2011 MLB World Series: Cards comeback again and win Game 7 to deny the Texas Rangers

29 10 2011

The 2011 World Series winner is…. St. Louis Cardinals. Here are the teams that they would thank:

  1. Atlanta – the Wild card Cardinals would not be in the playoffs if not for the late-season collapse of the Braves
  2. Philadelphia – the best regular season was not able to beat the 4th best NL team despite having arguably the best rotation that money can buy. The Cards clinched with Roy Halladay on the mound for the Phillies.
  3. Detroit – their previous World Series victim eliminated the highest paid team the NYY in the ALDS.
  4. Milwaukee – the division champs that failed to topple the second placer in the NLCS.
  5. Texas – leading 3-2 in the series and having 2 run leads late in Game 6 but lacking in skills of closing out. Thanks for a great series.
Heroes:
  1. Ace Chris Carpenter – tremendous effort in Game 7 in just 3-days rest.
  2. David Freese– the World Series MVPfor his heroic hits in the critical Game 6 and Game 7. 21 RBIs in this postseason and he also is the NLCS MVP. His triple and walk-off home run in Game 6 will be immortalized in the annals of baseball.
    David Freese

    Image via Wikipedia

  3. Albert Pujols – his Game 3 performance was legendary.
  4. Tony LaRussa – for making all the “right” moves.
  5. Allen Craig – he made timely hits and homers throughout the series. Game-winning hit in Game 1, homered in the magical Game 6, and hit the go-ahead HR in Game 7.
The Cards has on 5 0f 6 World Series title when trailing 3-2. Congratulations!!!




2011 MLB World Series: Rangers one win away from crown

25 10 2011
Texas Rangers (baseball)

Image via Wikipedia

Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-2, to take a 3-2 lead in the best of seven match-up for the 2011 Major League Baseball World Series crown. The Rangers are one win away to a historic title. Should they win in St. Louis, they will earn their first ever championship.

In game 5 with the series tied, the Cardinals struck first by scoring 2 runs at the top of the 2nd inning. Mitch Moreland hit a homer at the bottom of the 3rd to get Texas on board. It was his first hit after going 0 for 6 in this last 2 games in the playoffs. Moreland also join a select company (Bernie Carbo, Bob Gibson, Dave McNally) of No.9 hitters to hit 2 career WS homers.

In the 6th inning, Adrian Beltre hit a solo homer to the left to tie the game at 2 apiece. The game-winning run was scored at the bottom of the 8th inning when Mike Napoli hit a double to score Nelson Cruz and Michael Young. Somehow, there was a mix-up in the bullpen moves of the Cardinals due to the crowd noise which contributed to the outcome. According to the Elias Sports BureauMike Napoli joins Moises Aloui and Tony Fernandez as the only players with 9 RBI in their first 5 career World Series games.

Relief Pitcher Darren Oliver was credited for the win after pitching a scoreless 8th inning while Octavio Dotel got the loss. Closer Neftali Feliz got his second save of the series.

The series will shift to St. Louis for Game 6 and Game 7 if needed.

Other notes:

  • Cardinals had nine walks but failed to convert in into runs. The 2011 Cards joins the 1910 Cubs, the 1924 Senators, and the 1997 Indians as the 4th team to lose a World Series game while drawing 9 bbs.
  • Pujols was intentionally walked thrice.
  • Cardinals is .800 when trailing 2-3 in a World Series. The only time they lost was in 1930 to the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • St. Louis had 12 men left on base in this game.




World Series Game 1 Outstanding performers

20 10 2011
Picture of Allen Craig

Image via Wikipedia

Game 1 of the 2011 World Series ended with St. Louis Cardinals winning 3-2 over the Texas Rangers. Here are some of the players who stood out:

Lance Berkman (STL) – 2 of 4 AB, 2 RBIs. His single in the 4th inning brought in the first 2 runs in this year’s World Series.

Mike Napoli (TEX) – 1 of 2, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk. He hit a 415 feet home run in the 5th to tie the game.

Allen Craig (STL) 1 for 1, 1 RBI. His pinch hit single brought in the game winning run.

Cardinals Bullpen – 3.0 IP, 1 Hit, 1 bb, 3 ks. The bullpen was sharp to shutdown the potent Ranger batters.

Tony LaRussa – Made the right moves at the right moments. He sure knows how to maximize his advantage with the NL rules.





