Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cardinals Cough Up Game 2, Series Tied 1-1

The St. Louis Cardinals failed to put themselves ahead in the World Series with a frustrating Game 2 loss to the Texas Rangers. It was a tense 2-1 victory for the Rangers, but the series is still tied 1-1.

The game was a pitcher's dual in every way, which is clear due to fact only one total run was scored before the ninth-inning.

Cardinals' starter Jaime Garcia went seven shutout innings with only three hits and one walk, as well seven strikeouts before being replaced by a string of relievers after the seventh-inning.

Rangers' starter Colby Lewis had a solid outing himself. He went six scoreless innings with four strikeouts and only four hits and two walks. However, his luck ran out in the seventh-inning after giving up singles to David Freese and Nick Punto.

With the pitcher's spot in lineup coming up for the Cardinals' after Punto's single, Tony LaRussa opted to pinch hit for Garcia with Allen Craig, which brought forth a familiar situation. The Rangers replaced Lewis with Alexi Ogando to face Craig, which is exactly what happened in Game 1.

And just like in Game 1, where Craig hit a pinch hit single off of Ogando to score Freese and give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead, he singled again tonight off Ogando... to score Freese and give the Cardinals the lead (1-0).

With a perfect eight-inning by Fernando Salas and Marc Rzepczynski, Jason Motte was set up with a ninth-inning opportunity to close the game, but that's when the momentum shifted.

Motte led off the inning by giving up back-to-back hits to Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus. LaRussa then pulled Motte from the game and replaced him with Arthur Rhodes, who gave up a sacrifice fly to score Kinsler. Lance Lynn then replaced Rhodes. Lynn gave up another sacrifice fly that put the Rangers ahead ahead 2-1.

There was some hope in the bottom of the ninth after Texas closer Neftali Feliz gave up a lead-off walk to Yadier Molina, but Feliz managed to strike out the next two batters (Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker). Rafael Furcal made the final out with a pop fly to right-field.

The Cardinals will have Friday off and the series will continue with Game 3 on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. The series will not return the Busch Stadium until Game 6.

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