Fall Classic 2011
2011 World Series Saint Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers
Game 1 in St. Louis – (Oct. 19, 2011) Chris Carpenter took the mound to begin the 18th World Series for the Cardinals and things could have gone horribly wrong for Carp and the Cards in the first. After Kinsler made the ridiculous decision to steal on Yadi, Albert led Carp a little too much and safely getting the second out required some athleticism from Carp and care from the runner Andrus. Carp gave up 2 runs in 6 innings and Craig pinch hit for him in the bottom of the sixth in a game tied 2-2. Craig knocked in a run and the pen continued their October trend of invincibility. Motte got the save and protected Carp’s win. Cardinals won 3-2. Cardinals 1 Game – Rangers 0 Games.
Game 2 in St. Louis – (Oct. 20, 2011) Jaime Garcia took the mound for the Cardinals and he and Colby Lewis engaged in a pitcher’s duel that held both lauded lineups scoreless into the seventh where both pitchers ended their night. In the bottom of the frame Freese got a hit in his twelfth consecutive postseason game and Punto knocked him to third with a single. Craig pinch hit for Garcia with two outs and in a rematch from the night before Craig knocked in Freese for the first run of the night. Salas took the mound to strike out the one man he faced in the 8th and was followed by Rzepczynski who struck out his first batter and made the other ground out to Albert. Motte came in for the Cardinal save but gave up a bloop to Kinsler that was just out of Furcal’s reach. Kinsler stole second and Andrus knocked him to third and made it to second himself after the cutoff was missed by Albert. Motte was pulled for Rhodes who got Hamilton to fly out, allowing the run at third to score. As former Cardinals Joe Buck and Tim McCarver pointed out the Cardinals have never been involved in one run postseason game and tonight was not to be the first. Lynn came in and Young managed a sac fly to take a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the 9th Yadi walked Laird took his place at first. Punto failed to bunt twice and went down swinging. Skip came in a fell on strikes. Furcal popped out to right. Rangers won 2-1. Cardinals 1 Game – Rangers 1 Game.
Game 3 in Texas– (Oct. 22, 2011) Because the American League plays under Spring Training rules, the Cards made Berkman the DH and brought the pinch hitting World Series hero Allen Craig into the starting lineup and he responded by hitting a solo to left in the first. Kyle Lohse took the mound and struck out the first two Rangers he faced and the third grounded to Albert, who came into the game more than a little annoyed with the media. Lohse hit a speed bump in the second but didn’t allow anyone beyond second and Kinsler annoyed from first in the third inning, but Lohse booked another scoreless frame. In the fourth inning the bats the media had been talking about since the LCS series came alive and took over the game. In the top of the fourth, Albert hit a single and Christmas hit into a would-be double play but a bad call went the Cards’ way so the only out was at second. The inning would be huge for St. Louis who knocked in four runs to take a 5-0 lead and the Texas starter was pulled. The Texas lineup answered quickly with a solo homer, single, and another homerun. Napoli followed with a single up the middle and with no outs in the fourth Lohse would be the second starter pulled in the frame. Christmas would catch a fly and launch a strike from left to Yadi to end the seven run inning. Cards hold a 5-3 lead into the fifth. Albert led off again with a single and Christmas and Berkman walked. Bases loaded with Redbirds, no outs. Freese hit a broken-bat dribbler that knocked in Albert. Yadi came up to the plate with a man on second and third and sent both home with a double down the left field line. Cards lead 8-3. The Rangers would knock in three more in the bottom of the frame and leave the bases loaded. After a forty minute fifth inning the Cards’ lead held 8-6. In the top of the sixth inning Albert demolished a 96 mph fastball to turn it into 423 feet, three run homerun. Yadi would pop up to knock in Christmas and after the Cards’ half of the sixth the score was 12-6. In the seventh, Pujols, who would become the first man in World Series history to get a hit in 4 consecutive innings, struck again with a two-run homerun. Scoring would slow a bit after that. After eight the Cards led 15-7. In the top of the ninth Albert Pujols would break his own record set an inning before and tie Ruth’s and Jackson’s record for three homeruns in a single World Series game with a solo blast. The Cardinals devastated the Rangers with a 16-7 win. Cardinals 2 Games – Rangers 1.