2011 MLB NLCS: Cardinals win Home Run battle to clinch WS berth

17 10 2011
David Freese

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

Tony LaRussa  and St. Louis Cardinals relied on their bats to clinch another World Series spot. The wildcard Cards outslug the NL Central Champs Milawaukee Brewers, 12-6, in Game 6 of the 2011 National League Championship Series (NLCS) in Miller Park, Milwaukee. The game was between the best hitting team in the NL (Cards) and the best home run team (Brewers). The Cardinals showed the Brewers that they can hit out of the park was well.

Game 6 featured 6 home runs in the first 3 innings, 3 for each team. The Cards though scattered 14 hits, twice more than the Brewers can produce. In the game, the Cards batted .368 against the 7 Brewer pitchers who came to the mound. David Freese, NLCS MVP, had 3 hits to raise his series average to .545. He hit .297 in the regular season. LaRussa again depended on his bullpen that pitched 7 of 9 innings of the game. All in all, the legendary manager made 26 pitching changes in the series.

The Cards will have the home field advantage in the World Series owing to the Prince Fielder homer that clinched the All-Star Game victory for the National League. The World Series will start on Wednesday (U.S time).





MLB ALCS: Rangers batters Tigers, 15-5, to reach second straight World Series

16 10 2011
Nelson Cruz

Image by Rennett Stowe via Flickr

Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers is back to the World Series as they beat the feisty Detroit Tigers, 15-5, in Game 6 of the 2011 American League Championship Series (ALCS).

The Rangers scored 9 runs in the game breaking 3rd inning. The 9 runs in the inning was a postseason record for the Rangers.

Nelson come out big again as he established postseason series records for home runs (6) and RBIs (13). Cruz had 8 hits in 22 at bats against the Tigers. All of his hits were for extra bases (6 HRs, 2 doubles). He was the clear choice for ALCS MVP.

This is the first time since 2001 that the American League has the same champion in 2 straight years. The Rangers will await for the winner between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers. The NLCS stands at 3-2 in favor of the Cards

 





2011 MLB NLCS: St. Louis on the verge of another WS appearance thanks to the bullpen

15 10 2011
Tony La Russa

Image via Wikipedia

The 2011 St. Louis Cardinals are showing the baseball world that you do not to have a marquee starting rotation to reach the world series (Take that, Phillies :)). Tony La Russa is relying on his bullpen to be on the verge of another World Series appearance.

With the series ties 2-2 and the Brewers sending former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke to the mound, many expected that the Cardinals will just have one or two runs. Instead, it was the Brewers who were in the short end of a 7-1 decision.

The Card are winning pitching battles despite having their starters average 13 out a game. In Game 5, La Russa called on Octavio Dotel to save the day.

Cardinals Pitching
NLCS vs Brewers

Starters Relievers
IP 22⅓ 21⅔
ERA 6.04 1.66
Opp BA .340 .164

For this LCS, La Russa is practically giving half the game to his relievers and they have responded. Their ERA is around 4 and a half points less. The Milwaukee Brewers are practically hitting air against the relief pitchers.

The series now move to Milwaukee for Game 6 and Game 7 (if needed). It will be exciting to see how the bullpen can be a factor in the remaining games.

 

 





MLB 2011 ALCS:Verlander, Tigers survive memorable Game 5

14 10 2011
Justin Verlander

Image via Wikipedia

The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is going back to Texas as the Detroit Tigers managed to delay the Texas Ranger‘s return to the World Series as they won 7-4 at Comerica Park. Here are some interesting stats for Game 5 of the 2011 ALCS:

Game 5 by the numbers:

133 – is the number of pitches thrown by leading Cy Young award candidate Justin Verlander. It is 2 shy from Jack Morris‘ Tiger’s postseason record he set in Game 1 of the 1984 World Series. The last time a player made 133 pitches in the playoffs was in 2003 NLCS with Mark Prior throwing 133 pitches for the Cubs.

3 – is the number of consecutive postseason appearance that Texas reliever Koji Uehara conceded a home run. He is the first player ever  to do so.

5- is the number of home runs that Nelson Cruz have in the series. It is a league championship series record.

100 – is the speed of Verlander’s last pitch in the game in miles per hour. It was hit by Cruz to a home run.

Other memorable stuff in game 5:

The lucky bounce- With score tied 2-2 with a runner at first and no outs, Miguel Cabrera hit a ball to third that could be an easy double play but the ball bounced into the bag over the head of 3B Adrian Beltre for a double.

The team cycle – in the sixth inning, Rayburn had a single followed by Cabrera’s double, Martinez had a triple before Delmon Young made his 5th home run of the postseason. It is first time in the postseason history that 4 consecutive batters hit a team cycle.

Phil Coke made his first save in the postseason. It was a rest day for the Tiger’s 8th-9th inning combo Valverde and Benoit.