BOSTON -- The Cardinals arrived at Fenway Park all smiles on Wednesday for a win-or-go-home Game 6 of the World Series, outwardly no worse for the wear imposed by a marathon travel day.
Their charter flight was grounded in St. Louis for seven hours on Tuesday afternoon by a faulty navigation computer. It was only a few ticks before midnight by the time the Cards' traveling party -- wives, kids and all -- walked through the doors of the team hotel in downtown Boston.
They were mostly smiling then, too.
"I mean, there wasn't really much else we could do except sit there, hang out with each other, try to play babysitter," said right-hander Joe Kelly, who would probably start Game 7 if the Cardinals could push the Series that far. "With all the little kids running around, everybody switched, all the younger guys. We messed around on Twitter, looked at tweets -- [the hashtag] "Cardinals plane problems" was going around, which was pretty funny. We had a good time with it. We enjoyed it. We don't want to do it all the time, but it wasn't that bad."
Said closer Jason Motte: "I'd rather have a seven-hour delay than find out at 35,000 feet that we're working with one computer and one engine. You can be ticked off about it, but it all comes down to wanting to be safe."
Motte was one of several Cards who watched the film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" -- pitcher Lance Lynn said he chose it because it was the longest onboard movie. Manager Mike Matheny read a book and fiddled with his iPad.
And he listened for angst. Matheny didn't hear any.
"I'm blown away by two things," Matheny said. "There really wasn't anything going on. [Traveling secretary] C.J. [Cherre] was frustrated because that's his world. But besides that, everybody handled it like absolute pros. And the second thing I'll mention is about the kids. To have two-week-olds mixed in with toddlers and teenagers and not have nonsense, I don't know. You have to give the moms an incredible amount of credit, because we're gone too much to take credit."
Would it somehow affect the Cardinals' play in Game 6?
"I don't think it really does," Matheny said. "We've been resilient, but you take what comes and we adjust and get ready for the next day."
Wainwright: Gold Glove 'a tremendous honor'
BOSTON -- The Cardinals, having just sat on the tarmac at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for seven hours, were moments from finally taking off Tuesday evening when word began to spread inside the chartered plane.
The Cards did not have just one Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner in 2013. They had two.
Yadier Molina, as expected, became a six-time winner. Also honored, though, was batterymate Adam Wainwright, who now has two career Gold Gloves. He won the first back in 2009.
"I pride myself in being a complete pitcher," Wainwright said, after the Cardinals wrapped up batting practice on Wednesday. "I still want to win the Silver Slugger, and I still want to win the Cy Young. Somebody asked me the other day, 'Why do you win Gold Gloves? It's not like you're making sliding plays.' I'm like that boring, just-make-all-the-plays-I'm-supposed-to-make-don't-make-any-mistakes kind of guy.
"It's a tremendous honor with all the athletes out there. I always say the starting pitchers are the best athletes on the field anyways, so to win the Gold Glove is pretty special."
Both Molina and Wainwright are now eligible to win the Platinum Glove award, presented to the best defensive player in each league. The award was first given in 2011, and Molina is the only National League player to have won it. Voting for the Platinum Glove is done by fans at Rawlings.com.
Cards' rookie pitchers set several postseason marks
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' season was in the hands of rookie Michael Wacha on Wednesday night, when he took the mound looking to send the World Series to a Game 7.
Regardless of the outcome, the Cards have already distinguished themselves with their reliance on rookie pitching this postseason. They have set a postseason record for innings pitched by rookies (59 entering Wednesday), passing the 2002 Angels, who needed rookies to cover 55 2/3 innings during their championship run in 2002.
Interestingly, it was rookie John Lackey -- now the Red Sox veteran opposing Wacha in Game 6 -- who tossed 22 1/3 of those innings for the Angels.
That Angels team tallied 59 strikeouts from its rookies, a figure the Cardinals will surpass with Wacha's first on Wednesday. The Cards cannot catch the eight rookie wins the Halos had (St. Louis currently has five), but one more save by rookie Trevor Rosenthal and the Cardinals will match their own '06 team (Adam Wainwright ) and the '05 White Sox (Bobby Jenks) for the most in a single postseason, with four.
And then there is Wacha, who has had as good a postseason run as any rookie in baseball history. His four wins are one shy of matching Francisco Rodriguez (2002 Angels). Rodriguez, though, secured all of his in relief.
Wacha's next strikeout will be his 29th of October, a postseason rookie record. He entered his start having limited opponents to a .122 batting average, the lowest of any rookie with at least 20 postseason innings pitched.
• With everything at stake on Wednesday, the Cardinals had an all-hands-on-deck situation with their bullpen. Both Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly were available to pitch in relief, if needed, though the Cards would first turn to Lynn since Kelly is lined up to start a potential Game 7.
If the World Series does extend to a seventh game, Wainwright would be available in relief.
• The one pitcher not likely to be called upon, however, is Shelby Miller, whose near non-usage has put him in a spot where he may not be sharp if he was asked to pitch. Miller, who won 15 games during the regular season, has not appeared in a game since Oct. 4.
"It would have to be a situation where we are pushed in a tight spot," Matheny said, when asked what would prompt Miller to be used. "It's just not fair to him without having much action to this point. He's been exactly what we've needed to this point, and fortunately we haven't needed that long guy. But he's a safety valve for us at the end of the game, and we've had some games that were right there and could go who knows how long. Fortunately, we have a pitcher of his ability waiting in case that happens. The unfortunate side of that, is that he's been sitting."
• After playing Shane Robinson in center field in Game 5, Matheny turned back to Jon Jay for Game 6 at Fenway Park. One of the reasons, Matheny said, was because Jay had a hit off Lackey in Game 2. Allen Craig, the team's designated hitter, returned to the cleanup spot, and Carlos Beltran moved back into second place in the lineup.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.