If St. Louis can’t rally and win the last two games of this World Series on Wednesday and Thursday, it’s going to be a long winter looking back on their 4-2 loss to Texas in Game 5. The missed opportunities alone will be enough for sleepless nights, as the Cards couldn’t get the big two-out hit with the bases loaded in both the fifth and the seventh, nor could they come up with an extra run(s) in the sixth when they had second and third with two outs. Then you come to the mind-boggling tactical questions.
Why was Allen Craig stealing second with Albert Pujols at the plate in the seventh and nobody out in a tie game? Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver seemed to think that it was a play put on by Pujols, but whosever idea it was should have his head examined. Not only is Pujols at the plate, but Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and David Freese are right behind him. This is not a time to get cute. Then, showing that the Cards are like what has been said about the Irish people—“they remember everything and learn nothing,” St. Louis bungled again in the ninth. After Craig was hit by Neftali Feliz as the leadoff man in a 4-2 game, the Cards did the same thing. This time Pujols struck out on a pitch well outside the strike zone on a full count and Craig was gunned down, ending the Cardinal rally as quickly as it started.
Cardinal fans can take heart in this—going back home down 3-2 is not a bad thing. The World Series of 2001, 1991, 1987, 1986, 1985 and 1982 all were won by home teams taking the final two games. In that same timeframe, only the 1993 Blue Jays and the 2003 Florida Marlins were able to clinch on the road in a Game 6 or 7. Homefield advantage means something at this point in the series.