Bring on the Texas Rangers! The St. Louis Cardinals are Champions of the 2011 National League Pennant.
In what was a rematch of the 1982 World Series the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 12-6 last night to earn its’ eighteenth trip to the World Series. The Redbirds, reeling from their 7-1 victory in game five of the NLCS two days earlier in St. Louis pounded out four runs in the top of the first inning to take an early lead that they would never relinquish.
St. Louis’ improbable run to the 2011 World Series will linger in the minds of St. Louisans for many years to come. Once down by 10.5 games to Atlanta in the NL wild card race the Cardinals stormed back to overtake the Braves as the wildcard berth on the last day of the regular season. It was on that final day that all the dramatics unfolded. First, Cards’ ace Chris Carpenter pitched a 5-0 shutout against the Houston Astros to force at least a possible tie breaker against the Braves in St. Louis. Thanks to Philadelphia it never came down to a tie breaker as the Phillies came back to beat the Braves in 13 innings 4-3 to complete a sweep in Atlanta and put the Cardinals in the playoffs in dramatic fashion.
In somewhat of a twist of fate the Cardinals would face those same Phillies in the National League Division Series. And how would St. Louis thank Philadelphia for the assist? The Redbirds rewarded the Phillies for their kind gesture with a 3-2 series win in the NLDS. They beat the Phillies at their own game and out pitched arguably the best pitching staff in baseball. It all culminated in a game five 1-0 three hit shutout by ace Chris Carpenter over Phillies’ ace Roy Halladay. As impressive as that series win was against the heavily favored Phillies it didn’t come close to the even more impressive 4-2 series win over the even heavier favored Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cardinals put themselves in a great position to win each game as they hit pay dirt first in each one. The Redbirds became the first team to score first in six consecutive games of a post season series. They outscored the Brewers 43-26 in the series and for the most part kept the teams’ power hitters at bay. With the exception of their game one heroics in which both Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun hit homeruns in the Brewers 9-6 come from behind win over the Cardinals the duo was held in check throughout the series. Braun finished the series with six RBI’s (four in game one) and two of Fielder three RBI’s came in game one.
Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese was named the series MVP as he batted .545 (12 for 22) with three homers, three doubles, seven runs scored and nine RBI’s. He jumped started the Cardinals offensive attack on the Brewers and eventual losing pitcher Shaun Marcum in game six with a three run homer in the top of the first inning. The hits and runs seemed to keep coming for the Redbirds as they would go on to hit two more homers (Rafael Furcal, Albert Pujols) and pound out 14 hits in the game. In a scene reminiscent of the 1982 series between St. Louis and Milwaukee when then Cardinals relief pitcher Bruce Sutter struck out Milwaukee’s slugger Gorman Thomas to give the Cards a 4-2 series win current Cardinals’ relief man Jason Motte struck out the Brewers’ George Kottaras to send the Cards’ to the 2011 World Series.
The Redbirds will now take on the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series that starts Wednesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. In another “twist of fate” moment thanks to Brewers’ slugger Prince Fielder, who hit a 3 run homer in the 2011 All Star game to power the National League to victory over the American League the Cardinals will have home field advantage in the World Series. While Texas manager Ron Washington has not named his game one starter Cards’ manager Tony LaRussa has named ace Chris Carpenter his game one starter as the Redbirds seek their eleventh World Series title.
About the Author
Written by Chaz Ingram
During his lengthy career Chaz has worked in various areas of the media. As an actor he has appeared on such shows as "Less Than Perfect" "CSI New York" and "Outlaw". He's performed on stage in such plays as "West Side Story", "The Wiz" "Oliver" and "Sugar". He has also landed roles in several commercials most notably as a reporter for "NFL Legends" and as a model for Ameriquest Mortgage. Chaz's extensive background in the broadcast industry has given him invaluable experience in several areas of the business. His work as an assignment desk intern as well as in the news and sports departments at the local ABC and NBC TV stations in St. Louis, MO has given him experence on various levels of news production. Chaz is a former host of of his own radio show "The Spirit of Chaz", where he was also writer and producer at KXEN in St. Louis. As a Marketing Consultant at KSDK-TV (NBC) Chaz was a major contributor to the station's #1 position in overall sales in the St. Louis market. At KEZK radio he was awarded "rookie of the year" for his achievements in sales. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized Chaz as one of their "40 Under 40" awardees for his work in the community with youth. Additionally, St. Louis public Schools recognized him as "Role Model of the Year" in 1995 & 1996. He is the recipient of the 1989 edition of "Outstanding Young Men of America". Chaz currently resides in Los Angeles where he owns Nicolexis Inspirations a motivational and life coach company.