A Fatal Move that Might Cost the Cards the Series
After game one’s pinch-hit heroic’s, game two looked to be going the same way. Allen Craig again came into the game as a pinch hitter and drove in a run to break the scoreless tie in the 7th. Texas, with their backs against the wall in the top of the 9th, were able to manufacture two runs on two sac flies and win the game 2-1.
With the series tied 1-1, the teams travelled to Arlington for game three. St. Louis seemed not to mind the 50+ thousand people cheering against them, as they pounded Texas for 16 runs. The onslaught was led by St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols who arguably had one of the best single World Series game performances ever. He went 5-for-6 with two singles and three homeruns, tying World Series records for; most homeruns in a game (3), most hits in a game (5), and most RBI’s (6). And establishing two new records, one for hits in consecutive innings (4), and total bases reached (14).
After getting trounced 16-7 in game three, Texas and manager Ron Washington showed a lot of poise to put the loss behind them and concentrate on game four. And concentrate they did, allowing only two hits on route to a 9-inning shutout. Napoli provided the offence with a three-run homer to help the hometown Rangers win 4-0. But the big story was Derek Holland who pitched 8 1/3 of the 9-inning shutout.
So here we are at a decisive game five, with the series tied 2-2. The pitchers; how about a rematch from game one? C. J. Wilson squaring off with Chris Carpenter. Both pitchers pitched fairly well, Wilson going 5 ½ giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, and Carpenter going 7-innings and giving up 2 runs on 6 hits. Fast-forward to the eighth inning, with the score tied at 2. Michael Young leads off the bottom half of the eighth inning with a double, triggering Cards manager La Russa to make a call to the bullpen. La Russa asked for Rzepczynski and his closer Motte to both warm up, the bullpen coach (Derek Lilliquist) says he only heard Rzepczynski’s name. La Russa saw that Motte wasn’t warming up, and made another call to the bullpen. This time the bullpen coach heard him say reliever Lance Lynn’s name. So Lance Lynn starts warming up even though he should have been resting because he had just pitched. So hilarity ensues when La Russa, first calls out Rzepczynski who he wanted to be Motte, and then calls out Lynn who he thought was Motte. The Rangers took advantage of the mix up cashing in two runs and winning the game 4-2.
So the series dubbed “The battle of the skips” heads back to Busch Stadium for game six with the Rangers leading 3-2. And has Washington back on top of the manager’s duel. Washington showing some savvy in game five by intentionally walking super slugger and game three hero Albert Pujols. While his counterpart La Russa, was at the helm of a major mental collapse that cost his team the game.
The Rangers look to be on the brink of victory with a stranglehold on the series. But, this is baseball, and anything that can happen, usually does. But that is why we love this game so much. And the “Cardiac Cards” are definitely one of those teams, having been here before fighting with their backs against the wall. And if they can get to game seven, they have their ace back. Should be an exciting finish.
And that is the last word…