ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers took a three games to two advantage in the World Series Monday night in Arlington defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2. As far as postseason games go, this will go down as one of this biggest head-scratchers. Lets start in the top of the seventh inning with one out. Rangers reliever, Alexi Ogando, walked Allen Craig with Albert Pujols on-deck. This forced Ogando to pitch to Pujols rather than give him a free pass. Out of nowhere, Craig attempted a steal of second base on an 0-1 count and was caught stealing. Now with first base open and the count 1-1 on Pujols, the Rangers intentionally walked him. Why was Craig trying to steal second? From the reactions of both Pujols and Craig, it seemed like Pujols gave Craig the signal for the hit-and-run and then Pujols proceeded to not swing at the ball. Crazy turn of events and the Cardinals failed to score in the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, things got even more interesting. The Rangers had runners on first and second when Cardinals manager, Tony LaRussa, went to the bullpen and brought in Mark Rzepczynski to face the lefty, Daniel Murphy. When LaRussa made the change, he noticed no one was warming up in the bullpen, so he quickly got on the phone and asked (for a second time) for Jason Motte to get loose. Murphy hit a ball back to Rzepczynski, who couldn’t handle it, creating a bases loaded situation for Mike Napoli.
In this situation, LaRussa wanted to bring in Motte with the score tied, but he wasn’t loose due to the delay in getting him up and throwing. Napoli then hit a two-run double to right, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead. LaRussa went out to make another pitching change, calling for Motte. When Lance Lynn showed up, the skipper was shocked because he had decided Lynn wasn’t going to pitch in this game.
LaRussa instructed Lynn to intentionally walk Ian Kinsler, as he wanted to rest his arm. As this was going on, LaRussa got back onto the phone and asked, again, for Motte to get loose. Once Kinsler was on first, LaRussa went out and finally got Motte into the game. According to LaRussa, the guys in the bullpen could not hear who he wanted to get loose, which is why Lynn ended up in the game and Motte wasn’t getting loose as instructed. Before the explanation was given, anyone who watches baseball, like me, was scratching their head when LaRussa brought in Lynn to intentionally walk a batter and then go right back to the bullpen.
Later, Rangers manager, Ron Washington, brought in his closer (Neftali Feliz) in the ninth. He got his second save of the series with the strikeout of Lance Berkman to end the game.
We want to hear from you, what were thinking when all of this transpired? Let us know!
The teams will enjoy a day off before the series shifts back to St. Louis for the finale on Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary). Weather in St. Louis is sure to have an impact, as temperatures will be in the low 50’s with rain expected. A Rangers win on Wednesday would give them their first World Series title in team history.
World Series Stats of the Night:
- The Rangers have committed 11 errors in 15 postseason games.
- Mike Napoli is hitting .308 with two homers and nine RBI’s in the World Series.
Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington – Arlington, Texas
St. Louis 2, Texas 4
(WP: Oliver) (LP: Dotel) (SV: Feliz)
Texas leads the best of seven series three games to two.
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