MLB Championships: Cards Stack Deck–Put Brewers Into Deep Freese
On Sunday, October 16th, the Cards shuffled a near perfect deck, securing their 18th National League pennant. The MLB championships are well represented with the battle-tested St. Louis crew and the very deep Texas Rangers baseball club.
The Cardinals “upset” the Milwaukee Brewers with a combination of timely hitting, clutch relief pitching and the brilliant managing of Tony LaRussa. It was LaRussa’s 6th career pennant.
David Freese, just nicknamed the “Big Chill” by MLBN analyst Dan Plesac, batted over .500 and knocked in 9 runs to garner MVP honors. He and Albert Pujols each had 6 extra-base hits in the NLCS to set a record — the first teammates to each collect 6 extra-base hits in the same series. Considering the pantheon of great-hitting teammates in postseason history–Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Al Simmons, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra–that is quite an achievement!
The Cardinals did not enter the World Series 2011 the easy way–not a single starter finished 5 innings. In fact, the Cards’ bullpen could arguably have won a collective MVP trophy.
The final score of the game was 12-6 and it started with the Brewers’ starter, Shaun Marcum. Marcum, one of the reasons the Brewers made the play-offs, was simply ineffective during the series. The Cardinals hit him early and often and it was left to the Milwaukee bullpen to pick up the pieces. Pujols added another homer to his career postseason total, tying him at 15 with the legendary Babe Ruth for 7th on the All-Time list.
The Cardinals now try for their 11th World Series championship (2nd All-Time to the Yankees) against the vaunted Rangers. St. Louis does get to open at home (thanks to the inexplicable decision a few years ago to determine home field advantage from which league wins the All-Star game each season), and they will start with their ace, Chris Carpenter on the mound. Should be a great series!
Stay tuned here for Tuesday’s preview of the upcoming World Series 2011!
There’s nothing like the baseball play-offs!