Freese Sends Cardinals to Game 7 of the World Series
Friday October 28, 2011
MLB reports – Jonathan Hacohen: Much attention was thrown to Tony La Russa and “Bullpen Phone Gate” following Game 5 of the World Series. Despite the trend to make the Cardinals manager into the goat, the team lost on Monday night 4-2 by failing to execute the clutch and hit with runners in scoring position (1 for 12 in the game). With the Rangers leading the series 3-2, a Texas win on Thursday would have clinched the first ever World Series title. But the Cardinals and their improbable hero, David Freese had other ideas on this night. As a result, we are now headed to a Game 7 tonight (Friday). The World Series is down to a 1-game playoff, sudden death matchup, for all the marbles.
Both starters in Game 6 enjoyed decent outings. Colby Lewis pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up 4 runs (2 earned), with 3 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Lewis did give up a 2-run home run to Lance Berkman in the first inning, his only serious blemish on the night. His counterpart, Jaime Garcia, lasted only 3 innings, giving up 2 earned runs, 5 hits, 2 walks while striking out 5. Clearly La Russa did not see enough in his starter to leave the fate of his team’s season on his shoulders. As a result, St. Louis began to trot out their bullpen while Texas followed suit shortly after.
The Rangers used 7 relievers on the night, while the Cardinals used 6. Both bullpens were shaky on the night, as the teams exchanged runs throughout the game. The Rangers actually held a 7-4 lead going into the 8th, but Derek Holland in his 2nd inning of work on the night gave up a solo home run to Allen Craig to cut the deficit to 7-5. From there, Mike Adams gave up a couple of hits in 1/3 inning pitched and gave way to closer Neftali Feliz. With the Rangers a sniff away from the World Series crown, Feliz gave up 2 more Cardinals runs to send the game into extra innings.
The teams exchanged 2 runs each in the 10th inning. The Rangers runs came off Cardinals closer Jason Motte, who was uncharacteristically pitching a 2nd inning in the game. Josh Hamilton, well rested after a couple of days off, launched a 2-run shot to give the Rangers the lead. But Texas quickly gave back the runs in the bottom of the inning courtesy of a Darren Oliver blown save. The game proceeded to the 11th inning. With Mark Lowe on in the bottom of the inning to face David Freese, the probable World Series MVP (if the Cards win it all tonight) launched a solo home run to win the game for St. Louis. One batter faced for Mark Lowe and the game was done. St. Louis comes back to take the heat off their manager and breathe new life into the squad as the series is now tied at 3-3.
Looking ahead to tonight’s starting pitchers, anything can happen at this point. St. Louis will likely go with Chris Carpenter on short rest. The Rangers can use a combination of different arms, with Matt Harrison possibly getting the nod. Game 7 will be an exciting game, if for no other reason then it being a one-game sudden death playoff. But if you didn’t get a chance to watch Game 6, try to locate a copy on tape. One of the most exciting World Series games of all time, this one will be talked about for years to come. No matter where you are tonight, do not miss out on tonight’s action. It will be the final game of the 2011 season and your last chance for live baseball until March. Game sevens also don’t come along very often. With two high-octane offenses ready to duke it out in St. Louis, I am counting down the minutes until game time. Let’s play ball!
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Posted on October 28, 2011, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged alcs, baseball, beltre, berkman, cardinals, carpenter, cruz, garcia, harrison, holland, laRussa, mlb, napoli, nlcs, pujols, rangers, washington, wilson, worldseries. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.