Home > Uncategorized > Running Blog For Rangers vs. Cardinals, Game 7 Of The 2011 World Series

Running Blog For Rangers vs. Cardinals, Game 7 Of The 2011 World Series

The last time we witnessed a Game 7 in the World Series, this happened

I’ll get to tonight’s game in a minute. But first, this:

Grad school sucks.

There, I said it.

That’s just misplaced frustration. Actually, I’ve really enjoyed my first couple of months at Cal State Northridge. It’s just that … well … it’s taken up a lot of my blog time. Or, to be more specific, all of my blog time. No longer can I afford to just sit at home all day and watch sports — which should be everyone’s goal in life. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m on campus for about nine hours, mostly in the library, and get home around 11 p.m. Every other day, I’m reading a whole bunch of stuff that’s less than enthralling.

I don’t mean to set the decorations for this pity party; I’m just saying that’s where I’ve been and why I’ve been gone from here for so long.

But tonight, I’ve got to make an escape. Everyone should. After the most dramatic-crazy-sloppy game in baseball history, it all comes down to one. A Game 7, winner-take-all. The winner will be showered with praise. The loser will be taunted and booed until its city’s throat is sore. It can’t possibly top what happened last night, can it? I say we find out together!

4:50 p.m. Oh, and another thing: I didn’t see anything past the fifth inning of last night’s game live.

Why?

Yeah, class. B to the lows.

4:53 p.m. I have to pick the Cardinals to win tonight for a few reasons. One, under such pressure-packed terms, I’ll take Chris Carpenter on three days rest over Matt Harrison on four days rest every time. Carpenter has won a World Series and blanked the Philadelphia Phillies in a do-or-die game on the road earlier in these playoffs.

Harrison didn’t make it out of the fourth inning when he started Game 3.

Secondly, the home team hasn’t lost a Game 7 in the World Series since 1979. The last two instances occurred in 2002 with the Angels over the Giants (see above) and in 2001 between the Diamondbacks and the Yankees. Don’t seem to recall that one. But my hand still hurts after punching a cupboard for some reason that night.

And lastly, I’ve picked the Rangers to win this series. I picked the Rays, Yankees and Phillies to win in the divisional round; I picked the Brewers and the Tigers to win in the championship series. So, you know, a Rangers loss here seems appropriate. Because I don’t know anything.

5:01 p.m. Score? It won’t be Royals-Cardinals in 1985, but I don’t think we’re going to have another walk-off winner either.

I’ll say Cardinals, 6-3.

5:03 p.m. I’m not a big Joe Buck fan, but I loved everything about his call of David Freese’s home run last night. People thought it was super cheesy, but c’mon. A Game 6 walk-off home run to force a Game 7 in the city where his father called baseball games for more than 45 years? “We’ll see you tomorrow night” was the right choice there. It was a great tribute.

5:06 p.m. Carpenter is set and ready … first pitch is a ball outside and we’re off, people!

5:07 p.m. On the next pitch, Kinsler rips a single into left. Allen Craig is out there tonight in place of an injured Matt Holliday. I’m sure that if Holliday was in left, Kinsler would be on third right now.

5:07 p.m. And now, Kinsler is no longer on first. He spins his wheels toward second then stops, but he is so far off of first base, Yadier Molina easily picks him off of first.

Bad baserunning. Gee, didn’t see any of that last night.

5:10 p.m. After Elvis Andrus walks, Hamilton lines a double past Pujols and into right field. It should be 2-0, Texas, but the Rangers will take one run as Andrus speeds around to score. 1-0, Rangers.

5:11 p.m. 2-0, Rangers. And now Michael Young drops a ball into right field for another double. Hamilton comes home. Uhhhh, can I revise my pick?

One thing that’s pretty easy to see: The Rangers have been really aggressive tonight at the plate.

5:13 p.m. Adrian Beltre, a little too aggressive as he Ks on three pitchers.

5:14 p.m. Nelson Cruz, seeing only two pitches, grounds out to third to end the inning. It looked like Freese through a cutter to Pujols to record that out. It just looked odd.

