World Series 2011 Game Four: The Holland-Napoli Show
It has been said that the only pitcher who can defeat Derek Holland is… Derek Holland. That comment is based on his erratic command. In game 4 of the World Series 2011, the MLB championships produced a gem of a pitching performance. Holland pitched the Texas Rangers baseball club right back into contention with a 2-hit masterpiece. His command was nearly perfect. Final score… 4-0.
The Cardinals managed only 2 hits (both by DH Lance Berkman)–the fewest number in a World Series game since the Atlanta Braves in 1999’s game 1 against the New York Yankees. The Rangers have gone through 44 consecutive games without losing 2 in a row. Interestingly, the 2011 Series marks the first time since the 2003 Florida Marlins/New York Yankees Series that the games have been knotted at 2 apiece.
“Anyone who thinks the Rangers will have it easy ought to reconsider their position.” – Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
In the bottom of the 6th, Redbirds’ hurler, Edwin Jackson, walked his 7th batter, putting runners on first and second. This marred an otherwise excellent pitching performance by Jackson, who left the game with the score only 1-0 in favor of the Rangers. Mitchell Boggs, the relief pitcher, promptly gave up a first pitch homerun, a “no doubter”, to catcher Mike Napoli to put the Rangers up 4-0, the eventual final score.
Holland’s scintillating performance, though not quite a complete game, sent us scurrying to the record books on complete game shutouts in World Series play. Did you know that one of the All-Time greats, Hall Of Famer Christy Mathewson, had 4 for his New York Giants career, including an astonishing 3 in one Series, 1905, against the Philadelphia Athletics? These are records that are very unlikely to ever be broken.
Whitey Ford, “The Chairman Of the Board”, New York Yankees, and Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, Chicago Cubs, each have 3 career complete game World Series shutouts. Ford, a lefty, and Brown are both, of course, in the Hall Of Fame. The most recent complete game World Series shutout was thrown by left-hander Randy Johnson for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 against the Yankees. Johnson, when eligible, will be a certain entrant to Cooperstown.
Monday, October 24th, will find Rangers’ ace, lefty C. J. Wilson, once again going up against Cardinals’ ace, Chris Carpenter. Carpenter got the best of him in St. Louis, but it’s a virtual toss-up this time. Give a slight nod to the Rangers due to home field advantage.
What a great match-up! Enjoy the game!
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