Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

By Jason Jason | Posted at 21:16

I admit it, I gave up. Tons of times. This Cardinals team earned my respect, my scorn, and my hope all in a vicious cycle for the last six or so months. They blew a 6-2 9th inning lead against the Mets with about a week to go before the post-season. They blew the most games they'd led in the final inning of any team in baseball. They are maddening to watch. I have almost nothing left as a fan. I just need to be honest here.

And so, in game six of the World Series, after three errors that all led to runs and a 7-4 lead for the Texas Rangers, trying to win the first title of their existence as a team that made their maiden voyage in 1961, I thought, “It's over.”

My brother was swearing and asking Tony La Russa why Lance Lynn, only equipped for one inning of duty, returned to surrender the leading runs. As for me, I always lack faith. I pronounced our doom, as is my role as the realist yet again.

When Allen Craig smacked a homer in the eighth to make it 7-5, I said to him, “Why are you making it closer? It'll just hurt worse.” When the Cards loaded the bases later that inning, needing only one hit to tie the score, Rafael Furcal's groundout to end the inning surely sealed our fate.

In the final inning, the team did exactly what they needed to do to make a run at it: first and second, no outs. The pitcher Kyle Lohse, batting because the Cards were out of position players, executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Again, one hit ties the score.

Craig was up again, and when he was surprised by an off-speed pitch with two strikes looking at strike three, I thought it was over. David Freese got two strikes on him as the final hope. A deep fly ball to left. It might go out, we thought. It started to die at the track. Nelson Cruz drifted back on what looked to be a season-ending near-miss.

But Cruz doesn't like walls, and having failed to get back to the wall quickly, he was surprised when it carried. He jumped and stretched, but the ball hit the wall to the left of his glove! Tie score. Freese made it to third. 7-7. Another hit wins it for the Cardinals. But no such luck.

When Josh Hamilton, the drug-addict turned AL MVP, hit a two-run homer in the 10th, it seemed to this fan that the man with the pulled groin and Oscar-worthy life story would take his Texas Rangers to a title. But the Cardinals had other plans. Having scored another run to make it 9-8, Lance Berkman was himself down two strikes with two outs. “Texas is way too deep in the outfield,” we said. Any hit would surely score the runner from second. Berkman got a cut fastball inside. Cut fastballs are designed to jam hitters and break bats.

Mission accomplished.

Or not.

Berkman was ready and hit it hard. Single. Tie score, again! The Cardinals had trailed 5 times in this game. They still needed to survive the 11th inning after failing to win in their half of the 10th. Edwin Jackson had been announced as a pinch-hitter before Lohse in the 9th, and so was unavailable to pitch. There was only one pitcher left: Jake Westbrook. The same Jake Westbrook who'd surrendered 5 runs to Houston in the penultimate game of the regular season, who'd been left off the postseason roster for ineffectiveness. The team had, of course, won that game anyway.

In the post-season, teams can adjust their rosters before each round. The great Tony La Russa must have figured he'd need another starting pitcher in an ugly World Series, so he put Westbrook on the roster. And here he was, in the top of the 11th inning of an elimination game in the World Series.

When he surrendered no runs in that inning, I shouted, “We picked you up in Houston,” — in St. Louis, the fans are on the team — “now you're gonna pick us up!” For the first time, there was a structural advantage for the Cardinals: their final pitcher was a starting pitcher who'd not pitched. The Rangers brought out their final man, Mark Lowe, a short reliever. He'd have two innings, perhaps three.

If we didn't win in the next, we were OK, we reasoned. Westbrook would not hamper the overall readiness of the pitching staff in a presumptive 7th game, no matter how long this game went. The Rangers’ situation could be another story.

All you need to know is that David Freese — the man who dropped a pop-up in the fifth inning, leading to the 7-4 deficit, who made atonement with the tying triple in the 9th, only to see his team fall behind again, he who was traded as an afterthought to the Cardinals for the aging Jim Edmonds, who played at Lafayette High School mere minutes from my house — hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the 11th.

And so, the greatest baseball game I had ever seen was concluded, 10-9.

