Friday, October 28, 2011

World Series Game 7: Rangers at Cardinals

US Presswire photo
Busch Stadium hosts the final game of the 2011 season tonight.
And so, it has all come down to this. A baseball season that has featured so many twists and turns and dramatic moments will be decided in the 36th Game 7 in World Series history. A good number of those previous Game 7's are some of the most famous in baseball lore. The Senators' 12-inning win in 1924 for their lone championship. Bill Mazeroski's ninth-inning homer in 1960. Jack Morris throwing 10 scoreless innings for the Twins in 1991. Luis Gonzalez's game-winning blooper off Mariano Rivera in 2001.

Some important facts to keep in mind: The home team is 19-16 overall but has won the last eight Game 7's. The last road team to win one of these? The 1979 Pirates in Baltimore. Also, pitching usually reigns supreme. In the last five Game 7's, the winning team has scored no more than four runs.

And some key things to know about tonight's game: Chris Carpenter will start on three days' rest for St. Louis. Matt Harrison will start for Texas on five days' rest. Both starters will be on short leashes, but you wouldn't think Derek Holland is available for the Rangers after pitching out of the bullpen last night. Matt Holliday is off the Cardinals' roster with a wrist injury, so Allen Craig is in the lineup in left field. Also, struggling Rafael Furcal has been dropped to seventh, with Ryan Theriot leading off for Tony La Russa. Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli are both banged up but playing for the Rangers.

Who's going to win? Common sense says you can't pick against the home team, and certainly the Cardinals have all the momentum (not to mention their ace on the mound). That said, there's something about this Rangers team that leads me to believe they aren't sunk quite yet. My head says St. Louis; my gut says Texas.

No matter what, this promises to be something special. It's the first World Series Game 7 since 2002, and it's coming at the end of one of the greatest postseasons we've ever seen. If you're a baseball fan, savor every moment of this. I sure know I will...

Where: Busch Stadium
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
TV: Fox
Radio: WTEM (980 AM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), XM 89
Weather: Clear, 51 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to CF
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
1B Michael Young
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
C Mike Napoli
LF David Murphy
P Matt Harrison

2B Ryan Theriot
LF Allen Craig
1B Albert Pujols
RF Lance Berkman
3B David Freese
C Yadier Molina
SS Rafael Furcal
CF Skip Schumaker
P Chris Carpenter


souldrummer said...

I'm glad these two teams have combined for such a classic series. Texas has too much overlap with the Cowboys fanbase for me, and I can't stand LaRussa with his past dustups with the Nats and his micromanaging. Basically, I'm rooting for the NL and another strike against the hated DH.

Much as I hate to admit it, I like LaRussa better than Washington if it comes down to managing an NL style game with lots of pitching changes and benches running out quickly.

Redbirds 4-2 with a reliever getting the vic.

Souldrummer said...

Somebody got something against Rafael Furcal, methinks? Molina's playing both catcher and shortstop at the moment in the lineups.

Anonymous said...

Its a shame Texas didn't keep Nefthali Feliz as a starter. They might be in better shape pitching-wise if they had. I wonder if its too late? I think this series might have been different had he been available to start. I'm sure Texas, like the Nats with Capps, could have come up with a closer.

natsfan1a said...

Nah, the beat writer is just working on short rest (aren't we all?). ;-) Go, NL! Go, Cards!!

Souldrummer said...

Somebody got something against Rafael Furcal, methinks? Molina's playing both catcher and shortstop at the moment in the lineups.
October 28, 2011 7:15 PM

baseballswami said...

No time for a nap today - hoping this game is just as exciting as last night - could it possibly be, though? Very sad that this is the official end of the baseball season :(

gonatsgo said...

And it's tied at 2 bottom of the first - here we go again....

Dawn said...

Stayed up last night (this morning) to watch, I'm not going to quit now. This series has been unbelievable, sorry to see it end (sort of). Skipping high school football (or pointy-ball as nf1a says) playoffs (husband is a ref) for my favorite sport. Let's hope no one gets hurt and may the best team win (go Rangers!).

baseballswami said...

Another one run game - fun times!

Jim Webster said...

Not pretty baseball but STL fans will take it.

baseballswami said...