5:15 p.m. I hope for the best for Matt Harrison, I really do. I mean, he knows he’s never been on a stage like this before. Many of these players haven’t. But he’s the starting pitcher, the guy with the spotlight in the center of the diamond, who has been given the ball to win a championship. He’s in enemy territory. He’s going up against an ace starter. Everyone expects his team to lose. And I’m sure he’s envisioned himself facing all of those obstacles and overcoming them in heroic fashion many, many times in the past 20 hours.

He’s going to be so jacked up and ready to go. And then if he fails … I don’t know, I’ll find that to be kind of sad.

5:19 p.m. This game is preempting Kitchen Nightmares and Fringe?? Oh, well. At least those shows won’t see a drop in ratings.

5:19 p.m. Nice start so far for Harrison with two quick outs. Now, Pujols ….

5:21 p.m. Pujols walks. You can never go wrong with that move. I’d walk him if any base is open, and I was frustrated that the Rangers were so stubborn and didn’t do so in Game 3 when Pujols slaughtered them.

5:22 p.m. Then Berkman walks. Probably not part of the plan there, you think? Harrison gets an early visit from his pitching coach, Mike Maddux. Tim McCarver says that Maddux is probably talking to him about mechanics. He might be doing that, but I think he’s also out there to calm him down.

In steps David Freese, who gets a great ovation and will probably never have to buy a drink in the city ever again if the Cardinals win tonight.

5:26 p.m. Now a full count to Freese. Pujols and Berkman get head starts …

5:27 p.m. … And they can keep on running as Freese lines a ball into left-center to score both runner. 2-2. Rangers left fielder David Murphy took a rather curious route to that ball. I thought he should have cut it off, which at least would have held Freese to a single.

5:28 p.m. C.J. Wilson warming up for Texas in the bullpen. Yep, it’s panic time in the first inning.

5:28 p.m. Yadier Molina flies out to the track in center field, caught by a leaping Josh Hamilton to end the inning. Maybe Wilson isn’t such a bad idea right now.

5:30 p.m. A Google commercial just aired about the guy who won $1 million for pitching a perfect game in MLB 2K11. The guy used the Phillies and Roy Halladay to beat the Houston Astros. The greatest part of the commercial was the guy talking about his previous failed attempts. One in particular, he got to the sixth inning before Bill Hall hit a home run. Which led to this quote:

“If somebody’s going to hit the ball, it’s going to be him.”

Hahahaha! Funny for many different reasons, but also an outstanding statement on the state of the Houston Astros.

5:32 p.m. Mike Napoli leads off the top of the second with a single. Who would have thought this World Series, with all of the offense involved would have turned into the slugger traded twice in 2011 versus the injury-prone young third baseman?

5:37 p.m. After a fielder’s choice by Murphy, a sacrifice bunt by Harrison and a bathroom break by me, Kinsler walks on four pitches to put runners on first and second with two out.

5:39 p.m. Kinsler would have been picked off AGAIN … If Pujols had held on to the throw from Molina. E-3.

5:40 p.m. But Andrus doesn’t make the Cards pay as he grounds back to Carpenter to end the inning. But as Joe Buck just said, it was still eventful. Every inning in this thing is a freaking heart attack. I’m so glad the Yankees aren’t involved in this.

5:43 p.m. I can’t believe that “Jack and Jill” movie is actually real. It looks like a spoof on “Saturday Night Live,” giving an over-the-top example of how bad Adam Sandler comdies are. But no, it exists. We live in a strange world.

5:45 p.m. Rafael Furcal, hitting seventh tonight, leads off with a single up the middle in the second. It looked to me like Andrus could have had that one, but he had an awful first step and then kind of short-armed his reach.

5:46 p.m. No matter, I guess. Andrus starts a 6-4-3 double play. McCarver says that Schumaker was out “by the width of a shoelace.”

I SEE WHAT HE DID THERE. LOLZ.

5:47 p.m. Carpenter strikes out and we go to the third. Nice pace to this one so far.

5:48 p.m. The TV is telling me to donate $5 at a nearby Starbucks to help create jobs in America. But I’m not going to waste my grande strawberry frappuccino money!

