World Series 2011 Game Two: Forever Young
On Thursday, October 20th, the World Series 2011 saw game 2 unfold at Busch Stadium. The weather was cold and so were the vaunted offenses of both teams. However, the Texas Rangers baseball club, faced with going back to Arlington down 2 games to none, rallied in the ninth inning to win a classic, 2-1.
Finally, the starting pitching showed up for both clubs. Jaime Garcia pitched 7 innings of shutout ball for the Cardinals, and Colby Lewis was in total command for 6.2 innings for the Rangers, making it the first time during this postseason a Rangers starter pitched at least 6 innings. Both pitchers deserved to win the game.
In the end, the Rangers became only the 3rd team in Series’ history to enter the 9th inning trailing 1-0, and rally to win. (The other teams were the 1911 Philadelphia Athletics, powered by a home run from the great third baseman, Frank “Home Run” Baker, off the legendary Christy Mathewson of the New York Giants…and the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, when Luis Gonzalez knocked in the winning run off “The Terminator”, Mariano Rivera, for a game 7 victory over the New York Yankees.)
Michael Young also became the first player in World Series history to knock in the winning run in the 9th inning via a sac fly. In fact, Josh Hamilton’s game-tying sac fly RBI to tie the game in the 9th, combined with Young’s feat, was the first time in Series’ history that both the game-tying and game-winning runs in the 9th inning were powered by sac flies.
Babe Ruth registered the last out of the 1926 World Series as he was called out on an attempt to steal second base, the only player ever to end a World Series by getting caught stealing.
Both managers raised some eyebrows with unexpected moves. The Rangers’ Ron Washington, for the 2nd consecutive day brought in star reliever, Alexi Ogando, to pitch to pinch-hitter, Allen Craig, who promptly got his 2nd hit in as many at-bats off Ogando. Craig is generally regarded as a professional hitter who eats up “dead red” offerings. Any chance the Rangers could have called for a slider (Ogando’s “other” pitch), or maybe left Lewis in to face him?
Then, Cards’ skipper, Tony LaRussa, one of only two managers in history to win World Series’ rings in both Leagues (Sparky Anderson, the other), removed Jason Motte in the 9th in order that a lefty, Arthur Rhodes, face the left-handed hitting Josh Hamilton. Up till then, Motte had allowed no hint of a run for 9 postseason innings. Further, Ian Kinsler had chipped a “dying quail” into short left-center, and Elvis Andrus had followed with a single. Should LaRussa have walked Hamilton (1B was open), keeping Motte in to face Young?
It is indeed hard to second guess LaRussa or Washington on these decisions, even though both moves affected the game.
During the 1967 World Series, Lou Brock had 12 hits, scored eight runs, and stole seven bases. His series batting average of .414 led the Cardinals to victory.
Now, the Rangers and Cardinals go to the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, to warmer weather. The first 2 games were predicted–Cards winning game 1 and the Rangers prevailing in game 2. Both games were very close. How will game 3 on Saturday turn out?
The Redbirds have announced Kyle Lohse as their starter, while the Rangers are countering with left-hander Matt Harrison. This is one of those games where consistency of command will win the day. Give a slight edge to the Rangers at home.
This World Series is starting to take on classic overtones–enjoy the game!
You should follow me on Twitter here.