Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/20/11 Texas Rangers 2, St Louis Cardinals 1

Busch Stadium, St Louis, MO
2011 World Series Game 2

It’s all about the “D”…and two great reel-worthy plays!!

Can it be true that after only 1 game my expectations of this World Series are burying the memories of last year’s Ho-hum Classic? This game makes it so.

Yet another pitchers’ duel develops as Jaime Garcia and Colby Lewis show off #1 starter stuff, neither yielding a run, only allowing 2 hits apiece for the first 6 innings. Garcia, though not awarded a decision, pulled ahead of Lewis with 7 scoreless innings, 3 hits, 1 BB and 7K…and 3 broken bats!!

I will have to dig a bit to confirm, but I think this is the most bats broken in a game by a single pitcher that I have ever scored…

Defense from both teams, along with the stellar starting pitching, was the true highlight, but the Rangers ran away with the prize. Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler are the double-play combo of the game, if not the Series so far. They did it not once, but twice; contributing two eye-rubbing plays to end the 4th and 5th innings.

With the game locked at a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 7th, history more or less repeats itself…funny how the events in last night’s game replayed themselves, as if there was no regard to what happened only 24 hours before. With Freese on base, thanks to a 1-out single, Yadier Molina flies out, Nick Punto reaches on a single (Freese advances to 3B), and with 2 outs and runners on the corners, Washington pulls Lewis and brings in…Alexi Ogando. LaRussa brings in who else but Allen Craig in Garcia’s spot in the order…so what do you think will happen next???

It happens…Craig does it again, with a rocket to RF, scoring Freese and Ogando shaking his head…it’s ‘de ja vu all over again’!!

The inning ends with the Cardinals up by one and a Nick Punto TOOTBLAN (or should it be ROOTBLAN?) as he is ruled out at 3B for running outside the basepaths. WAAAYYY out.

The Cardinals stay on top with that single run on the board, Nelson Cruz robs Pujols of a sure-fire HR in the 8th, and Jason Motte steps in to close things out…and the Rangers come back, again with Kinsler and Andrus leading the charge. They both get on base to lead off, two consecutive SAC flys from Josh Hamilton and Michael Young bring them both in, and the Rangers squeak out a hard-fought win with Neftali Feliz shutting the Cardinals down. And they do it without any extra base hits.

Is Ian Kinsler on a campaign to walk away with the World Series MVP trophy? It’s too early to tell, but he is the real unsung hero of this Rangers team, and also a valid source of comic relief, as demonstrated when he “brushes off” a blistering Adrian Beltre foul line drive down the 3rd base line.

Series tied 1-1

He said WHAT?!? Click on this link to see Tim McCarver’s Quote of the Game

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