5:50 p.m. Hamilton grounds out to Furcal to open the third. And in doing so, Hamilton showed that he is clearly not 100 percent while running down the line.

5:54 p.m. Michael Young strikes out and then Adrian Belre is nailed in the elbow by a pitch. I’m sorry, I was distracted by McCarver’s story about Hugh Jackman interrupting his own performance in a Broadway play to give the crowd score updates from last night’s Rangers-Cardinals game.

Because Broadway people are total sports junkies.

Anyway, Nelson Cruz flies out to left to end the inning. Bottom three.

5:59 p.m. Theriot flies out to right to start the fourth. We’re not that deep into the game, but Harrison looks like he is in a groove right now.

6:02 p.m. WOW! Allen Craig homers into the Cards’ bullpen in right. Bonus points to Nelson Cruz for effort, but that ball didn’t look like it was hit all that well. And to go opposite field, Craig really showcased some major power there. 3-2, Cardinals.

6:03 p.m. Pujols up. Again, I would walk him, but it’s already 0-2.

6:04 p.m. Uh-oh. Pujols pops a ball into foul territory beside first base. Michael Young gives chase and by playing it over his shoulder, the ball ends up clanking off his glove. And Pujols is given second life.

6:05 p.m. But it doesn’t come back to haunting them as Pujols grounds out sharply to third. Young wasn’t given an error.

6:05 p.m. Speaking of sharply, Berkman lashes a ball the other way toward Young. He goes with the full-extension stretch and is able to glove this one. What a play!

But, 3-2, Cardinals. Top four.

6:08 p.m. I was just about to write that now that we’ve entered the fourth, any slight sight of trouble from either pitcher is going to get the bullpen stirring. And right on cue, FOX shows C.J. Wilson up and throwing again in the ‘pen.

6:11 p.m. No trouble for Carpenter here. He rolls, 1-2-3, in the fourth. Now the pace is becoming not so good. Slow it down, kids.

6:13 p.m. I think now is a good time to present my Halloween costume for this year:

Or something like that.

I have dyed my hair blonde. Very blonde. And while suit jackets don’t lie very well on people in wheelchairs — and I couldn’t find anyone to tailor a jacket for me to make it fit properly while I’m sitting down — I’m gonna make it work.

6:15 p.m. Back to the game, David Freese is up.

Walk Freese, pitch to Pujols.

6:16 p.m. Unbelievable! Freese is retired on a ground ball to shortstop. This series has had everything.

6:17 p.m. Molina singles up the middle then bluffs around first, acting as if he was going to try to stretch it into two. Yadier Molina can barely make it to second on a ground-rule double.

6:19 p.m. That’s followed by a base hit from Furcal to right. The speedy Yadier decides to hold up at second. And we have another visit from Mike Maddux. I can’t think of whom he looks like, but it is certainly not Greg Maddux.

6:23 p.m. Nice at-bat by Schumaker ends with a ground ball to first, moving the runners up a base. That six-pitch AB was one of the longest of the night. Guys have been hacking away. Carpenter up with two on and two out.

6:26 p.m. Carpenter pops out weakly to strand two runners in scoring position. But if he doesn’t give up another run, these “blown opportunities” won’t matter.

6:29 p.m. Kinsler leads off with another single. Now the big question: Can Ian Kinsler avoid getting picked off? A nation watches and waits.

6:30 p.m. Carpenter sure is paying a lot of attention to him.

6:32 p.m. Andrus gets the bunt down and Kinsler goes to second. You can hear LaRussa from the dugout semi-yelling at Carpenter to hold the ball and hold it to throw off Kinsler’s timing if he really thinks he is going to steal.

6:35 p.m. Freese makes a play that he screwed up last night to get Hamilton out. It was a foul ball along the railing of the Rangers’ dugout. Last night, he saw a similar play end up just out of his reach because he was late getting over to the rail. Tonight, he got there and then waited for the ball to come to him. Two outs. Young at the plate.

The pitch to Hamilton was pretty hittable. He just missed it.

