World Series 2011 Game One: Cards Outlast Rangers
On Wednesday, October 19th, one of the most anticipated match-ups of the MLB championships kicked off, game one of the World Series 2011. The St. Louis Cardinals prevailed 3-2 over the Texas Rangers baseball club at Busch Stadium.
As advertised, the game was close–well-pitched– and both defenses played better than expected. C. J. Wilson, the Rangers’ #1 starter, performed well, allowing only 3 runs, 2 by a 2-run single off the clutch bat of Lance Berkman. Chris Carpenter also was on top of his game, making only one mistake pitch– a 2-run blast by Mike Napoli. Considering the weather–cold and drizzly–both teams acquitted themselves in fine fashion. Carpenter is now 8-2 in his excellent post-season career.
““I felt like if [the Rangers] didn’t re-sign Cliff Lee, they were going to be an average team. And I feel that’s probably what’s going to end up happening.” – Lance Berkman, 2010
The Cardinals had been a slight favorite for the opening game. After all, Carpenter, their ace, was going, and they were the home team. The Rangers are, though, a moderate/strong favorite for the Series, as they are the somewhat deeper team.
The Rangers did suffer a couple of mishaps during the game. In the first inning, Elvis Andrus missed on an attempted hit-and-run that resulted in Ian Kinsler being thrown out at second base. Then, in the 9th inning, Adrian Beltre apparently fouled a pitch off his left toe which was not called by the home plate umpire. The foul ball ricocheted into fair territory for an easy ground out. To be fair, the possible foul was difficult to see clearly. Observers seemed evenly divided over whether the batted ball scraped, or just missed, his left toe. Upon consultation, the umpires decided the batted ball was not foul.
The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers are the last team to win a World Series after losing the first two games on the road (against New York).
Both bullpens continued their mastery over opponents. Both lineups struggled as a result. They say good pitching usually beats good hitting. Game one was a good example of this old baseball adage.
Today, Thursday, October 20th, the Rangers send veteran right-hander Colby Lewis to the hill to duel the Cardinals’ lefty, Jaime Garcia. Consistency will be a concern for both–whoever exhibits consistent command will give his team a decided edge in determining victory in the contest. The oddsmakers are making the Cardinals a strong favorite for game 2, but Lewis has a track record of generally pitching well in big games.
Should be another exciting match-up–enjoy the game!