Derek Holland tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 4 of the World Series as the Rangers beat St. Louis 4-0. Afterward, he addressed the media and even did an impersonation of manager Ron Washington. It wasn't very good.
On key for his performance: "The mustache doesn't really dictate anything or how I pitch. Just the experience is the big thing. Being here, I know how it was and the motivation, obviously, from what happened to me last year and just kind of wanting to redeem myself after seeing how I performed against the Tigers. I felt like I really had to prove myself, and I knew it was a big game for us because we wanted to get ethe momentum back on our side. So, I did everything I could to prepare for it."
On pregame talk with Ron Washington: "He does that a lot. He cares about his players. He is a very motivational coach. He gets into the game, as you guys have seen him. He's like a track superstar in the dugout. He shows that he cares about every single one of our players, and he definitely showed that today when he had a nice little talk with me.
"When I came into the dugout, he stopped and we did our normal handshake and everything. And he told me, 'I know your game plan is you like to go in on guys. Don't try to hit anybody.' I was like, 'I'm not going to.' "
On goal in Game 4: "I just wanted to make sure I could go out there and execute all my pitches. That was the main thing. I wanted to go right after these hitters. I wanted to show that I belong here. I wanted to make a name for myself, and at the same time I wanted to get momentum back on our side. I knew it was a big game, so I knew I had to step up."
On Albert Pujols, who was 0 for 3 against him: "I just wanted to go right after him. He's a great hitter. He's one of the best in the game, there's no doubt about it. But I wanted him to see my A game. I'm going to try to do everything I can and try to go right after him. I felt like I did a good job of that."
Here are a few postgame notes following the Rangers Game 4 victory over the Cardinals to even the best-of-seven World Series at 2-2.
* Derek Holland threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings, the longest World Series start by a Texas pitcher in club history. It's the third-longest postseason start in team history, following the complete games thrown by Cliff Lee (Game 5 of the 2010 ALDS) and John Burkett (Game 1 of the 1996 ALDS).
* Holland is the first American League pitcher to throw 8 1/3 scoreless innings in a World Series game since the Yankees Andy Pettitte threw 8 1/3 innings in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series at Atlanta.
* Holland, along with closer Neftali Feliz, held the Cardinals to two hits. That's the fewest number of hits in a World Series game since Atlanta totaled just two in Game 1 of the 1999 World Series against the Yankees. It is the 19th two-hitter in World Series history.
* Mike Napoli hit his second home run of the World Series with a three-run blast in the sixth inning. He's the first catcher to have two homers in the Fall Classic since Mike Piazza in 2000.
* This is the 42nd time, and the first since 2003, that the Fall Classic is tied at two games a piece after four games. Of the previous 41 times, the home team has won Game 5 on 24 occassions (58.5 percent). The team that wins Game 5 has gone on to win the series 27 times (65.9 percent).
* The Rangers announced a crowd of 51,539 on Sunday night, the seventh-largest crowd in Rangers Ballpark history. It's the largest crowd of 2011.
A lot of praise within the Rangers clubhouse for two players, of course.
As David Murphy said, "The two guys who stick out to me are Derek Holland and Mike Napoli."
Holland threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings, and Napoli came through with a three-run home run in the sixth.
Here's what players were saying afterwards:
On Holland: "He was unbelievable. We needed every bit of it. We needed a big start from him."
On Rangers defense: "The thing is, when a pitcher is over the plate, you stay on your toes. That's one of the things when Holland does that, he pitches really well. So we tried to do our best to keep the game where it was."
On Napoli: "Once again, Pour House. Once agian, he comes through with a big hit, and gave us some cushion."
On 2-2 series compared to 3-1: "We feel more comfortable now. We just have to win two out of three games, hopefully we can get it done. We're facing a team that's really good, but we believe that we can do it."
On his outing: "I was a little excited when I first came in because Holland was getting the ovation, so I was a little wild at first but then I settled down and made my pitches."
On Game 5: "Tomorrow's game is going to be the key game. We have to come out with the same energy and same attitude that we did today."