6:37 p.m. Carpenter Ks Young on an off-speed pitch to end the inning. And is freaking pumped. And it’s only the bottom of the fifth.

6:40 p.m. And we have our first of what is sure to be many pitching changes tonight as Scott Feldman is now on the mound for Texas. All in all, I think Harrison has to be somewhat pleased with his outing.

Although, I’m not sure Scott Feldman is the guy I want to go with here. I would rather see Wilson.

6:41 p.m. I guess I understand it, however. It’s only bottom five. Wilson could come in at later point in the game when holding the Cardinals scoreless will be absolutely imperative.

6:43 p.m. Theriot grounds out. Now Craig, who homered last time up.

6:45 p.m. Feldman falls behind Craig 3-0 and then walks him on five pitches. With Pujols coming up, I’m sure Ron Washington just loves that at-bat.

6:46 p.m. I don’t feel good about this at-bat for Feldman. I’m calling a double, at least.

6:48 p.m. Well, not a double, but Pujols does get on base. Feldman’s off-speed pitch floats in and hits Pujols in the chest.

Well, it didn’t really hit him. It kind of nicked him. And he might have leaned into it just a tab. Nevertheless … Berkman up, first and second, one out.

6:49 p.m. The first two pitches are down to Berkman. 2-0.

6:50 p.m. On 2-0, Berkman taps one to first. Feldman covers for out No. 1. But the runners move up and now Freese is batting. Got to be an IBB here, right?

6:51 p.m. Right. IBB. Bases loaded. Molina up.

6:53 p.m. And Feldman falls behind again. 2-0. Can he get fortunate again?

6:54 p.m. 3-0.

6:55 p.m. On 3-1, Molina thought he had himself a walk on a ball up and away, but the ump said it caught the plate. Full count.

This is fun.

6:55 p.m. A very similar pitch — a maybe little more outside but not much — is called a ball. A bases-loaded walk makes it 4-2, Cardinals. The FOX strike zone thingy says the pitch was a strike. I thought it was, too. But to no avail for Feldman. He is gone, relieved by C.J. Wilson. Hmmmm.

6:57 p.m. I know I said I understood why Feldman was in now. But if all it took was one run to get Feldman out of the game, why not just start the inning with Wilson, the much better pitcher? I feel like that move will be second-guessed.

6:59 p.m. And on the first pitch, Wilson nails Furcal on his left hip. So a bases-loaded walk is followed by a bases-loaded HBP. Feldman could have done that. 5-2, Cardinals. Schumaker up.

7:01 p.m. A K ends the inning. But we’re moving to the sixth and the Rangers are down by three. As Yogi Berra would say, it’s starting to get late pretty early for the Rangers.

7:06 p.m. After Beltre grounded out in an at-bat in which he had no chance, Nelson Cruz hits one to left that sends Craig back. And back. Back, back, back … with his back to the wall, he jumps and it looks like he does indeed bring it back. It wasn’t exactly like the Mets’ Endy Chavez in the NLCS against the Cardinals a few years ago, but it did look like his glove was at the top of the wall when he caught it. It at least would have hit the very top of the wall and bounced over.  Instead, two out.

7:07 p.m. Then Napoli lines out to right and the Rangers are down to their final nine outs. Carpenter looks plenty strong. He’s at 88 pitches.

7:09 p.m. Question that I don’t think I’ve brought up on this blog before: Whatever happened to the MLB on FOX theme? These days, FOX just uses the football theme for both sports. I don’t get it. It’s not a big deal, but I tend to make big deals out of minuscule issues. And that was a good theme, dammit.

7:11 p.m. Carpenter grounds out to start the bottom of the sixth. You bet he’s coming  back out.

7:16 p.m. Theriot flies out to center, and Craig strikes out. At this point, the Cardinals’ at-bats don’t matter much.

7:19 p.m. David Murphy starts the top of the seventh by taking a couple of strikes from Carpenter. But on 0-2, Carpenter hangs one and Murphy crushes it down the line for a ground-rule double.

Endy Chavez will pinch-hit for C.J. Wilson.

