It’s the 8 million dollar craps roll that keeps coming up 7.
Lance Berkman continued one of the legendary ‘out of nowhere’ seasons in Cardinals history by coming up clutch in the bottom of the fourth inning, singling home Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday to turn the screws on the Rangers in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series.
Mike Napoli evened the tilt in the next inning, but couldn’t do any more damage off of Chris Carpenter or the now indestructible bullpen. The Cardinals took game 1, 3-2, a perfect ballgame on a less than perfect October evening in St. Louis.
Let’s get to some thoughts…
+ Upon further review, that catch by Carpenter in the first inning at first was superb. At first glance it just looks like a bumblefuck of a play by both Carp and Pujols. But it really was an awful throw that Carp somehow dove, caught, slid, tagged the bag and avoided a spike to the right hand. Sick play, at least from the pitcher.
+ Jason Motte is not the closer. But if he were the closer, he’d be damn scary at this point. Dude has his confidence up and is dealing peas.
+ Allen Craig was getting blown out of the batter’s box by Alexi Ogando before somehow fighting off a pitch to right field for the game winning run. I’d like to think that wasn’t the luckiest hit of the Cardinals post-season run. But it probably was. We’ll take it.
+ The first quality start for a Cardinals pitcher since… well, the last time Carpenter gave the Cardinals a quality start against Philadelphia in the NLDS Game 5. Another reason to ask just what the hell is going on out there this October.
+ Mike Napoli’s HR was called at 389 feet. Where that other 100 or so feet went, I guess we’ll never know.
+ Tough night for Jerry Layne. The Home Plate Umpire and crew chief is going to get raked over the coals by the Rangers fans for his call in the ninth inning that Beltre probably hit off his foot. But let’s not forget that check swing by Berkman earlier in the game that he called a foul tip. I’m dead serious when I say that was the single worst call I’ve seen all year in baseball. Atrocious.
+ Crowd brought the heat on a shitty night. It was cold, from what I hear and mid-week. But watching from a hotel room in Denver, I was proud to be a Cards fan. Place felt electric from afar.
+ Ron Washington got schooled by LaRussa. There isn’t a polite way to say that. He was spanked. It can’t be fun coming over the NL after playing with a DH all season, but his choices of pinch hitters was weird. He looked like he was begging for a win, while TLR knew it was going to work out. R Dub needs to figure out this whole NL quick if the Rangers have a shot.
STUD: Lance Berkman. 2 RBI night opened up the damage on C.J. Wilson and the Rangers.
DUD: Jerry Layne. Blue has to be better.
BOTTOM LINE: Cardinals needed this one much more than the Rangers. Carp’s arm was in doubt this week and he proved all the rumors were invalid. Fall behind the Rangers with Jamie Garcia going game 2 in a must win is a very scary proposition. Now he can go relax and try to get that second win.
25% home, you guys.