Saturday, October 29, 2011
St. Louis completes unlikely title run with Game 7 win
Pushed to the brink, the St. Louis Cardinals saved themselves. A frantic rush to reach the postseason on the final day. A nifty pair of comebacks in the playoffs. Two desperate rallies in Game 6.
Turns out these Cardinals were merely gearing up for a gigantic celebration.
The Cardinals won a remarkable World Series they weren’t even supposed to reach, beating the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7 on Friday night with another key hit by hometown star David Freese and six gutty innings from Chris Carpenter.
“This whole ride, this team deserves this,” said Freese, who added the Series MVP award to his trophy as the NL championship MVP. “This organization is top notch. ... This is definitely a dream come true.
“This is why you keep battling. ... I’m so glad to be a part of this.”
A day after an epic Game 6 that saw them twice within one strike of elimination before winning 10-9 in the 11th inning, the Cardinals captured their 11th World Series crown.
And following a whole fall on the edge, including a surge from 101/2 games down in the wild-card race, Tony La Russa’s team didn’t dare mess with Texas, or any more drama in baseball’s first World Series Game 7 since the Angels beat Giants in 2002.
Freese’s two-run double tied it in the first and good-luck charm Allen Craig hit a go-ahead homer in the third. Picked by La Russa earlier in the day to start on short rest, Carpenter and the tireless St. Louis bullpen closed it out.
“I wish everybody in the country could get to know these guys,” Craig said. “It’s unbelievable. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
No Rally Squirrel needed on this night, either. Fireworks and confetti rang out at Busch Stadium when Jason Motte retired David Murphy on a fly ball to end it.
“We just kept playing,” Cardinals star Lance Berkman said.
So, did he enjoy this exhilarating matchup?
“Fun may not be the right word, but it’s fun now,” he said.
The Cardinals were loose from the very beginning.
“We were all in the clubhouse and we were a loose bunch of guys,” Motte said. “We were in there hanging out, dancing around, had music playing. We were all like that’s the way we win and that’s how we play the best and we came out we were able to do it today. It’s just amazing.”
This marked the ninth straight time the home team had won Game 7 in the World Series.
The wild-card Cardinals held that advantage over the AL West champions because the NL won the All-Star game — Texas could blame that on their own pitcher, C.J. Wilson, who took the loss in July.