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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Storylines to watch for in Game 4 of Fall Classic

Storylines to watch for in Game 4 of Fall Classic

Storylines to watch for in Game 4 of Fall Classic

Errors of their ways

It hasn't been a crisp World Series.

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The Cardinals and Red Sox have combined for nine errors in three games. St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma has two, and teammates Matt Carpenter and Dave Freese have one apiece. Five Red Sox have one each -- Craig Breslow, Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Will Middlebrooks.

With the Cards holding a 2-1 series lead, there will be at least five games in this World Series. The teams don't figure to come close to the record 18 errors in a five-game series set in 1910 by the Philadelphia A's and Chicago Cubs.

Kozma's two errors are two shy of the five-game record by a player set by Danny Murphy of the 1905 Phillies and equaled by Frank Crosetti with the Yankees in 1932, Woody English with the 1929 Cubs, Irv Olson with the 1916 Brooklyn Dodgers and Harry Steinfeldt with the 1910 Cubs.

The 1916 Brooklyn Robins set a team record in a five-game series with 13 errors. Since World War II, the most errors committed by a team in five games or fewer was eight by the 2004 Red Sox and '06 Detroit Tigers.

Worn down

Clay Buchholz missed three months of the regular season with a sore neck and shoulder. When he was able to take the mound, however, he was impressive, going 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA.

Buchholz's three postseason starts haven't been sharp -- no decisions, 19 hits, 10 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings. The Red Sox thought he could be a bit tired, so they pushed him back from a start on Saturday to Game 4 on Sunday. Buchholz did, after all, admit to some right shoulder tightness in the second inning of his Game 6 American League Championship Series appearance against Detroit.

Buchholz is 4-0 with a 3.08 ERA in five career starts against NL teams, but he hasn't faced the Cardinals before. He is winless in four career postseason starts with a 4.98 ERA.

Given Buchholz's uncertain health, and the fact that Felix Doubront, a possible emergency starter, worked two innings on Saturday, Ryan Dempster is expected to be on call if Buchholz struggles early.

On hold

St. Louis tried to play it careful with Allen Craig, placing him on the World Series roster but planning to limit him to DH duties in Boston and pinch-hit duties in St. Louis. He missed nearly six weeks of the regular season and the first two rounds of the postseason with a left foot sprain.

Craig's presence paid off on Saturday, but will he be able to appear in another game this World Series? Time will tell.

Craig, who hit .315 with 13 home runs and 97 RBIs in 134 regular-season games, had a clutch pinch-hit double in the ninth inning of Game 3 on Saturday, and scored the winning run for St. Louis on an obstruction call against Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Craig, however, didn't know the obstruction was called and slid into catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, aggravating the foot injury. He had to be helped off the field.

The Cards would like to have Craig back at first base, but just having him on the bench was a bonus because he was the one threat in a late-inning situation.

Drawn up

Boston shortstop Stephen Drew's postseason status is now in doubt. A quality defensive player, he is in a 4-for-44 funk with 17 strikeouts, and it is apparent Red Sox manager John Farrell has become concerned.

In the seventh inning of Game 3 on Saturday, Farrell sent Will Middlebrooks up to hit for Drew, and then moved rookie Xander Bogaerts from third to short, leaving Middlebrooks in the game at third base.

Asked about Drew's status for Game 4 following Saturday's game, Farrell declined to comment.

Edge

St. Louis is now up 2-1 in the series. Of the previous 84 times a team has been ahead 2-1, 56 have won the World Series championship. Only 42 of the 84, however, have won Game 4.

This is the fourth time the Red Sox have lost two of the first three games in a World Series. They also did it in 1903 against Pittsburgh, '67 against St. Louis and '75 against Cincinnati. They prevailed in 1903 and lost the other two.

The Cardinals have had a 2-1 edge in 10 of their previous World Series appearances, and they have gone on to win the World Series in eight of those years. They are, however, 5-5 in Game 4 appearances.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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