On 2-2 compared to 3-1: "Definitely big. Being down 3-1 would have been a very tough task, but we're not 3-1, we're 2-2. The fact that we're still at home coming off this game, and having some momentum is huge."
On Holland: "On this platform to do what he did is impressive. It's nothing he hasn't done all year, but it just came together tonight and that's what we needed."
ARLINGTON – Derek Holland stepped up in the biggest game of his career, Mike Napoli came through once again and the Texas Rangers went on to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas evens the best-of-seven series 2-2 with Game 5 scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Monday. C.J. Wilson starts for the Rangers, while the Cardinals counter with Chris Carpenter.
But the story of the night was Holland, who had lasted only 2 2/3 and 4 2/3 innings in each of his last two postseason starts.
From start-to-finish, though, Holland dominated this time out. He allowed only two hits – both to Lance Berkman – over 8 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out seven with two walks.
Of his 25 outs, Holland had only one leave the infield – a fly out by Yadier Molina to end the fifth.
Holland's night came to an end when he issued a one-out walk to Rafael Furcal. He had thrown 118 pitches, and manager Ron Washington wasn't going to let him stay in.
Closer Neftali Feliz relieved Holland, and made it interesting. Feliz started his appearance by walking Allen Craig, which brought up Albert Pujols with two on and one out. Pujols flew out to center, going 0 for 4 on the night.
Feliz finished it off by striking out Matt Holliday, preserving the combined two-hitter.
The Rangers took an early 1-0 lead in the first, only their second lead of the series. With one-out, Elvis Andrus singled to left and scored on a double to right by Josh Hamilton.
The Rangers had other opportunities throughout the game to break it open, but didn’t until the sixth inning.
With one-out in the sixth, Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson issued his sixth and seventh walks of the game to Nelson Cruz and Murphy. That prompted Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to bring in right-hander Mitchell Boggs to face Napoli.
And Napoli sent Boggs’ first pitch into the left-field seats for a three-run home run, giving the Rangers a commanding 4-0 lead.
That provided plenty cushion for Holland.
Berkman was the lone Cardinals threat on the night. He doubled with one-out in the second, but Holland retired the next two. Berkman then led off the fifth with a single to center, but Holland eliminated that threat by inducing a double-play grounder by David Freese.
Here are the lineups for tonight's Game 4 of the World Series. St. Louis leads the best-of-seven series over Texas, 2-1.
Texas Rangers: 1. Ian Kinsler, 2B; 2. Elvis Andrus, SS; 3. Josh Hamilton, CF; 4. Michael Young, DH; 5. Adrian Beltre, 3B; 6. Nelson Cruz, RF; 7. David Murphy, LF; 8. Mike Napoli, C; 9. Mitch Moreland, 1B. P -- Derek Holland (1-0, 5.27 ERA)
St. Louis Cardinals: 1. Rafael Furcal, SS; 2. Allen Craig, RF; 3. Albert Pujols, 1B; 4. Matt Holliday, LF; 5. Lance Berkman, DH; 6. David Freese, 3B; 7. Yadier Molina, C; 8. Jon Jay, CF; 9. Nick Punto, 2B. P -- Edwin Jackson (1-0, 5.84 ERA)
Here are a few pregame notes before the Rangers take on the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series. St. Louis currently leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.
* Ron Washington doesn’t plan to put four fingers up every time Albert Pujols steps in the batter’s box tonight. But that doesn’t mean the Rangers intend to give Pujols pitches to hit. “I hope my pitchers can make him try to chase something,” Washington said. “We’re pros. We should be able to go out there and execute pitches.”
* Sticking with Pujols, Washington called him a “monster.” Washington went on to compare him to being a similar type threat to the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Asked if Pujols was better than Cabrera, Washington said: “You’re damn right he is.”
* The Rangers are giving Mitch Moreland his first start of the World Series tonight, starting at first and batting ninth. Washington believes Moreland has improved his swing with the days off, and will perform better than he has so far into the postseason.
