St. Louis Cardinals World Series win: Three questions to ponder
The St. Louis Cardinals had to claw back from series deficits to beat the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the World Series. For Cardinals fans, the win was all the sweeter when hometown boy David Freese was named MVP.
The St. Louis Cardinals scored an improbable World Series victory on Friday night, beating the Texas Rangers 6-2 in Game 7. Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter gutted his way through six tough innings, and Mr. October (Midwest version) David Freese did the rest, lining a key two-run double to the base of the outfield wall in the bottom of the first.Skip to next paragraph
Freese’s hit erased an early Texas lead and brought the hometown crowd back to life. From there on the Cardinals gained control of the game, inning by inning and inch by inch, as the Ranger hitters went down quietly and St. Louis took advantage of walks and hit batsmen to pad their lead.
It was a championship made all the sweeter by the fact that St. Louis was ten and a half games out of a playoff spot in August and had to claw back from series deficits in both the division and National League Championship series. At one point in the World Series they were down 3-2 in games. In Game 6 they were one strike away from elimination – twice.
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Perhaps no baseball team ever has walked such a tightrope for so long and grabbed a trophy at the end.
“I think the last month of the season, that’s where it started,” Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols said in the raucous post-game clubhouse. “Different guys were coming huge, getting big hits, and we carried that into the postseason and here we are world champions.”
The narrative doesn’t end there, though. Here are some key questions for fans to ponder as they await free agent King Albert’s decision as to whether he’ll play for the Cubs – or even the Rangers – next season.
HOW RELIEVED IS TONY LARUSSA? The Cardinals manager had set himself up as the World Series goat. In Game 5 he’d failed to ensure the right relievers were warming up, arguably costing his team the game. It was so bad that at one point LaRussa signaled for a right-hander and was greeted by a different reliever than the one he thought he would be getting.
Now LaRussa won’t have to worry about a stain on his reputation. Instead he’ll be remembered as he ought to be – the greatest manager since baseball games hit television. His touch in the clubhouse and chess master player match-ups worked this time. Is he a frenetic over-manager? OK, Tampa’s Joe Maddon is relaxed, but how many World Series has he won?