The author of the game supplanted by this one as the best I'd ever seen, Chris Carpenter (who'd thrown a three-hit shutout in the fifth and deciding game of the opening playoff series against his best friend, Roy Halladay), got the ball in this very last game with everything at stake.

No matter what had happened, he and the rest of his team had already earned the respect of Cardinals fans. The Comeback Kids came home one last time, to try to win one last game—the 180th of this long season—for the 11th championship in the city called “Baseball Heaven.”

And they succeeded.

Behind the indomitable Carpenter, who pitched into the seventh inning having only surrendered two runs in a shaky first frame, the Cardinals prevailed, 6-2. It was as though the life drained out of the Rangers when these Cardinals answered with 2 of their own in the first. The pride of Exeter, New Hampshire would not allow them to lose. And the bullpen that earned both plaudits and scorn in turn in 2011 knew it had better not fail the angry ace again. One of the more unlikely championship teams in recent baseball memory rides off into the sunset on top of the world.

What should terrify opponents of this team is that they stand to be better next season. Adam Wainwright, who posted 21 wins in 2010 before requiring Tommy John surgery, returns ready to go. Even if the glut of good pitchers is not solidified with the permanent addition of Edwin Jackson, the Cardinals boast a top 4 of Wainwright, Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Kyle Lohse, who actually led the staff in wins and earned-run average. If Jackson stays, the Cardinals can have Lohse and Jake Westbrook fighting for the fifth and final spot in the starting rotation.

The big question hanging over the offense is the contract status of Albert Pujols. If they lose him in free agency, the offense is weaker, but still formidable. With Pujols, the offense that led the National League is downright terrifying, especially with the emergence of David Freese (but will he stay healthy?) and Allen Craig. In any case, a reasonably healthy team will surpass the 105 wins tallied by the 2004 team. Yes, you read that right. Questions remain: Will Berkman decline? Will Carpenter have an entire season to match his second half?

And of course, who will manage this team?

The legendary Tony La Russa announced his retirement the Monday following the victory. If any doubt remained concerning his legacy after 2 World Series losses in the ‘80s as bookends to the earthquake-marred title in 1989, and a fluky win with an 83-win outfit in 2006, this 2011 team puts them to rest. It’s as if his leaving just 30-odd wins shy of John McGraw was his way of demonstrating his greatness: Only ghosts from eons ago won more than me.

And so, baseball’s ark came to rest again in the City of Stan. Not in Philadelphia, where it was plain that they were built to win now, with four aces better than any poker hand. Nor did the title land in Milwaukee, whose young, power-hitting club snuck the National League Central division crown out from under the noses of these Cardinals. Not in the Motor City did glory land, though the team is helmed by the great Leyland, the friend of La Russa. Joe Maddon’s upstart Rays fell short, as did the stealthy club in Arizona. The Rangers made their second trip to the World Series and went home empty handed for a second time too, felled seemingly by sheer passion.

Expect them to be along for the ride again, along with the lurking Yankees and Red Sox. But I think St. Louis will take another National League pennant over San Francisco in 2012. As for the rest, who knows? But it’ll be fun.

Jason Kettinger is associate editor and senior sports writer for Open for Business.


banh trung thu yen sao khanh hoa

Đây là dòng bánh trung thu cao cấp duy nhất trong nước. Bánh trung thu cao cấp Yến Sào Khánh Hòa sử dụng các nguồn nguyên liệu hoàn toàn là các món cao cấp như : yến sào, hải sâm, vi cá, trứng muối, mứt gừng, mứt bí… Đây hoàn toàn là nguồn nguyên liệu cao cấp và được chế biến với công thức riêng được nghiên cứu tỉ lệ kỹ lưởng để tạo ra một chiếc bánh thung thu thơm ngon, vừa ăn và không bị ngấy do ăn nhiều. Bánh đặc trưng với vị đậm đà nhờ phần gia vị đã được ủ và thấm đều kỹ càng, đây là một trong những đặc trưng mà các hiệu bánh trung thu khác không có được.

