ST. LOUIS -- Never mind that this is his first season in the Major Leagues and his first exposure to postseason baseball. This October has introduced a foreign element of the game to Kolten Wong -- cold weather.
While playing in fall's cooler climate may not be something the 23-year-old Hawaiian is accustomed to, the excitement of his first World Series appearance kept him plenty warm.
"Once you get in there, the adrenaline kicks in and it just heats you up," Wong said. "Once I got out there, I kind of forgot about the cold and just got after it."
Wong entered the Cardinals' 5-4 win over the Red Sox in Game 3 with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning Saturday, and the ball immediately found him. Daniel Nava knocked a ground ball toward right field, but Wong made an impressive diving stop and threw out David Ortiz at second from his knees, allowing a run to score but preventing any further damage on the play.
"That was a tough play," Wong said. "It was one of those sinking line drives. I just wanted to make sure I stayed in front of it. I didn't want that to go to the outfield, where they could score a couple runs. So I basically just tried to block it, caught it and just tried to turn a double play."
The rookie second baseman then made his presence felt on offense in the bottom half of the eighth, knocking a one-out single into right field. With Carlos Beltran at the plate, Wong pushed himself into scoring position by stealing second.
Wong had been hitless in five pinch-hit at-bats in the playoffs and was just 9-for-59 in the regular season. But his World Series contributions weren't a surprise to him.
"You've got to have a little bit of confidence to play in the big leagues," Wong said. "It means everything just to be a part of the World Series and get a chance to go see the atmosphere and do something. It was awesome."
Wong experienced the other end of the spectrum in Game 4, however. Entering as a pinch-runner for Allen Craig in the ninth inning, with the Cards trailing by two and Carlos Beltran at the plate, he was picked off of first base for the final out of St. Louis' 4-2 loss.
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. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.