Game 2 Recap

Just when Allen Craig was all set to be the story of the Series, Texas rallies in the ninth to win 2-1 and tie up this World Series at a game apiece. Craig had given the Cardinals the lead in the seventh by coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter and for the second straight night beating Alexi Ogando with an RBI single to right. In both instances Ogando had been brought in to get this particular hitter, and in both instances it was the right decision by Ron Washington. Ogando is a better pitcher than Craig is a hitter and it defied the odds that he would get beat two straight nights. Credit to Washington for not overmanaging the spot and keeping confidence in his pitcher.

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Confidence in a pitcher is something Tony LaRussa is going to have to figure out. He decided to pull closer Jason Motte in ninth with nobody out and runners on second and third. If Motte were an ordinary guy out of the pen, there would be no issue with this. But he seemed to be the pitcher LaRussa had settled on as his main man in the ninth. A true closer is given the chance to get out of the jam, or at least keep the score tied. Can you imagine Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Valverde, John Axford or Neftali Feliz being yanked in a similar spot. (Of course you can’t imagine Mariano Rivera getting pulled, but he’s in a different world altogether)? One wonders if that affects Motte’s confidence the rest of the way in the Series.

The Series resumes Saturday with three straight games in Texas going through Monday.