Rangers Meet Lance Berkman and Allen Craig, Drop World Series Game 1 to Cardinals

Chris Carpenter came up big over six solid innings Wednesday night -- including a nice diving defensive play in the first for which Elvis Adrus deserves a thank you gift for not crushing the pitcher's right hand -- to help his St. Louis Cardinals earn a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the World Series.

After three scoreless innings pitched by both Carpenter and C.J. Wilson, it was looking like quite the pitcher's duel. But with Matt Holliday on second after a double that moved Albert Pujols to third after being hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth, Lance Berkman nailed an RBI single to give the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead.

Two innings later, Mike Napoli erased St. Louis' effort with a two-run shot to deep right field to tie it up and give the Rangers another chance. Wilson struggled a bit in the sixth, allowing a one-out double to hometown boy David Freese before getting Yadier Molina to go down swinging and walking Nick Punto. Allen Craig then came in to pinch hit for Carpenter against reliever Alexi Ogando, and that's all it took to give the Cards the lead for good.

Craig, who the average fan outside St. Louis hadn't really heard of until this postseason, singled to right to score Freese to make sure everyone in American knew who the hell he was. It was a game of relievers from there on out... obviously, since we're talking Tony La Russa baseball here. To be perfectly honest, we were a little shocked to see him let Carpenter fulfill a quality start.

The 36-year-old right-hander is now a career 8-2 in the postseason, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, who earned all of those victories in the World Series. Carpenter has done pretty well in the Fall Classic as well, with a 2-0 lifetime record and three playoff wins this postseason. He's pretty good.

Of course, we love all the drama surrounding Berkman and the trash-talk he provided early on in the season regarding the Rangers being an average ball club and Adrian Beltre's $80 million deal being "a reach." Regardless of whether the media lets it go, clearly, he's changed his tune since then, even slipping a note into Wilson's locker during the All-Star game admitting this wasn't the first time he's been wrong. Berkman had this to say Wednesday night regarding his team's ace during the postgame conference:

"He’s our guy. When he takes the mound, I think we’re going to win the game every time. You want to win the games that your ace pitches."

Carp took one look at Fat Elvis Big Puma and responded:

"I love you, Lance."

Game 2 is set for Thursday night at 8:05pm ET on FOX with Colby Lewis taking on Jaime Garcia at Busch Stadium. Garcia will become the first Mexican-born pitcher to start a World Series game since legendary Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Fernando Valenzuela won a complete game against the New York Yankees back in 1981. Garcia wasn't even born until almost five years later.

By the way, was any one else mildly irritated by FOX's useless "Hot Spot" cam? Seriously, if it's not going to be used to overturn calls, I'm not interested in seeing the shot seven times in slow motion and nine more in infrared. Once is plenty.

And while I'm on the subject, the FOX StrikeZone box is annoying as hell also. I find myself constantly looking at it to see where to pitch goes, rather than simply watching the beauty of a low and away breaking ball being mistakenly called a strike. Are we going to depend on the umpires to do their jobs or not? It's bad enough listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver (who apparently thinks "strike" is a five-letter word... yes, he totally said that Wednesday night) go on and on... and on. That thing distracts the shit out of me, especially when there's cold beer in my hand.

At least that dipshit 3D baseball "Scooter" isn't around anymore. /rant

[USA Today]


Anonymous said...

I love how the no-name guys are coming up big like Freese and Craig. GO CARDS!