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October 28, 2011

World Series Game 7 Final: Cardinals 6, Rangers 2 (St. Louis wins World Series, 4-3)

By Drew Davison

ddavison@star-telegram.com

ST. LOUIS – The storybook ending for the Texas Rangers 2011 season came in Game 6. They were one strike away – twice. After they blew their first chance in the ninth, Josh Hamilton came through with a two-run home run and veteran lefty Darren Oliver had a chance to get the final three outs in the 10th.

It didn’t happen, of course, as the St. Louis Cardinals went on to a walk-off victory in the 11th to force a Game 7.

That loss didn’t seem to have a hangover effect on the Rangers. But, as it turned out, that proved to be as close as they’d get to their first World Series title.

The Cardinals battled back from an early two-run deficit, took advantage of a Rangers’ bullpen breakdown and won the franchise’s 11th world championship with a 6-2 victory in Game 7 of the 107th World Series on a chilly Friday night at Busch Stadium. St. Louis took the best-of-seven series 4-3.

The Rangers, meanwhile, came away empty for the second consecutive year at the Fall Classic, and are still searching for their first championship in the franchise’s 51 years.

But, at the start of Game 7, the Rangers showed no signs of dwelling on the gut-wrenching Game 6 loss.

Facing Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter on three days’ rest, Ian Kinsler led off with a single to left but was caught too far off first base for the first out. But Elvis Andrus drew a walk, and Josh Hamilton and Michael Young followed with consecutive RBI doubles to right to give Texas a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis answered in the bottom half off Texas starter Matt Harrison. With two outs, Harrison walked Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman. That brought up Cardinals’ Game 6 hero, David Freese, who roped a two-run double to left-center field to tie the game at 2-2. Harrison got out of the inning when Hamilton made a leaping catch at the center field wall on a deep fly ball by Yadier Molina.

The Cardinals took a 3-2 lead in the third when Allen Craig took Harrison deep with a solo shot to right-field, his third homer of the series.

Harrison went four innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout.

Scott Feldman came in for the fifth, and a Rangers’ meltdown began.

With one out, Feldman walked Craig and then hit Pujols with a pitch. Both advanced on a groundout by Berkman, and Feldman intentionally walked Freese. That move backfired when Feldman issued a bases-loaded walk to Molina.

C.J. Wilson came in relief after that, and hit Rafael Furcal with his first pitch to gift the Cardinals another run. St. Louis took a 5-2 lead that inning despite it not getting a single hit.

Wilson worked a perfect sixth, but the Cardinals added another run off Mike Adams in the seventh.

By that point, the Cardinals were well in control.

Carpenter didn’t allow another run after the first, working into the seventh inning. The Rangers had their chances, though.

Mike Napoli led off with a single in the second, but nothing came of it. In the fifth, Kinsler led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrus. But Hamilton popped out in foul territory, as Freese made a nice catch at the end of the Rangers’ dugout, and Young struck out.

Carpenter went six-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Arthur Rhodes relieved Carpenter in the seventh, and got pinch-hitter Yorvit Torrealba to fly out. Then Octavio Dotel retired the next two.

St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn worked a perfect eighth, and Jason Motte closed it out in the ninth.

The Cardinals got the celebration started in front of their home crowd when David Murphy flew out to left.

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Comments

What do you expect with a coke head giving the pre-game speech. Two years in a row. New manager is needed or they will always be just short. Wash hopping around like a fool, Texas Lamegers.

Some Gave all
Some cared more about selves than about team. Some don't know how to fight. Some knew too well how to give up. Some wanted spotlight instead of team success. I love the Rangers but this was heart rendering. You had it won and gave it away. If our nation survives Hope y'all have greater desire next year. You all needed a heart and Desire like NOLAN RYAN, he always gave his all.

A team era of roughly 5.x a team batting average of below .250, I believe 9-10 errors in 7 games. Numerous times of not knowing where to pitch to get someone out. 41 base on balls (almost 6 per game) 4 Hit batters, 10 Intentional walks. WHAT PITCHING......Other than Derek Hollands win, not much.... Now if CJ Wilson thinks he is worth a high dollar salary let me ask a question, in Big Games this year, All Star game, and Post season, did he have any wins. UH, NO... but did have over a 6.0 era in these big games and 11 walks in 11 innings in the world series. WALKS Translate to opponents runs. I would love to see how many of the TEAM walks translated into runs in this series. I would take the South Carolina Gamecock Pitchers (College World Series champs) over most of the Rangers right now. Reason is HEART....

Thankfully it is over. Washington was either having a bad coke trip or had to pee the way he was jumping around. The Angels have a class manager who with all the problems was in it till the final weeks, ran out of gas and ended up 10 out. Nap will come back to earth next year. Wilson is gone, and if they sign Fielder it will be another GMJ once he get his money. Hate to see Nolan fall short. Washington needs to go and stop acting like a jumping bean.

Them Taco Bell commercials are funny! The beard knows... LOL. Anyway, The Rangers made it to the Series and it was a fun one. Better than last year when they lost to those pot smoking freaks in San Francisco.

The Rangers are a very good team and I really don't understand why the negative comments about the Manager. The World Series is always about who gets hot and who gets the most breaks.I am a Cardinal Fan of 65+ years and always support them Win or Loose. We have had disappointments like Detrout and KC losses. Stick with your team. We won but; you have a better team over the entire Year.

Even if the Rangers didnt win(again) how cool was it that they were a part of one of the most memorable series in a long long time.
Being a "Cardinal" fan for many years I was Very Happy to see that the media didn't get what it wanted, which was a New York/Philly series. They got the Rangers & Cardinals and ratings were "UP" !!
Texas fans should be very proud of the last few seasons. Great Players! Great Bats !! & Baseball ppl in Management. For the life of me I have no idea why Washington is maganging them, but perhaps he's just a puppet. I can understand that.

Hey RangerBob.....Shut the hell up.Better than That,Go back to California,Pull for the Angels and when this team is back there next year and your team is watching.

I'm a lifelong Cardinals fan, and am so glad they won. But I feel for the Texas Rangers. They are a class act, never acting ignorant like the folks in Milwaukee or Philly or New York. If the Cardinals hadn't been in the series, I would have been routing for the Rangers.

Yes the Cards won and someone had to lose. The Rangers demonstrated to be an excellent team and exactly the reasons why baseball is baseball and it is impossible to control every single element of nature (wind for the ball, human issues to place the ball in the right location at the right time, pressure etc)... I enjoyed the series and yes game 6 was a World series classic...the reason why we like to watch the Fall Classic. I am routinely not for the teams that played but both showed excellency. I would think that the Cards know well that luck went on their side when game 7 was forced. The way that they finalized the game for unforgettable. I truly think that washington did a magnificent job and he definitely deserves the credit for the opportunity to place the team as 1 of 2 best 2 yrs in a row. Do you all remember Bobby Cox for yrs bringing Atlanta as the 1st and multiple play-offs and 1 World Series only (1996)?...Be supportive Texas fans that cannot take the pressure...Washington deserves your support all the way...No one ever got closer than him ever!!!

The 3-2 pitch to Molina was a strike- the whole ball was in the strike zone. Inning over, 3-2 - not 5-2.

fenrisulven - So what does that mean?? You know that we still lose if they score 3 and we only score 2, right?

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