Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rangers win Game Five and move one win away from a World Championship

The Texas Rangers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals by the score of 4-2 on Monday night. The win put the Rangers up 3-2 in the series and they can wrap it up with a victory on Wednesday night in St. Louis. This has been a great World Series and feels like it will or should go seven games, we will see what happens on Wednesday. The pitching was good again and the difference in the game was clutch hitting by the Rangers and lack of by the Cardinals.
Chris Carpenter started for the Cardinals and pitched well. He was sailing along until he gave up a homerun to Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning. Carpenter pitched seven innings giving up two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Octavio Dotel took the loss pitching 1/3 of an inning giving up one hit and two runs with a walk and a strikeout, Marc Rzepczynski pitched 1/3 of an inning giving up two hits and striking out one and Lance Lynn gave up a walk without recording an out. Jason Motte pitched 1/3 of an inning striking out the only batter he faced.

C.J. Wilson pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Rangers giving up four hits and two runs with one of them being earned. He walked five and struck out three. Scott Feldman pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up a hit and striking out one, Alexi Ogando pitched one inning giving up two hits and three walks with a strikeout and Darren Oliver recorded the win pitching a perfect inning with a strikeout. Neftali Feliz picked up the save pitching an inning walking one and striking out two.

Yadier Molina was the hitting star for the Cardinals as he had three hits and an RBI. Rafael Furcal had a hit, Allen Craig had a walk and Albert Pujols was walked intentionally three times. Matt Holliday had a hit and two walks, Lance Berkman had two walks and David Freese had a hit. Skip Schumaker had a hit and an RBI and Nick Punto had a walk. The Cardinals were 1-12 with runners in scoring position and they left 12 men on base. Carpenter made an error.

The Rangers offense was well balanced but Napoli delivered the big blow. Ian Kinsler had two walks, Elvis Andrus had a hit and Josh Hamilton had a hit and a walk. Michael Young had a hit, Adrian Beltre had a hit and an RBI and Nelson Cruz had a hit and a walk. David Murphy had two hits, Napoli had a hit and two RBI and Mitch Moreland had a hit and an RBI. Young and Napoli had doubles and Moreland and Beltre had a homerun. The Rangers were 2-7 with runners in scoring position and they left 10 men on base. Murphy and Wilson each made an error.

In the second inning the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead. Molina hit an RBI single and Schumaker hit a ground out scoring another run. The Rangers scored a run in the third inning on a solo homerun by Moreland to make it a 2-1 game. It would stay 2-1 until the sixth inning when Beltre got a hold of a hanging curveball from Carpenter and deposited it into the seats to tie the game at two. In the eighth Napoli hit a two run double to give Texas a 4-2 lead and that would be the final score.

The Rangers now lead the best of seven series three games to two. The Rangers after losing the first game at home have come back and won the last two. The teams will have a day off on Tuesday and then resume the series on Wednesday night. The Rangers can wrap up the series with a victory and if not there will be a Game Seven on Thursday night in St. Louis. This has been a terrific World Series and that continued in Game Five, it seems like there should be a game Seven in this series the way it is going. Pujols was intentionally walked three times in this game and I expect that to continue after his three homerun game the other night. If the Rangers do win the World Series it will be their first World Championship. Napoli became the second player to have four multi-RBI games in a World Series since 1960. He joins Mickey Mantle in that group. He is hitting 308 with two homeruns and nine RBI in the series. He is a leading candidate for MVP if the Rangers win the series. The other big story of the game was the lack of clutch hitting from St. Louis. You can also credit the Rangers pitching for that, but they were 1-12 with runners in scoring position. The team that has won Game Five in the World Series when tied at two games each has gone on and won the series 26 of the previous 39 times.

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