERA.

"The one thing I think he's done a very good job at the last three or four starts is creating an energy level in his delivery that doesn't take away from locating pitches," manager John Farrell said Friday. "Inning No. 2 in Detroit (five runs allowed), I thought he started to pitch a little too fine and maybe didn't trust his stuff enough, as was the case in the first inning.

"I think he's understanding himself and [how] that level of energy in his delivery works best for him."

Peavy has a 3-4 record in nine career regular-season starts against the Cardinals, posting an ERA of 2.97. In two postseason starts against St. Louis (2005 and 2006 NLDS), Peavy is 0-2 with a 12.10 ERA.

Three Cardinals players to watch

Beltran
Carlos Beltran, RF: After being hospitalized with a rib contusion during Game 1 Wednesday night, Beltran returned to the lineup Thursday to go 2-for-4 and drive in a run for the Cardinals. Beltran's veteran presence will be important out of the two-spot in the Cardinals' lineup as the 36-year-old has eight hits and four walks in 25 plate appearances against Peavy.

Matt Adams, 1B: Although Matheny maintained Friday that he's taking a cautious approach with Allen Craig, who returned from a month-long foot injury in Game 1, Adams' early lack of World Series results may have his manager rethinking Craig's availability. Adams has only one hit in eight at-bats this series, seeing less than three pitches per plate appearance in the process. Meanwhile, Craig has collected two hits in seven at-bats, seeing 4.5 pitches per plate appearance. Matheny said Craig could also be utilized in the outfield in Game 4 or 5.

Yadier Molina, C: Molina has been held to one single in Game 1 and another in Game 2, leaving the four-time All-Star due for a breakout. However, Peavy has kept Molina under control in 22 career plate appearances against him, giving up only four hits (all singles) and striking the catcher out five times.

Three Red Sox players to watch

Ortiz
David Ortiz, 1B: So far Ortiz has faced three of St. Louis' heralded rookie pitchers in the first two games of the series, going deep against Kevin Siegrist and Michael Wacha and lining a 96-mph fastball from Carlos Martinez up the middle for a single. Though one year removed from his rookie season, the 25-year-old Kelly will face a tough challenge in retiring a red-hot Ortiz.

Dustin Pedroia, 2B: Pedroia is riding a five-game postseason hitting streak, going 7 for his last 19, including three hits in seven World Series at-bats.

Xander Bogaerts, 3B: Farrell showed confidence starting the 21-year-old Bogaerts in Games 5 and 6 of the ALCS and Bogaerts produced, going 2-for-4 and showing impeccable poise in the form of three walks. However, Bogaerts has gone hitless with four strikeouts and a sacrifice fly in six World Series at-bats.

Three Key Considerations:

Farrell said Friday that outfielder Daniel Nava will officially draw the start in left field over Jonny Gomes. It will be Nava's first start since Game 4 of the ALCS against Detroit. The Red Sox are 1-3 in the four games Nava has started compared to 7-1 in the eight games Gomes has started (the loss coming in Game 2 against St. Louis).

This is the eighth time the Red Sox have entered Game 3 of a World Series tied 1-1, going 4-3 in Game 3 of the previous seven instances.

The Cardinals have gone 5-1 in their six postseason games at Busch Stadium this year.

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