I am guessing that TLR will not play any of his silly retaliation games tonight.

Constant Reader said...

The no strike call on Molina was HUGE.

John C. said...

C.J. Wilson's audition for the Nationals has not been all that impressive so far.

Anonymous said...

Is he really any better than what we already have?

John C. said...

Is he better than Lannan, Detwiler, Stammen, Maya or Gorzelanny? Actually, yes. Even better than Wang even if the Nats re-sign Wang.

But he's not so much better to justify the expense, when that money could be used to extend Zimmerman or other useful projects.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

So, Tony may already be in the HOF, but there *is* that whole Canseco-Maguire-I-didn't-see-a-thing thing ... maybe some of the voters hold that against him. Does this series--IF they win it--get him over the top?

Mark, you're the only one here with an actual vote. What do you think?

Walt Whitman! said...

Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
I also say it is good to fall—-battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Vivas to those who have fail’d!
And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea!
And to those themselves who sank in the sea!
And to all generals that lost engagements! and all overcome heroes!
And the numberless unknown heroes, equal to the greatest heroes known.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Sec3: Writers don't vote for managers. That's done by the veterans' committee. You raise an interesting point about La Russa and the players he managed over the years, but my hunch is that it won't prevent him from getting to Cooperstown. He's about as close to a shoo-in as I can think of.

baseballswami said...

This post-season will be known for a lot of things. To me - this has got to be the " year of the pitching change". Another one - oh, boy.It really makes the games loooong. So tired after last night but I can make it!!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

@Mark--Maybe it's like getting 300 wins for Nolan Ryan--puts him beyond argument.

Who deserved better, FWIW.

dj in Fl. said...

What a series.
Can't wait for February!

baseballswami said...

What a story! What a post-season!!

Anonymous said...

Happy for the Cards. what a great series. I dont know why but my sadness for Texas is slightly overshadowing my happiness for Cards. For Texas do do what they did in getting back to the finals was very impressive and should not be overlooked.

The Great Unwashed said...

CJ Wilson's price tag just got cheaper.

FS said...

TLR is definitely going to HoF. He is third on the list of managers with most wins.

Anyways, he never showed his emotions until that last out. On the other hand, Ron was very excited about all plays. It was kind of sad to see Nolan towards the end. Two years in a row, they came so close but lost it.

Great postseason!

Dawn said...

Well,the best team won tonight. Great series, wanted the Rangers to win their first, but, got to give it to the Birds they earned it. It was sad to see Nolan Ryan come to the realization that the championship wasn't in the Cards (sigh) for them this year.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Mark, now that it is over, thanks for a great 2011, and here's to a great 2012, maybe a book deal, who knows.

Scooter said...

"Year of the pitching change." swami, you are beautiful. Spot on.

FS, speaking of LaRussa's emotions, I loved last night(?), when the network actually chose to show a replay of him after Jay's errant throw from CF: "No ... no ... [gosh darn], Jon ... [Crikey]!" I mean, did they not know what was on the audio?

Scooter said...

And in other news, there are only FIVE DAYS now. WHERE is the ANNOUNCEMENT on WANG???!??!?!?!?!!!!11!?!?!?!

Eugene in Oregon said...

Very happy to have been proved wrong in my prediction. Texas has an awe-inspiring offensive line-up (they just keep sending good hitters up to the plate), but the Cards pitching held up just enough.

Now, at least and at last, the Nats are back in the game -- let's see who wins the 'hot stove league' title for the winter of 2011/12...

natsfan1a said...

What a series and what a season! Figured that Freese would be MVP, though you could have also made a case for La Russa. Had the Rangers won, I figured it would be Napoli (who else?). As for the Texas team, definitely an achievement to have gotten to the Serious two years running, though I'm thinking Ryan may have wanted to give some of his relievers the Ventura treatment at times over the past couple of nights.

Sad to see the (post)season end, although maybe now I can get some sleep. :-) Will miss live baseball, but thank the baseball g*ds for MLB Network. Heck, I'll be watching the Taiwan all-star action before you know it. Maybe an AFL game or two if they air them, and the Hot Stove programming is starting up next week. Sigh.

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