ST. LOUIS – The series shifts to the Gateway City, where friendly Cardinals fans are ready to pour into Busch Stadium for a live look at their beloved team's fourth World Series appearance since 2004.
The switch to National League rules will have a significant effect on the Red Sox lineup.
Mistakes, on Wednesday night by the Cardinals and on Thursday by the Red Sox, have cost each team a game in this series.
We're down to a best-of-five and St. Louis has home field advantage, although it must win three in a row to clinch here.
Game 3 Preview:
Red Sox RHP Jake Peavy (Regular season: 12-5, 4.17, 1.147 WHIP in 144.2IP; Playoffs: 2GS: 0-1, 8.31, 1.5 WHIP in 8.2IP)
How the Cardinals match up:
Peavy spent the first eight years of his career with the San Diego Padres and there are three Cardinals who've played long enough that they remember Peavy's days in the National League.
Carlos Beltran: 8-20, .400/.480/.800, 1 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 RBI, 4 BB.
Matt Holliday: 8-28, .286/.474/.393, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 10 BB, 7 K.
Yadier Molina: 4-22, .182/.182/.182, 1 RBI, 5 K.
The Red Sox are well aware that Mike Napoli will be relegated to a bench role in Game 3, as David Ortiz takes over first base in order to keep his bat in the lineup.
There is no designated hitter under National League rules.
"I think that we certainly have a little bit of a disadvantage, just simply because of the way our roster is constructed as opposed to theirs," said Peavy. "They're a National League ballclub, and they're going to play with their normal lineup, with the way they were built. Being an American League team, we're going to miss a huge middle of the lineup bat."
Also, manager John Farrell has confirmed left-handed hitting Daniel Nava will start in left field over Jonny Gomes, who played in the first two games at Fenway Park.
"With the amount of ground to cover in left field, the left-right matchups against Kelly," said Farrell. "He'll continue to factor in here."
Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly (Regular season: 10-5, 2.69, 1.355 WHIP in 124IP; Playoffs: 3GS, 0-1, 4.41, 1.531 WHIP in 16.1IP)
How the Red Sox match up:
Only Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew, playing in the National League in 2012, have faced Kelly. Each has three plate appearances. Drew has a triple against Kelly and Victorino drew a walk.
With the right-hander Peavy pitching for Boston, Cardinals' manager Mike Matheny will continue to play Matt Adams at first base.
Allen Craig, who has two hits in the World Series serving as the designated hitter, has taken ground balls and is closer to being able to play the field. Craig was activated in time for the Fall Classic, having been out since September 4 with a sprained foot.
Game 3 Prediction:
With so many unknown factors, including the big mistakes we've seen so far, this predicting has become a challenge.
If you look at Kelly's season and playoff WHIP, it would suggest we're going to see the Red Sox with runners on base. Can they cash them? Sure, but the Cardinals scratch and claw at Peavy and the bullpens will sort this game out.
St. Louis' is better and so the Cardinals will win, 6-5.