Blog Entry

Grading Game 1 of the World Series

Posted on: October 20, 2011 12:56 am
Edited on: October 20, 2011 4:13 am
By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- We've done grades for the first two rounds of the playoffs, but it's the World Series. A big deal, in other words. So let's just grade out every single game. It's fun. And we like fun.

Marc Rzepczynski only faced two hitters, but he got two huge outs. Granted, it wasn't against a murderer's row or anything -- Craig Gentry and Esteban German don't exactly instill fear in opposing pitchers -- but he's been a lefty specialist and faced two righties. He struck them both out, ending what was the last Rangers threat.

"He beat us," said Rangers manager Ron Washington after the game. "That's all there is to it."

Allen Craig, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Albert Pujols, David Freese and Matt Holliday with garner lots of attention from the winner's clubhouse in Game 1, but do not discount the job by Rzepczynski. He got two of the biggest outs of the game.

Carpenter will get lots of credit for this performance, and rightfully so, as he worked six innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs and picked up the victory. But he missed his spot -- didn't get the ball as far outside as Yadier Molina wanted -- in the fifth inning against Mike Napoli to lose a two-run lead the Cardinals had just built. That pitch knocks Carpenter down to a B, which is by no means a bad grade. I'd even be willing to bump this thing up to a B+ considering Carpenter was facing such a stacked offense

Carpenter's counterpart, Rangers' starter C.J. Wilson, showed some signs of breaking out of his postseason slump, but he ultimately wasn't good enough to help the Rangers gather a win. He did put three zeroes on the board, but then faltered. In the fourth inning, Holliday and Berkman got to him after putting Pujols on with a hit-by-pitch. Then, in the sixth, Wilson allowed a double to Freese and then uncorked an awful wild pitch to move him -- and the eventual game-winning run -- to third base. Allowing three runs in 5 2/3 isn't horrible, but it certainly isn't good. And the six walks weren't acceptable.

The strings Ron Washington pulled Wednesday night didn't seem to work very well. Before the game, he insisted that the Rangers wouldn't shy away from trying to run on Yadier Molina and the Cardinals -- stressing that stealing is really on the pitcher, not the catcher -- and stayed true to his word. Ian Kinsler led off the game with a single and then tried to steal second base. He was thrown out by Molina. Then, when the Rangers were threatening in the seventh, Washington went with Gentry and German and both struck out. Meanwhile, Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa's moves all worked out well.

The Rangers 2-3-4 hitters -- Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young -- went a combined 0-for-11 with three strikeouts. That's a pretty big hole toward the top of the lineup, and it's very difficult to develop any sort of offense without those three spots contributing anything. It's only one game, though, and the good news for the Rangers is that there's a big drop off in the Cardinals' rotation after Carpenter.

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Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: October 20, 2011 7:50 pm

Grading Game 1 of the World Series

Finally, A University of California at Riverside Alumni to eclipse The Greatness of Gary McCord.  .  Let's see how he does.   Maybe a Closer in the making?  He's only 27.  

Go Highlanders!

"He beat us," said Rangers manager Ron Washington after the game. "That's all there is to it."

Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 7:36 pm

Grading Game 1 of the World Series

St Louis continues an impressive last 2 months.  I do not see anyone stopping them

Since: Oct 17, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 7:32 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jul 7, 2007
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:38 am

Grading Game 1 of the World Series

As a Ranger fan, we're terrified anytime Washington has to manage.......and now the nation sees why.  It's bothered me all year that Chavez, a lefty, has a better OBP against lefties than Gentry and Gentry, a rigthy, has a better OBP against righties than Chavez.  Yet all year long....and in this game.....Wash pinch hits them against the opposite handed pitcher.  And in his press-conference he said he liked the righty-lefty matchup for Gentry.  It's like the actual results don't matter to this man.  Chavez was the BEST guy on the team in the regular season against lefties......but Wash goes for Gentry.<br /><br />If this series comes down to managing decisions, which you could argue Game 1 did.....the Rangers lose.<br />

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:07 am

Grading Game 1 of the World Series

Big dropoff?  Indeed.  As a Cardinal fan, I'm terrified to see Lohse and Garcia pitch against Texas. 

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