7:20 p.m. And that’s it for Chris Carpenter. He goes 6+ innings, gives up six hits, two walks, two runs (as of now) and strikes out five on three days rest. That’s a lot of numbers, but it tells you one thing: Carpenter is a big-game pitcher.

Arthur Rhodes replaces Carpenter.

7:23 p.m. Arthur Rhodes celebrated his 42nd birthday on Monday and is in his 20th season. He’s also another reason why all fathers should train their kids to be left-handed relief pitchers. If you’re even decent, you’ll have a job for a long time. Hell, Darren Oliver is still pitching!

7:24 p.m. Yorvit Torrealba pinch-hit for Chavez, and Rhodes got him to fly out. Now Octavio Dotel will face Ian Kinsler. Goooood pace.

7:27 p.m. Dotel will be 38 next month and is another why all fathers should train their kids to … I have no idea. Why is Dotel still in this league???

7:30 p.m. Tim McCarver just called Yadier Molina “Bengie.” Honestly, I’ve been waiting for that all night.

7:30 p.m. Ah, Dotel shows why he’s in the league: He can still throw pretty hard. He strikes out Kinsler on a few mid-90s fastballs. Two out. Andrus up.

7:32 p.m. All Andrus can do is fly out to center on a 3-1 pitch. Bottom seven.

7:33 p.m. Hahaha! It looked like Dotel tried to say “Let’s go” as he walked off the mound but almost choked on his gum. He re-gathered the wad and got the words out on the second try.

7:36 p.m. Mike Adams is on for Texas and will face Albert Pujols to start the bottom of the seventh.

7:38 p.m. Yes, this COULD be Pujols’ last at-bat in a Cardinals uniform. And it will be … until next year.

7:40 p.m. Pujols strikes out. OK, just get this thing to the top of the eighth. That’s what everybody wants to see anyway.

7:41 p.m. Berkman says not yet as he squibs one past Adams. Andrus makes a nice barehanded pick and throw, but Berkman beats it by a step for an infield hit.

7:45 p.m. The FOX mics are picking up some pretty awesome cursing in the crowd.

7:47 p.m. Freese walks. And then Adams starts Molina off with a ball. Oh boy.

7:48 p.m. Molina picks up a huuuuuuuuuuuuge insurance run with a single up the middle. I thought Hamilton might have had a chance to throw Berkman out at the dish, but even a perfect throw wouldn’t have gotten him. Roberto Clemente wouldn’t have gotten him. 6-2, Cardinals.

7:49 p.m. Looking at Ron Washington’s face as he leans forward, one foot raised on a step, gazing out onto the field. He’s basically saying, “Well, this kinda sucks.”

7:51 p.m. Inside Nolan Ryan’s head: “Dag gummit.”

7:52 p.m. Furcal grounds out to first for the second out. And Mike Gonzalez will be replacing Mike Adams.

7:56 p.m. So Gonzalez comes in and strikes out Schumaker looking on three pitching. It looked like he wanted what everyone else wants: for this thing to get to the ninth. That’s where the excitement has really occurred.

With that strikeout, the Cardinals have stranded runners on second and third twice tonight. That would be a big deal if, you know, St. Louis wasn’t tripling up the opponent.

7:59 p.m. American Idol. Just stop it.

8:00 p.m. Lance Lynn starts off the eighth by getting Hamilton to ground out meekly to second base. That was truly feeble.

8:o1 p.m. So who are going to be the idiots who tie the word “curse” to the Texas Rangers? Talk about reaching for reader hits. But some people will do it. I know it’s going to happen and it will still piss me off.

8:02 p.m. Young fouls out to first, and then Lynn completely blows away Beltre on three fastballs, climbing the ladder. Yikes.

Three outs to go.

8:04 p.m. And with the Rangers likely to lose tonight, I’ll go 1-6 in my playoff series predictions. Maybe I should start watching more hockey.

8:07 p.m. Aaron Miles Nick Punto (same guy) batting for Lance Lynn. He flies out for out No. 1 in the bottom of the eighth.

