Blog Entry

World Series Game 5: Rematch time

Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: October 24, 2011 4:55 pm

By Matt Snyder

Rangers at Cardinals, 7:05 p.m. CT, Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas. Series is tied, 2-2.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's rematch time. Game 1 pitted aces Chris Carpenter and C.J. Wilson against each other and ended up an exciting 3-2 Cardinals win. The two aces will square off again in a pivotal Game 5, this time in the hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark.

Carpenter bested Wilson last time around, working six innings while allowing five hits and two earned runs. Wilson went 5 2/3, giving up four hits and three earned runs, but the six walks were a bit troubling. Wilson is only looking forward, though.

"I think you have to look at every start as in its own little bubble," he said. "There's nothing I can do to un-lose a game."

World Series
Carpenter got the best of this matchup last time out, but the biggest part of that start could have been that he only threw 87 pitches, as he had reportedly been dealing with elbow soreness. Carpenter himself doesn't think that matters, though.

"I felt fine, and the pitch count situation isn't -- it doesn't matter -- I believe it doesn't matter if you throw 120 or 80, or whatever. It's the quality of pitches and the difficulty of the stressful pitches that you throw," he said. "There wasn't a whole lot of stressful pitches for me. It was a battle, but I was able to get through it pretty well, and I feel fine. I felt great throughout the last few days."

The starting pitchers are important, but don't discount the offense and defense. The Rangers have played great defense in their two wins, but pretty horrible defense in Game 3. The Cardinals offense was pretty dormant in their two losses. With aces on the hill in a great hitter's park, a true team effort is going to determine who heads to St. Louis just one game away from winning the 2011 World Series. 


Wilson vs. Cardinals:
Just as we've seen throughout the series between these two unfamiliar teams, the sample sizes are very small across the board. Wilson has faced Lance Berkman 21 times and held him down pretty well (.235 average, .294 slugging percentage). Otherwise, only Nick Punto has faced Wilson more than four times -- and Punto has a .667 OBP. Expect him in the lineup.

Carpenter vs. Rangers: His regular-season history against the Rangers is awful. Carpenter is 2-6 with a 7.26 ERA in those 12 outings (11 starts). He's 2-2 with a 6.99 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in Rangers Ballpark, too. A lot of those stats were accumulated a long time ago, though, because Carpenter hasn't faced any current Rangers starters more than 10 times (Michael Young has exactly 10 plate appearances against Carpenter). Adrian Beltre (3-for-5 with a double) and Mike Napoli (4-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI) own him in small sample sizes, however.


Cardinals Rangers
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Rafael Furcal SS 1 Ian Kinsler 2B
2 Allen Craig RF 2 Elvis Andrus SS
3 Albert Pujols 1B 3 Josh Hamilton CF
4 Matt Holliday LF 4 Michael Young DH
5 Lance Berkman DH 5 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 David Freese 3B 6 Nelson Cruz RF
7 Yadier Molina C 7 David Murphy LF
8 Skip Schumaker CF 8 Mike Napoli C
9 Nick Punto 2B 9 Mitch Moreland 1B
SP Chris Carpenter RHP SP C.J. Wilson LHP


• Wilson is much worse in Rangers Ballpark than on the road. He had a 3.69 ERA and 1.23 WHIP at home versus a 2.31 ERA and 1.15 WHIP on the road during the regular season. Considering the more favorable hitting conditions this time around, things don't bode well for Wilson Monday night. Then again, games aren't won on history or paper. Just ask Derek Holland.

• Matt Holliday is now 2-for-15 (.133) with four strikeouts in the World Series.

• Adrian Beltre has now made five straight outs after gathering five straight hits.

• The only lineup change for either team is Schumaker taking over center field from Jon Jay. The move is very clearly due to Jay's major struggles at the plate this series. He's 0-for-14 in the World Series. Schumaker has never faced Wilson, nor has he ever batted in Rangers Ballpark.

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Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:52 pm

World Series Game 5: Rematch time

I think the Birds could lose tonight and recover well enough, but they need either Carpenter or Garcia to pitch well. If both do, this is over in 6.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:41 pm

World Series Game 5: Rematch time

Anything can happen in game 7 of the World Series....Anything.  

The best way to insure you don't fall victim to a mistake or a miracle, in game 7 of the World Series, is to clinch in game 6.

ONLY the team that wins game 5 can do that.

Winning game 5 is a BIG advantage, that cannot be ignored.  

Since: Jul 7, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:11 pm

World Series Game 5: Rematch time

I think this game is far more of a must-win for the Cardinals, with their CLEAR ace on the mound.  The Rangers have a lot less to fear in Lewis-Garcia and Lohse/Holland or Harrison, given the circumstances around Harrison's bad inning.  If Carpenter doesn't get this win, the Cardinals face a bigger uphill battle than the Rangers do if Wilson loses.  Home field doesn't seem to matter since both teams have split so's the pitching matchups.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 2:36 pm

World Series Game 5: Rematch time

Trading wins won't help Texas- by losing game 1, they have to win 2 in a row at some point, or lose the Series... Better win game 5 at home, because winning both games in St. Louis isn't likely. Texas should approach game 5 like it was game 7, or it may not go that far. St. Louis has substantially less immediate pressure, AND has their best starting pitcher going tonight for good measure.

Wilson's higher ERA in Texas shouldn't be a suprise, or a factor- Carpenter, or any other pitcher will give up more runs in a hitters park, and Texas is one of the best hitters parks in MLB. 

If there are lessons learned applied from the first 4 games, game 3 should reinforce why no sane manager would pitch to Albert Pujols five times in a game, and game 4 will explain why so many losing managers risk it. On the flip side, serving Josh Hamilton an off speed pitch to allow his hands to compensate for his hernia, was a 1st inning gaffe that wound up being the game winner, not the 7 Edwin Jackson walks or the late Mike Napoli homer that got all the game 4 press. 

Where there is similar talent, small mistakes beat you more often than blowouts.    

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