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Sunday, October 23, 2011
Is offense a sign of things to come?

By Calvin Watkins


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Saturday night turned into a slugfest at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

There were 23 runs, 28 hits, a combined 17 runs scored in innings 4-6 and 10 extra-base hits.

It was the total opposite of what we saw in Games 1 and 2 back in St. Louis when it was cold and wet. The teams combined for eight runs and just five extra-base hits. There was just one home run hit at Busch Stadium.

"It wasn't easy to pitch because the ball was slick but you get warmer than the hitters do," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "There were some balls that were hit hard that did not go out of that ballpark. So that cold weather definitely benefited the pitchers, worked against the hitters. And here, I mean, when it's warm like this and not really humid, the ball has a lot of carry, for both teams. But you don't get away with much in conditions like this."

Things might become a little fast for the pitchers the rest of the way if the warmer weather here helps the hitters, especially with two lineups that can be explosive at any time.

Cardinals DH Lance Berkman knows something about Rangers Ballpark because he's hit seven home runs in 34 career games here. When he played for the Astros mainly as the first baseman he would see plenty of balls get caught up in the jet stream and go out for home runs.

"They hit two home runs that are probably outs in Busch Stadium," Berkman said. "That's just the fact of the matter. I'm not saying they didn't hit them well but I've seen a lot of balls go to die out there in right and here is not the case. It's just a better hitters environment all the way around."