8:08 p.m. Ryan Theriot strikes out on three pitches. He knows the score.

8:09 p.m. Just what this game needs: An injury timeout. Gonzalez lost his balance on a 1-1 pitch and appeared to strain something. After throwing a few more pitches, he’s out of the game. Alexi Ogando, who has been dreadful in these last three games, has as much time as he wants to warmup. It’s a full count.

8:14 p.m. Well, that didn’t take long. One pitch and Craig strikes out.. He keeps us from seeing Pujols again one more time with the bat, but who cares? It’s the bottom of the ninth. 6-2, Cardinals.

8:16 p.m. Here’s what I said about the Cardinals in March after the news about Adam Wainwright’s TJ surgery broke:

“I have a tendency to be overly negative and I may be doing it again with the Cardinals, but I don’t have much faith in Chris Carpenter putting out another 30-start season at the age of 36. I don’t think Jaime Garcia will repeat his 2010 effort. He’s a quality starter who got a little lucky last year. His 2.70 ERA from last season is not going to be the norm. The rest of the starting staff is very underwhelming. And that’s most of the reason why I have the Cardinals finishing third in the National League Central this year.”

I know I’m not alone in that divisonal positioning, but I feel like I’ve got to point out where I got it wrong.

8:17 p.m. There are a bunch of defensive changes, but all that matters is that Motte has to retire Cruz, Napoli and Murphy to give the Cardinals their 11th World Series championship.

8:18 p.m. Cruz flies out to center on a 2-1 pitch. Two outs away.

8:19 p.m. In Nolan Ryan’s mind: “Ah, horse shit.”

8:21 p.m. Napoli grounds out to third.

One.

Out.

Away.

8:21 p.m. David Murphy … strike one.

8:21 p.m. MURPHY FLIES OUT JUST SHY OF THE TRACK IN LEFT AND THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, LEFT FOR DEAD BY EVERYONE AT THE START OF SEPTEMBER, ARE THE 2011 CHAMPIONS OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL!

8:23 p.m.  Yadier Molina greeted Jason Motte on the mound with a cross-body block.

8:26 p.m. Watching the celebration and all of the reactions from everyone on the field at the time of the final out, I can’t help but think how much this must really suck for Ron Washington.

8:28 p.m. The Rangers scored two runs with one out (a caught stealing/pickoff) in the first inning. From there, nuttin.

8:30 p.m. Tony LaRussa’s reaction is classic. As soon as he realizes that Craig has a beat on the ball, his entire body jumps and then just freezes for a few seconds. It was that initial shock that has to be seen again. It looked like some jabbed him in the back with their elbow.

8:33 p.m. Bud Selig talking about how great this series was and congratulating the Cardinals … reading straight from a script.

Classy.

8:34 p.m. “Loyal Cardner fans”? Who are they, Bud.

Holy Christ, man. Pull it together.

8:36 p.m. Yeah, Pujols is really going to skip town after this.

8:37 p.m. I’m not sure if the crowd was chanting for Tony LaRussa or the early ’90s R&B group.

8:38 p.m. Tony LaRussa: “The game has never seen a better catcher than Yadier Molina.”

OK, I think we’ve found the exact point where I need to get the hell out of here.

8:39 p.m. I don’t need to see the presentation of the MVP trophy. It’s Freese, we all know it.

8:45 p.m. Ooooh, he got a Corvette. Pretty snazzy.

8:46 p.m. Anyway, congratulations to you, Cardinals fans (I personally know of only two of them and I’ve already sent my congrats). Your team showed us wants again that it’s not the best team that wins in the playoffs. It’s the team that plays the best upon entering the playoffs. And spurred on by that great September run, the Cardinals kept it going right through the World Series. No. 11.

My hope is that this victory is remembered more than the Rangers’ triple blown save bonanza in Game six. But I bet not.

As for me, I’m going to go read some more. At least that book is interesting.

I don’t know when I’ll be back here, but I will be back here. This blog will never die. It just might go into an extended coma from time to time. Until then, don’t forget to do one very important thing this Halloween weekend:

SUIT UP!

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: