The St. Louis Cardinals have won their 11th World Series in franchise history after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 in game seven. David Freese, who delivered the game winner in Game six, came through in the first inning to get the Cardinals started and wrapped up his season as the World Series MVP.
Chris Carpenter got the start on three days’ rest, just the second time he’s done that in his career and it was during this postseason run. Much like the first time against Philly, it was shaky. The first four hitters reached base as the Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead. It would have been 3-0, but Yadier Molina picked off former Missouri Tiger Ian Kinsler for the second time in this series after he led the game off with a single.
Accustomed to being down two runs, the Cardinals went to work in the first inning after two outs. After Texas starter Matt Harrison retired the first two batters, he walked Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman. Freese, what he has done, not just this series, but in the postseason lined a double to left center tying the game at 2-2.
Carpenter wiggled out of trouble in the second inning after giving up a leadoff single to David Murphy. With two outs, Carpenter walked Kinsler, but Murphy advanced to third when Molina’s pickoff attempt was dropped by Albert Pujols, allowing Murphy to move up to third. Carpenter got Elvis Andrus to ground out. Over the next four inning, Carpenter allowed just two runners, another single from Kinsler and a hit batter. Carpenter talked his way back into starting the seventh inning, but after a leadoff single, Tony LaRussa went to his bullpen to protect the lead. Arthur Rhodes, Octavio Dotel, Lance Lynn and Jason Motte finished off the final nine outs.
If it wasn’t for David Freese, Allen Craig would have made a good argument for MVP. Craig hit his second home run of the series off Harrsion when it looked like the Rangers lefty was settling down. That came with no runners on in the third. It was his third of the series. Craig finished with five RBIs.
The game got away from Texas in the fifth and again it was set up by walks. Scott Feldman came on in relief of Harrison and eight hitters combined for two runs on a ball that never made it out of the infield. After Ryan Theriot grounded out, Craig walked and Pujols’ jersey was swiped by a pitch. Lance Berkman grounded out to first moving up Craig and Pujols and Texas elected to intentionally walk Freese. With a 3-1 count, Feldman’s outside fastball was called a strike bring Yadier Molina back into the box after he darted for first thinking it was ball four. The next pitch, which admittedly look as though it was in the same spot, was called ball four, forcing in the fourth run of the night. Rangers manager Ron Washington called on starter C.J. Wilson who plunked Rafael Furcal with his first pitch making it a 5-2 lead.
If there was another argument that could be made for MVP, you could look at Yadier Molina. He certainly delivered big time in receiving his second World Series ring. His single in the bottom of the seventh scored Berkman to seal the Cardinals 11th title in franchise history. It was his ninth RBI of the postseason.