Game 4 in Texas – (Oct. 23, 2011) The Cards sent Edwin Jackson to the mound and Texas sent Holland and the night after 23 runs were scored the two hurlers engaged in a pitcher’s duel. Jackson gave up only one run but he had trouble with control, walking seven batters in 5 1/3 innings. With men on first and second and one out Boggs entered the game in the sixth. On Boggs’ first pitch he gave Texas a three-run homer. Pujols, Holliday, and Berkman responded in the top of the seventh by going down in order. The night belonged to Derek Holland, who shutout the Saint Louis Cardinals through 8 1/3. 4-0 Texas. Cardinals 2 Games – Rangers 2 Games.
Game 5 in Texas – (Oct. 24, 2011) Cardinals’ ace, Chris Carpenter, took the mound and turned in a scoreless first. Christmas would score in the second off Yadi’s single and Berkman would score off Skip’s bat. Punto would have made it a 3-run inning for the Cards if not for a great catch from Texas’ Murphy in left. As it was, Cards led 2-0 after one and a half. To the Ranger’s chagrin Tony didn’t make a pitching change after one frame, so they still had to face Carp. They did get to him in the third though scoring one run to make the score 2-1 Cards going into the fourth. Carp would give up only three hits through five innings but in the sixth with two outs Beltre hit a solo that tied the game. With men on the corners Skip caught a heart-stopper off the bat of Napoli to end the inning. Pujols would be walked intentionally for the third time in the seventh and Christmas came through. Berkman came up with men on second and third with two outs and was intentionally walked. With the bases loaded, Freese popped out to center making the number of stranded Cardinals ten for the night. In the eighth, Texas would get to the Cards’ bullpen to go up 4-2 before Motte booked the last out. In the ninth, we would see the second botched hit and run by Pujols and Craig for a strike ‘em out throw ‘em out. Christmas would walk to bring Berkman up, who would strikeout and then be beaten by the dropped pitch at first. The Cardinals stranded 12 runners and the Rangers took Game Five 4-2, and with it their first lead in the series. Cardinals 2 Games – Rangers 3 Games.
Game 6 in St. Louis – (Oct. 26, 2011) Postponed due to rain
Game 6 in St. Louis – (Oct. 27, 2011) Jaime Garcia took the mound in this must-win for the Cards and lacked the laser precision he’d had in Game 2 to start. He walked the first man he faced and had allowed a run and had men on the corners before logging the first out. He regained command in the frame though, striking out two in a row and then forcing a grounder to third to usher in the Cardinals’ half. With one out, Skip added to his .500 average for the postseason with a single in front of Albert who would pop up. Tony had made a change in the lineup though, moving Christmas down a spot and the hot Berkman up. After Albert popped out, Berkman smacked a two-run homer to give the Cards the lead. In the second, Garcia gave another leadoff walk and then a single, but the AL pitcher, Lewis tried to bunt and Freese fielded it getting the lead runner and then Lewis in double play. Kinsler would tie the game with a ground rule double that bounced off the left field track. The game was tied at 2 after two. Garcia’s night was short with Salas taking the mound in the fourth. Christmas added to what must be an exhausting season for him with an error that allowed a runner that would eventually score. Texas matched the error in the bottom of the fourth and with men on the corners, Yadi knocked in Berkman to tie the game at 3 runs. Freese would error on an easy popup that allowed the leadoff runner to go to first in the 5th. That error gave the Rangers the lead again when the next batter hit a double. In the Cardinals’ half, Berkman would come through again reaching first on an infield dribbler. After a tough another tough at bat from Christmas the Rangers’ Young would add another error to the game, allowing Berkman to go to second and Christmas to first. Freese would walk to bring up Yadi with the bases loaded, and with Yadi’s walk the game was tied again. Another reason Christmas will be grateful for the end of the 2011 season occurred when he was thrown out by the catcher at third. A wild pitch would send the runners to second and third and Punto took the vacant first on a walk, but Jay couldn’t hit it to the grass. 