Posted by banh trung thu yen sao khanh hoa - Jul 5, 2017 | 7:11


Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

Cửa Hàng Sâm Yến Thịnh Phát xin giới thiệu các loại bánh trung thu yến sào banh trung thu yen sao khanh hoa 2017banh trung thu yen sao khanh hoa đặc biệt thơm ngon .Bánh trung thu yến sào bán tại cửa hàng là sản phẩm của công ty nhà nước Yến Sào Khánh Hòa banh trung thu yen sao .Đây là các sản phẩm được sản xuất trên một quy trình khép kín đảm bảo các sản phẩm đạt tiêu chuẩn vềbanh trung thu yen sao khanh hoabanh trung thu yen sao khanh hoabanh trung thu yen sao khanh hoabanh trung thu yen sao
banh trung thu yen sao mặt an toàn hợp vệ sinh cũng như có chất lượng hết sức thơm ngon và đặc biệt .Các loại bánh trung thu được đóng gói bằng các loại bao bìbanh trung thu yen sao hết sức đẹp mắtbanh trung thu yen sao và trang trọng , có thể làm quà để tặng cho người thân và gia đình trong dịp trung thu .

Posted by thanh - Aug 16, 2017 | 12:02

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

Life on the road, everyone in the run, always catch some people, but also always by some people beyond. Enjoy the scenery along the way, arrived at the distant end; looking for a most suitable for their own speed, Moin disease and overwhelmed, Mo due to slow and empty life; happy life, go their own way, look at their own, beyond others Be proud of being beyond others. In despair, look back how much love around, think about the meaning of existence. Across the clouds that side will see a blue sky, where to realize their dreams.On perseverance The success or failure of the cause of life, in addition to depending on a variety of objective conditions, but also by an important factor in the constraints - that is to see a person has no perseverance perseverance. The so-called perseverance, refers to the people to treat the cause of the tenacity and endurance. If a person in the process of entrepreneurship has a strong perseverance, with the spirit of perseverance, then he was engaged in the cause of the final success. On the contrary, otherwise not. Life is unthinkable. We can think of, in a person's life journey, can not be a matter of course, from time to time. Often encounter some ditch Kankan, the business will be engaged in such and that obstruction. With tough perseverance, difficulties and natural, can break through the obstacles, If a person lacks perseverance, everything is hard to come back, halfway, then the so-called cause for him, it can only be looked away.With tough perseverance successful fame, ancient to have, now also have.Confucius and the stars on the moon, the meal wind Shulu, travel around the country, handed down three thousand disciples, created the seventy-two sage, had to say Air Jordan 3 Kids Nike Free Run Shoes that he was in ancient China's education has made an indelible achievement. Kuangheng family is poor, food and clothing, however, he was chiseled Cheap Nike Shoes Sale and steal light, with their own desire for knowledge, with their own strong will, the final achievements of a generation of scholars.Jing loyalty to the country's Yue Fei, juvenile home due to flooding, living in the country, people fence, and his mother had each other, clothing and food often no ups and downs. However, with his kind of perseverance perseverance, the final civil and military, become a generation of famous.Say it is modern We are familiar with many of the stories

Posted by solo - Aug 25, 2017 | 5:58


check cashing lemon-grove

It was dependably so fascinating to going by your site. What an extraordinary data, thank you for offering. Now click here check cashing lemon-grove This will help me such a great amount in my learning.

Posted by Pervez - Sep 24, 2017 | 11:07

HAIWONGROUP7

Introduce me blogging indonesia want to visit on your website and read the contents of article useful for me,
if any time please visit our website 

cara menurunkan berat badan

cara membesarkan alat vital pria dengan tangan

Posted by mas ulul - Oct 2, 2017 | 3:29

HAIWONGROUP7


Introduce me blogging indonesia want to visit on your website and read the contents of article useful for me,
if any time please visit our website 

