Congratulations to the St Louis Cardinals, your new 2011 MLB World Series Champions who also won the National League (NLCS)! The Cardinals knocked out the Texas Rangers for their 11th World Series victory, second highest of any major league team following the New York Yankees. Find all your St Louis Cardinals World Series champs gear at Fanatics.
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Recap of the 2011 World Series of Baseball
After being defeated during the 2010 World Series against the San Francisco Giants, the Texas Rangers, American League Champions (ALCS), were eager to take home a World Series Championship, but the Cardinals pulled out the big trophy. Led by Tony La Russa, the St Louis Cardinals have not been in the World Series since 2006 when they won the trophy against the Detroit Tigers. During the games, there were emotions stirred, confusing miscommunications, key players who wowed the crowd, and teeth clinching plays that made you want to jump through your TV screen. All-in-all, the Texas Rangers and St Louis Cardinals match-up was one of the best in history during the 2011 World Series games.
And let’s not forget the squirrel mishap that made headline news. During the National League Division Series, a squirrel ran across the infield during Game 3 and across home plate during Game 4 at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri. You may ask: was it the same squirrel? That has yet to be determined, but don’t forget that this isn’t the first time the Cardinals have gone squirrely. In 2007, a squirrel leaped from the Cardinals bullpen and rushed the field. The squirrel is formally known as the Rally Squirrel.
A story that had a sad ending was the death of firefighter Shannon Stone who fell 20 feet from the Rangers bleachers in an attempt to catch a ball for his son, thrown to him by Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton. This tragedy wounded the hearts of millions. Americans felt a great deal of sentiment toward the Texas Rangers during the World Series. Yet, the St Louis Cardinals also received sentiment after being the underdogs during the 2011 playoffs. The Cardinals barely made it into the tournament, shocking many when they took out the team with the best record in all of baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies. St Louis went on to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers (second-best record in the NL) and made it to the World Series.
Beginning October 19, 2011, the 107th World Series started its best of seven games.
Day 1 of the World Series: October 19th – The St Louis Cardinals received home-field advantage due to the NLCS winning this year’s All-Star Game. With over 46,000 in attendance at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals took the victory with a 3-2 win over the Rangers. Combine Chris Carpenter, starting pitcher for the Cards, going six innings straight with Allen Craig’s pinch-hit single and you have the recipe for a Cardinals Game 1 win.
Day 2 of the World Series: October 20th – Tides turned during Game 2 and the Texas Rangers had the higher score for a 2-1 win. Although low scoring, this dramatic ninth-inning victory gave the Rangers hope. The Texas offense was led by Ian Kinsler’s hits that could not be reached by Cardinals infielders.
Day 3 of the World Series: October 22nd – During the third game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Rangers 16-7 with over 51,000 fans in attendance. Game 3 was an outstanding night for the Cardinals first baseman, Albert Pujols. Pujols slammed three homeruns with six RBI during the game. Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson are the only three MLB players in history to connect with three dingers in the World Series. Since Pujols is a free agent, the World Series games could be his last time in a Cardinals uniform.
Day 4 of the World Series: October 23rd – The Texas Rangers fought back in Game 4 with a 4-0 victory. This was basically due to Derek Holland, the left-handed Texas pitcher who eliminated the Rangers from two hits in the ninth inning. Josh Hamilton scored with an RBI double during the first inning and Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer during the sixth. Going into Game 5, score is tied 2-2.
Day 5 of the World Series: October 24th – The Rangers stole a 4-2 triumph over the Cardinals during a very strange chain of events during this World Series game. First off, Mike Napoli got a two-run double. But that wasn’t any strange feat. Apparently, there was a “miscommunication” in the Cardinals bullpen. Using the bullpen phone, La Russa says he told the guys to get closer Jason Motte ready. Cardinals bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist thought La Russa asked for Marc Rzepczynski to start throwing. La Russa saw the error when Rzepczynski was put in and Motte wasn’t warming up, so he called back on the bullpen phone and asked for Motte again. However, Lance Lynn was told to start throwing by Lilliquist although he was only used in emergencies. Due to these “miscommunications” Rzepczynski was left to pitch against Mike Napoli, a lefty and righty going head-to-head. This is when Napoli delivered his two-run double and the Rangers won Game 5.
Day 6 of the World Series: October 27th – After Game 6 was postponed on the 26th due to rainy weather, the Cardinals pulled out a big win over the Rangers at Busch stadium on the 27th. This was the first World Series game to go into extra innings since 2005 when the Chicago White Sox took out the Houston Astros. Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre knocked it out of the park with consistent plays for the Rangers. But Lance Berkman and David Freese made key hits that ultimately won the game for the Cards. Overall, the Cardinals had a very inconsistent and ineffective night with misplays from Matt Holiday and Rafael Furcal, and La Russa removed Jaime Garcia who was replaced by Fernando Salas. Regardless of the errors from both teams during Game 6, it’s as simple as the Cardinals stepping it up during the 9th, 10th and 11th innings and outplaying the Rangers. Final score of Game 6 = 10-9 .
Day 7 of the World Series: October 28th – Final game of the World Series and the St Louis Cardinals became the 2011 World Series Champions, defeating the Texas Rangers. Chris Carpenter pitched a stellar and consistent game throughout while Allen Craig, David Freese, Yadier Molina, Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal scored major plays for the Cards. The Rangers made a few errors and in the end the Cardinals were the better team during the final game of the World Series. Game 7 = 6-2.
What a game! What a World Series! Congratulations to your new 2011 World Series Champions, the St Louis Cardinals.