Given the fact that starting pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers did not exactly shut down their opponents in their League Championship Series one may be inclined to think that the 2011 World Series between the two teams will be an all out slugfest. If game one was any indication that’s not exactly what we’re in store for.
The Cardinals 3-2 win over the Rangers in game one of the Fall Classic last night was more reminiscent of the type of game that is normally played in the national league opposed to the American League where runs come in bunches partly due to the DH (designated hitter) factor.
Unexpectedly there weren’t very many runs scored in game one. However, as expected the bullpens played a large role in the outcome. Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa once again utilized what was, at best, an average bullpen during the regular season to preserve a victory in the post season. The future hall of fame manager used five different pitchers (Fernando Salas, Mark Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel and Arthur Rhodes) to get the six required outs in the seventh and eighth innings. Though Salas was unable to get out of the seventh after relieving Carpenter, the bullpen painted another masterpiece particularly Rzepczynski and Jason Motte faced the heart of Texas’ lineup in the ninth.
Inheriting a two on two out situation Rzepczynski struck out pinch hitter Craig Gentry looking and Esteban German swinging. LaRussa then turned to his “unofficial” closer Jason Motte in the ninth whose assignment was to get three outs against Michael Young, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz. He did just that, albeit with a little controversy.
Aside from the hit that would ultimately give the Cardinals the lead Texas’ bullpen didn’t fare much worse. With two on and two out and the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth LaRussa pinch hit Allen Craig for Carpenter. Texas manager Ron Washington countered by bringing in his usually reliable relief man Alexi Ogando who had retired 31 of the 37 batters he faced during the post season this year. Despite being down in the count 1-2 Craig hit a sinking liner to right field that right fielder Nelson Cruz nearly caught but was unable to come up with allowing Albert Pujols to score from third. Rangers’ relievers Mike Gonzalez and Scott Feldman prevented the Cardinals from adding any insurance runs after that.
The Cardinals did get to starter C.J. Wilson for 3 runs and 5 hits before he left the game after six innings. Wilson absorbed his 3rd loss this post season. Carpenter, who earned his third post season victory this year, earned his eighth overall for the Cardinals breaking a tie with hall of fame pitcher Bob Gibson. The lone damage in game one against Carpenter was a 2 run homer to the Rangers’ Mike Napoli. If October is where legends are made Carpenter is surely making a case for himself.
The Cardinals look to take a commanding 2-0 lead tonight as they will send the lefty Jaime Garcia (1-2 post season) to the mound against Rangers’ right hander Colby Lewis (1-1 post season).
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.