obat kuat

cara memperbesar penis

bokep

Posted by mas ulul - Oct 27, 2017 | 2:17

sam han quoc

Nhân sâm sam han quoc là một nhân sâm hàn quốc 6 năm tuổi chính hãng trong những nhân sâm hàn quốc tại tphcm loại thảo dược http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-tphcm.html tự nhiên http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/cua-hang-nhan-sam-chinh-phu-tai-quan-1-quan-2-quan-3.html, có mặt ở http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/cua-hang-nhan-sam-chinh-phu-tai-quan-4-quan-5-quan-6.html rất nhiều quốc gia http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/cua-hang-nhan-sam-chinh-phu-tai-quan-7-quan-8-quan-9.html trên thế giới http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/cua-hang-nhan-sam-chinh-phu-tai-quan-10-quan-11-quan-12.html như Nhật Bản http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/cua-hang-nhan-sam-chinh-phu-tai-quan-go-vap-binh-thanh-tan-binh.html, Hàn quốc http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/cua-hang-nhan-sam-chinh-phu-tai-quan-tan-phu-phu-nhuan-thu-duc-binh-tan.html, Hoa Kì http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-quan-1-quan-2-quan-3.html… Trong http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-quan-4-quan-5-quan-6.html các loại nhân sâm http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-quan-7-quan-8-quan-9.html kể trên thì http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-quan-10-quan-11-quan-12.html nhân sâm hàn quốc http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-quan-go-vap-binh-thanh-tan-binh.html luôn được http://samyenthinhphat.com/tags/sam-cao-cap-han-quoc-tai-quan-tan-phu-phu-nhuan-thu-duc-binh-tan.html hàng triệu nhân sâm hàn quốc người nhan sam han quoc chinh hang trên khắp nhân sâm chính hãng thế giới nhan sam han quoc săn lùng nhân sâm hàn quốc chính hãng và tìm kiếm bởi nhân sâm hàn quốc chính hãng những giá trị nhân sâm hàn quốc chính hãng tuyệt vời nhan sam han quoc chinh hang. Từ xưa nhân sâm hàn quốc đên nay những đại lý nhân sâm công dụng sâm hàn quốc của loại đại lý nhân sâm hàn quốc nhân sâm này nhân sâm chính hãng vẫn được mọi người nhân sâm hàn quốc lưu truyền nhan sam han quoc và ứng dụng sam han quoc vào trong đời đại lý nhân sâm hàn quốc sống đặc biệt là chăm sóc sức khỏe nhân sâm hàn quốc của con người. Củ nhân sâm nhân sâm chính hãng hàn quốc chính đại lý nhân sâm hàn quốc là nhân sâm Hàn Quốc đại lý nhân sâm ở dạng tươi chưa qua sơ chế thành các sản phẩm nhan sam han quoc. Củ nhân sâm Hàn Quốc có những vai trò nhân sâm hàn quốc chính hãng và tác dụng vô cùng to lớn đối với con người.

Posted by sam han quoc - Oct 27, 2017 | 2:22



Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.

Posted by Cannaline - Oct 31, 2017 | 13:02

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative..

Posted by MisterBling - Nov 2, 2017 | 10:20

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

That is the excellent mindset, nonetheless is just not help to make every sence whatsoever preaching about that mather. Virtually any method many thanks in addition to i had endeavor to promote your own article in to delicius nevertheless it is apparently a dilemma using your information sites can you please recheck the idea. thanks once more.

Posted by Portemonnaie n채hen - Nov 6, 2017 | 7:50

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!.

Posted by melatonina comprar - Nov 8, 2017 | 13:12

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.

Posted by find more - Nov 12, 2017 | 11:08

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best.

Posted by Mobile Phone Comparison - Nov 13, 2017 | 8:18

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative..

Posted by airshou - Nov 16, 2017 | 8:37

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks…

Posted by cebu studios for sale - Nov 18, 2017 | 6:37

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post.

Posted by good laptop for music production - Nov 19, 2017 | 14:21

Re: Reliving Post-Season 2011 Gives Glimpse of 2012

I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information.

Posted by pieczatki Warszawa - Nov 20, 2017 | 5:47

Please enter your comment entry below. Press 'Preview' to see how it will look.

Name:
Sign In to Your Account
User Name:
Password:
Location:
Homepage:
E-mail:
Subject:
:mrgreen: :neutral: :twisted: :arrow: :shock: :smile: :???: :cool: :evil: :grin: :idea: :oops: :razz: :roll: :wink: :cry: :eek: :lol: :mad: :sad: :!: :?:
Home About Connect: Twitter Facebook RSS
© 2001-2012 Universal Networks, All Rights Reserved. Some content rights may be held by Universal Networks' providers and used under license. Powered by ServerForest and SAFARI. Learn about our privacy policy here.