St. Louis, Mo – Defying all odds, working pass injuries, clawing their way into the playoffs from a 10.5 game deficit, needing the very last game of the season to make the postseason, having to have game home-run stealing plays by Allen Craig and home-runs by David Freese, they have done it
Jason Motte was on the mound in the ninth to close, or, as Tony LaRussa would say, “pitch” the ninth inning. With 2 outs and a 6-2 Cardinals lead, David Murphy was at the plate on an 0-1 count. The powerful arm of Motte threw a pitch to Murphy that was hit solidly out to right field; right to Allen Craig.
A roar was let out from Cardinals Nation.
The St. Louis Cardinals, my dear friends, are World Series Champions for 2011 beating the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7!
Call them every cliché in the book, the comeback kids, the heartbreakers, the cardiac kids, down but not out, they all work. This team somehow, someway, reached down deep into their souls to pull out an unbelievable Game 6 win on Thursday night; the fact that they had the energy to play, let alone be victorious in Game 7 of the World Series is simply exceptional.
Placing the Cardinals Game 7 victory squarely on the shoulders of one individual is a nearly impossible task, but a World Series MVP had to be named.
David Freese made an incredible catch over the Rangers dugout with Hamilton at the plate. Freese received the World Series MVP honors for his performance during the Fall Classic. Besides having a game-tying triple and game-winning homerun in Game 6 to force Friday’s match-up, he went 1-2 with 2 RBI’s and drew 2 walks during the Cardinals championship. He found himself in Pujols-like situations, with the Rangers choosing to send him a pass during potential game changing situations late in the game.
Allen Craig stole a Nelson Cruz homerun in left field that would have reduced the Rangers deficit to just 2 in the 5th inning and to top it off, Craig had what ended up being the game winning homerun in the 3rd inning that put the Red Birds up 3-2 over the Rangers. It almost seemed fitting that the last pitch of the 2011 season resulted in a fly ball to Craig to give the Cardinals their 11th World Series. Craig’s performance is made even more amazing when one considers the fact that the only reason the young outfielder started is due to a Matt Holliday wrist sprain.
Ron Washington promised that he would not pitch to Pujols after the Machine’s historic Game 3 performance and he stuck true to his word. While Pujols did not record a hit, the walks he received allowed the face of the Cardinals organization to score 2 runs.
Chris Carpenter had a solid performance during Game 7. The only runs on the night came during the 1st inning where the Rangers through 2 up on the board, but, after a quick visit from pitching coach Dave Duncan, Carpenter straightened out and threw up 0’s across the board until the 7th inning when the bullpen took over.
Lance Berkman continued his top-notch post-season performance, scoring 2 runs and drawing a walk on Friday night. Keep in mind that Berkman was almost on the wrong side of this series as a member of the Texas Rangers.
The Cardinals have done it. So, Go Crazy Folks and praise the baseball gods named Torty and Rally Squirrel, the Cards are 2011 World Series Champions!