It was a rough start for the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the World Series Monday night, but this resilient team battled through it for a win in the final Fall Classic game in Arlington. The St. Louis Cardinals got two early runs thanks to sloppy fielding by the Rangers, but Texas straightened up and played stifling defense the rest of the game to take a 3-2 series lead heading back to St. Louis.
Rangers ace C.J. Wilson pitched fairly well during the contest, but neither he nor any of his Rangers teammates could field a ball in the first two innings. Errors by Wilson and left fielder David Murphy along with more bobbled balls by other Rangers led to two Cardinals runs in the 2nd inning. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina brought around Matt Holliday on a single thanks to Murphy’s error. Just moments later, Skip Schumaker brought in Molina while grounding out to first.
Faith in Wilson was slipping away until his teammates suddenly flipped a switch and began playing incredible defense. After the Cardinals’ two scores, the Rangers bent but didn’t break. From the third inning on, Texas allowed 13 Cardinals to reach base without scoring. Wilson ended up allowing four hits and two runs, one earned to go along with five walks and three strikeouts.
Time and again, Wilson put multiple St. Louis runners on base, but his Rangers teammates had his back, not giving up any runs with two runners on once and twice with the bases loaded. The Rangers redefined the phrase “team play” in the victory.
Then Texas bats did just enough to get the job done. Mitch Moreland sent a solo shot to the moon via the right field wall in the third before Adrian Beltre put one in the left field stands from one knee. Finally, Mike Napoli made a clutch 2-RBI double in the 8th with the game tied to give his team the lead for good.
The Rangers overcame adversity for a crucial World Series victory. Monday night marked the most significant win in franchise history for Texas and the best part is the best is yet to come.
Contact Jeric Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JericGriffin