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."
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.