4-4 after six. In the seventh, Beltre started things with a solo. Cruz followed with another. The Cardinals’ bullpen would eventually give 3 runs to the Rangers in the seventh. The Cardinals could do nothing of substance in their half and would trail 7-4 after seven innings. Craig gave hope in the 8th with a solo. Yadi would later single to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Descalso and excuse the Rangers’ pitcher from the table. Descalso narrowly made a single, moving Yadi to second and bringing Jay, the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs. Jay hit a single that brought Furcal up with the bases loaded. A chopper back to the pitcher stranded three more Redbirds though, making it 7-5 after eight. Motte held the Rangers in the ninth. With one out, Albert hit a double. Berkman walked, and Craig returned to the plate where he’d changed the tide of the Series more than once, though this time he watched the third strike without offering at it. Representing both the potential go-ahead run and potential final out of the 2011 World Series, David Freese stepped into the box. Down to his last strike, St. Louis native David Freese tied Game 6 with a beautiful two-run triple. After nine, tied at 7. In the tenth though, Hamilton would hit a two-run shot off of Motte to regain a two run lead. In the Cardinal’s tenth, Descalso drilled a single into right. Jay hit a bloop down the left field line that dropped in. With men on first and second, no outs, the thin Cardinals’ bench produced Lohse to pinch hit. A successful bunt by Lohse sends the runners to second and third. With Theriot at the plate with one out the Rangers went to reliever Feldman. Theriot would knock in a run and Pujols would be intentionally walked. With runners on first and second and two outs, Berkman came up to the plate. Again down to the last strike, Berkman drilled a hit into the wide open outfield to tie the game at 9. Craig came to the plate with Albert 90 feet away but couldn’t get him home. The remarkable World Series Game 6 entered its eleventh inning. Westbrook took the mound and the groundball pitcher managed two popups and one grounder to hold the score at 9-9. David Freese came to the plate for the Cardinals and hit a deep homerun to the grass in centerfield. The kind of game that allows a 300 pound bald man like myself to use the word magical. Cardinals won 10-9 to tie the Series and force Game 7. Cardinals 3 Games – Rangers 3 Games.
Game 7 in St. Louis – (Oct. 28, 2011) Chris Carpenter took the mound on short rest in the last baseball game of the year. His fatigue showed early, but Yadi relieved the pressure a bit by gunning Kinsler down at first. Even so, Texas would score two in the first. In the Cards’ half, Pujols and Berkman would reach and be sent home by the bat of Clutchy McClutch – David Freese. Carp would muscle through another tough inning, having men on the corners by the third out, but none would cross the dish. In the bottom of the second, Furcal defied his slump with a leadoff single but Skip would hit into a double play. In Carp’s third inning he got Hamilton to ground out, struck out Young, hit Beltre with a pitch that drifted too far in, and then got Cruz to pop out to left. The score was locked at 2 runs apiece when Craig hit his one out solo shot in the third. 3-2 Cards after three. Carp returned in the fourth to put down the bottom of Texas’ lineup in order. In the bottom of the fifth, Texas would intentionally pass Freese to load the bases for Yadi, who would be walked unintentionally. C.J. Wilson would take the mound for Texas and hit Furcal, forcing in another run for the Redbirds. 5-2 Cards after five, and after Texas’ pitching collapsed and with the help of Craig robbing a homer, Carp dropped Texas’ batters in order. In the seventh, Carp would give up a ground rule and be pulled for Rhodes. Rhodes got his out and Dotel followed, getting both Kinsler and Andrus. In the Cards’ seventh, Yadi’s second hit of the game would drive in his second RBI. 6-2 Cards lead after seven. Lynn took the mound in the eighth and handled Hamilton, Young, and Beltre in order. Motte took the mound in the ninth to close the Cardinals’ eleventh World Championship season. He faced Cruz, who popped out. Then Napoli, who grounded to Descalso who threw him out at first. Then Murphy, who hit a fly deep to left that was caught by Craig. The Saint Louis Cardinals are World Champions of baseball in 2011.
2011 World Series MVP: David Freese
World Champion Saint Louis Cardinals
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