* With Moreland in the lineup, Washington altered his lineup slightly. He didn’t want to have left-handed batters (David Murphy and Mitch Moreland) in the eight-and-nine holes, so he swapped Murphy and Mike Napoli. Murphy is batting seventh, while Napoli is batting eighth.
* Washington said everybody is available out of the bullpen, although the team would like to stay away from using Alexi Ogando. Scott Feldman, Mike Gonzalez and Darren Oliver are all ready to pitch. Game 6 starter Colby Lewis will not be available out of the bullpen.
* Washington addressed the missed umpiring call by Ron Kulpa in Game 3. He said he would be in favor of MLB adding a replay for the World Series, although he wasn’t sure how to implement it specifically. “You want everything to be right, that’s all,” Washington said. “Maybe [replay] is what they need to get it right in the World Series.”
Ron Jenkins, Star-Telegram staff photographer, had these leftovers from Game 3 of the World Series, which was won 16-7 by St. Louis on Saturday night. Albert Pujols, the three-homer man, is featured. (Captions by Jeff Wilson)
Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire hugs slugger Albert Pujols after Game 3. Pujols hit three homers. McGwire hit 583 in his career.
David Murphy looks over the left-field wall at Albert Pujols' third homer of Game 3, which was hit in the ninth inning off Darren Oliver.
Lance Berkman and David Freese slap hands after a fourth-inning throwing error that Yorvit Torrealba, center, had to chase down.
Jon Jay was out trying to steal second base thanks to a quick tag applied by Ian Kinsler.
Albert Pujols does something violent to a baseball.
This bobble by Ian Kinsler was the first of three errors committed by the Rangers. This one was wiped clean by a double play. The other two led to three unearned runs.
Afterward, these two fans were saying, "We did all of this for that?"
Here are some postgame notes from the Rangers' 16-7 World Series Game 3 loss to St. Louis:
- World Series teams with a 2-1 series lead are 42-40 in Game 4 and 36 have gone on to win the Fall Classic 36 times. Of 40 teams leading 2-1 to drop Game 4 to tie the series, 18 have gone on to win the World Series.
- Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols broke several World Series records with his performance in Game 3:
- Pujols homered three times, which was done previously by only two other players. Reggie Jackson accomplished the feat in 1977 and Babe Ruth did it twice (1926 and 1928).
- It is the eighth three home run game in postseason history. It was the first multi-home run game since Chase Utley in 2009.
- Pujols' six RBIs ties the World Series record held by Bobby Richardson (1960) and Hideki Matsui (2009).
- Pujols' five hits matched a single-game World Series record held by Paul Molitor (1982).
- Pujols' 14 total bases set a World Series record.
- Pujols is the first player in a World Series to record a hit in four consecutive innings.
- Pujols moved into a fourth-place tie with Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle for all-time postseason home runs with 18.
- Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre went 4 for 5 and has hit safely in four straight games. Beltre's four hits, combined with Pujols' five hits, marks the fourth time in World Series history that multiple players had at least four hits.
- St. Louis' 16 runs sets a Cardinals postseason record, passing the 13 they scored in Game 5 of the 1982 World Series.
- Tony LaRussa passed Bobby Cox for second-most career postseason wins (68).
- St. Louis became the first team in World Series history to record four straight multi-run innings.
- Headed into Game 3, Texas relievers were a combined 5-0 with a 2.11 ERA in the postseason. That number moved to 3.61 after Game 3.
After the bullpen gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings, there might be some doubt about the Texas Rangers' bullpen. But, inside the clubhouse, nobody is feeling too down.
After all, the Rangers 'pen has pitched well all postseason. Here's some reaction from the players:
C.J. Wilson: "How many games have we played? 13 in the playoffs. So the bullpen is 12-1, they've had 12 good games and one bad one. I'm going to take that."
Mike Gonzalez: "I don't see us in a hole. It'd be a little different if we were in St. Louis. There's no doubt in my mind that we can finish these next two, and go back there and get a win. ... We expect to go out tomorrow [as a bullpen] and do what we've done all playoffs."
Darren Oliver: "We just didn't get it done tonight. Nobody's perfect."