the st. louis cardinals beat the texas rangers 6-2 in game seven to win the 2011 world series. chris carpenter pitched six solid innings to get his second win of the series. the 36 year-old all-star right hander gave up two runs in the first inning. he would shutdown the rangers but was relieved by the bullpen after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh inning.
third baseman david freese, a native kid who quit baseball in college, was named most valuable player. freese hit .348 & set postseason records with 21 runs batted in & 52 extra base hits, while tying a postseason record with 25 hits. he became the sixth player in major league baseball history to win the league championship series mvp & world series mvp.
the cardinals' improbable journey was all the more remarkable considering the plethora of obstacles they overcame. they lost starting pitcher adam wainwright before the first spring training game was played. all-stars albert pujols & matt holliday, in addition to freese, key players each, missed significant stretches of the regular season. but they never lost faith.
the redbirds were down 10 & 1/2 games in the wild card race to the atlanta braves on august 25. undaunted, they captured a playoff berth on the last day of the regular season. st. louis beat the heavily favored, 102-win philadelphia phillies in the division series & took care of the 96-win milwaukee brewers in the championship series.
returning home to busch stadium with a 3-2 deficit, the cardinals played one of the most exciting games in world series history. despite twice being down to their last strike they showed their resilliency. freese hit a two-run triple in the 9th inning to tie the game at 7-7. berkman singled in the 10th inning to even the score at 9-9. freese hit a dramatic leadoff walkoff solo homer in the 11th inning to earn them a shot at championship glory.
st. louis won their second world series crown in six years - they beat detroit in 2006 - in front of a stadium-record crowd of 47,399 loyal fans. hundreds more were stationed outside the park in ballpark village, hotel rooms across the street & even atop a nearby parking garage. their 11 championships are second all-time to the new york yankees, who have 27.
"when you play in a city like this, where we have the greatest fans in the world, they come out every day & they allowed us to do what we did this year," said cardinals general manager john mozeliak. "so i thank all of them & all our employees, because without them, we're not standing here. so thank you," he said.
cardinals manager tony la russa, who now has 3 world series rings as manager, admitted, "it was overwhelming. we were on the edge game after game after game. you might lose one, but as it got closer, elimination games, the character on this club is off the charts. we are more talented i think than some people realize, especially as we got healthy. but you play with that urgency, its a little scary at times & it takes a lot out of you, but its really fun to compete that way."
carpenter, 36, pitched on three days' rest for the second time in his career - the first, in the nlds against the phillies. "you can't say enough good things about the guy," said lance berkman, who hit over .400 in the series. "he's such a big game picther. what he's able to do goes beyond his stuff. the way he competes, the way he controls the game, the way he studies a lineup, knows how to pitch to it," berkman said.
the texas rangers lost their second straight world series, falling last year to the san francisco giants in five games. 50 years ago they were the washington senators. but in 1972 the franchise moved to texas. their 2010 mvp josh hamilton said about game seven, "we caught carpenter a little bit by surprise there in the first inning. but he did settle down. you can never get comfortable. i think we got the feeling that most teams felt during the season when they played us."
the cardinals improved to 8-3 in seven-game world series. as berkman said, "we're world series champions & nobody can take that away from us. what makes that even sweeter was the manner in which we won it. hollywood would have a hard time scripting something like this. you hear that sometimes, but its true with this team. the reality of it is way better than anything you can make up about the team."
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.