Saturday, October 22, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 16, Rangers 7
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- So much for the low-scoring World Series. The Cardinals put up 16 runs to beat the Rangers by nine. Some thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse):
Albert joins Reggie, Babe: What a night for Albert Pujols. He bashed three home runs, joining Babe Ruth (Game 4 in 1926 and 1928 at St. Louis) and Reggie Jackson (1977 Game 6 at Yankee Stadium) as the only players to do so in a World Series game. After the Rangers had scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to again close the gap, Pujols blistered a ball off reliever Alexi Ogando. It hit the facade of the club level, just above the windows of the Diamond Club in left field. ESPN HR Tracker had it at 431 feet. Pujols added another one in the seventh and one more in the ninth. His six RBIs matched a World Series record set twice before -- the Yankees' Bobby Richardson (1960 Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh) and Hideki Matsui (2009 Game 6 vs. Philadelphia). Pujols' 14 total bases were a World Series game record.
Craig adds to his list: Allen Craig's surprising World Series continued in the first inning of Game 3. Coming into the game, Craig had two straight pinch-hit RBI singles off Ogando. In the first inning Saturday, Craig blasted a poorly-located 94 mph fastball from Matt Harrison into the seats in left field. The solo shot put the Cardinals up 1-0.
Double plays like Harrison: After Ryan Theriot got on base via an error by Ian Kinsler to start the third, Harrison got the ground ball he needed right to Kinsler, who started a 4-6-3 double play. Harrison then retired Craig (the first time anyone retired Craig in this series) to end the frame.
Crazy fourth inning: A missed call, a big error and timely hitting for the Cardinals turned a 1-0 game into a 5-0 game. A quick look:
* First base umpire Ron Kulpa missed a call at first base in the fourth. Kinsler's relay throw on an attempted double play was high and wide, pulling first baseman Mike Napoli off the bag. He turned and tagged Matt Holliday for what appeared to be a double play. But Kulpa called him safe. Replays clearly showed he was out.
* Lance Berkman followed with a single to right to put runners at first and second. David Freese doubled to right, scoring Holliday.
* The Rangers walked the right-handed hitting Yadier Molina so Harrison could face the left-handed hitting Jon Jay with the bases loaded. And Harrison got the ground ball he needed.
* But Napoli made a bad throw to home after he gloved it on the run. The throw was wide of catcher Yorvit Torrealba as he tried to get the force at home. Two runs scored on the error.
* Theriot followed with an RBI single. The Cardinals got four runs in the inning.
Jet stream homers: The Rangers got right back in the game with two opposite-field homers to right field. Michael Young led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer, and after Adrian Beltre singled, Nelson Cruz went deep. It all happened on six pitches.
Feldman falters: After the Rangers got within two runs in the fourth, reliever Scott Feldman gave up three runs in the fifth. Walks to Holliday and Berkman with no outs hurt his chances, and Molina's double was the big hit.
Terrific throw: St. Louis ended the Rangers' fourth inning with a nice defensive play by Holliday and Molina. Holliday caught a fly ball by Kinsler and Napoli tagged up from third. Holliday's throw, right down the line, was on the inside part of the third-base line, and Molina made a nice tag.
Ogando's magic gone? In three World Series appearances, Ogando just hasn't had it. He allowed an inherited runner to score in each of the first two games, and in Game 3, called upon in a two-run game, he gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits -- the big one being the Pujols blast. He has a 27.00 ERA in this series.