If St. Louis takes Game 7 tonight, books will be written and movies made about last night’s Game 6—and actually as the 1975 Series proved, those books and movies might still be written even if Texas wins the Series anyway. What this boils down is that trying to sum this game up in a blog post is impossible. But here’s a few thoughts…
*This game was extraordinary theatre, but lousy fundamental baseball. There were five errors combined, along with an infield hit by Daniel Delcasco of St. Louis in the 8th, where it looked like Elvis Andrus was a little too casual. Most importantly, I thought David Freese’s game-tying hit in the 9th should have been caught by Nelson Cruz for the final out. I know it’s easy for a non-athletic guy sitting in his living room to critique the difficulty of a guy running straight back on a line drive, but that just seemed to me like a makeable play.
*I sympathize with Ron Washington’s dilemma in the 10th when he played the outfield back even though a single by Lance Berkman could tie the game—which it did. A double by Berkman would have ended it right there and Berkman’s hot. I sympathize, but I would have done it differently. It boils down to playing for a tie and on the road you have to play to win—as the concluding events of the 11th made clear.
*Related to the point above, credit to Tony LaRussa for the subtle lineup switch of moving Berkman, rather than Holliday behind Albert Pujols. Holliday had been hitless in his six chances after a Pujols intentional walk, and Berkman’s game-tying hit was in the same circumstance. And it forced the outfield back to prevent Pujols from scoring the winning run on a double, yet another reason I don’t like the intentional pass, even to Albert Pujols.
I won’t be the only one to say it, but it is fitting that this best World Series in at least ten years go to a seventh game. St. Louis has fought back all year. Texas has fought from under the perpetual New York-Boston radar in the American League and fought back several times last night when they could have folded their tents quicker. One game to win it all. I feel, however, that this finale will be anticlimactic, unless you’re a St. Louis fan. Chris Carpenter’s on the mound, and if momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher Texas’ Matt Harrison got lit up in Game 3. I expect a Cardinal rout to wrap it all up.