St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers look to get even with the St Louis Cardinals in game two of the Fall Classic at Busch Stadium Thursday. The Cardinals took game number one 3-2 behind clutch pitching and some timely hitting with ace Chris Carpenter controlling a dangerous Texas lineup. Carpenter gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in six innings of work while the Cardinals bullpen continued to put up zeros with five pitchers combining for thee scoreless innings. The Cardinals are -120 favorites over the Rangers with an over/under run total set at 8.5.
The offense looked ordinary with only six hits including a pair of doubles while also walking six times. Lance Berkman swung the big bat with a pair of hits including a fourth inning two run single giving the Redbirds a 2-0 lead. Pinch hitter Allen Craig was clutch with an RBI single in the sixth inning knocking in David Freese who had doubled. The Cardinals turn two left hander Jaime Garcia to give St Louis a 2-0 series lead. Garcia would seem to be a good candidate given his home and away splits. Overall at home Garcia was 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA.
The Rangers had their chances in the World Series opener but couldn’t get that key hit or make the pitch at the right time in a game every bit as close as the final score. Left hander CJ Wilson allowed all three Cardinals runs but just didn’t seem to have his best stuff and has looked a bit ‘off’ in this postseason. Wilson gave up three runs on four hits but struggled with his control with six walks in only 5.2 innings pitched. Three Texas reliever allowed one hit in 2.1 innings but the damage was done. The Rangers managed only six hits with a pair of walks with Ian Kinsler and Adrian Beltre recording two hits apiece.
The lone source of offense was a two run homer off the bat of Mike Napoli who knocked in Beltre in the fifth inning that knotted the game at two runs each. The job of equalizing the series goes to game two starter Colby Lewis. Lewis has thrown the ball well in the 2011 postseason but ran in to trouble in game three of the ALCS against Detroit when he allowed four runs in just 5.2 innings of work.
Lewis is a better pitcher on the road but he has a rather high ERA and has allowed 35 homeruns but has shutdown ability while Garcia is a guy that throws a lot of ground balls and is in his own element at Busch. Looking at the under at 8.5 tonight.