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Rangers top Cardinals 4-2 in Game 5, move within one win of first ever World Series title

Oct 25, 2011, 12:49 AM EDT

2011 World Series Game 5 - St Louis Cardinals v Texas Rangers Getty Images

Though they likely owe an assist to Tony La Russa, the Rangers are now just one win away from winning their first ever World Series title.

The Rangers defeated the Cardinals 4-2 on Monday night in Arlington and now hold a 3-2 lead in the series going into Game 6 on Wednesday night in St. Louis. Mike Napoli was the offensive star for the second straight day, delivering an opposite field two-run double off left-hander Marc Rzepczynski in the bottom of the eighth to put the Rangers in front.

C.J. Wilson danced in and out of trouble over his 5 1/3 innings of work, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, five walks and a wild pitch. The Cardinals had plenty of opportunities on offense, but went just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 12 men on base. They also gave away three outs via sacrifice bunts, which resulted in zero runs crossing the plate. Scott Feldman, Alexi Ogando, Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz combined for 3 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Wilson.

While the Rangers walked away with the victory, this game will likely be remembered for some real head-scratchers on the part of La Russa, some of which he chalked up to miscommunication in his post-game press conference.

Allen Craig was gunned down twice at second base with Albert Pujols at the plate while Rzepczynski was strangely left in the ballgame to face Napoli, who has a .955 career OPS against southpaws. La Russa said in the postgame that he actually wanted right-hander Jason Motte to face the right-handed hitting Napoli, but that he wasn’t able to communicate that information to his bullpen. Whether that’s true or not really doesn’t matter at this point, because leaving Rzepczynski in resulted in the decisive play of the ballgame.

With their backs against the wall, the Cardinals will send Jaime Garcia to the mound against Colby Lewis on Wednesday night as they attempt to force a Game 7.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Who would’ve thought that Tony La Russa, the Bobby Fischer of baseball, would be brought to his knees by a bullpen coach mistaking the name, Motte, for Lynn? That series of events will forever haunt the Cards if you ask me.

  2. royalintx - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Going to add this to an already crazy game..according to Arlington police, CJ showed up late and had to be escorted to the stadium. Haven’t seen it reported anywhere, but heard it from a cop.
    Pretty classy if true.

    • txnative61 - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:03 AM

      You appear to be disparaging the character of C J Wilson, but since the Rangers won, and he’s done for the series, I really don’t know why? It is well known he’s never had a drink or used drugs, so there’s likely a perfectly innocent explanation for whatever happened.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:12 AM

      Yeah, classy. An umpire gets blasted because he’s from the same town as one of the team, but the police can escort a home-town player from the other team to the ballpark, and there is no bias involved in that?

      Yeah, stay classy, everyone.

  3. marinersnate - Oct 25, 2011 at 2:06 AM

    TLR is said to be a “twisted” genius. I agree with the “twisted” part. This guy has brought many wins to his club over the years. But his num-nuttedness just does not pass muster. (I mean here is the champion of the pitcher batting 8th). Craig thrown out twice at 2B? Albert calls the hit + run, not the coach? Burning a bullpen arm for an INT-BB? The guy would be thrown out of high-A ball….

    The problem with the “twisted” part is that it sometimes brings huge rewards when it actually works. But there is a corresponding down side too. It can bring huge crashes when his over-managing fails. Tonight is an example of that.

    St. Louis may still win this thing. But if they do, it will be in spite of TLR, and not becase of him.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 25, 2011 at 7:15 AM

      How do you think they got into this position?

  4. miketreedy - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    It would be so great to see both the Rangers and Mavericks win their first Championships in the same year. I don’t think anyone ever thought either team would ever win. For it to happen in the same year would be amazing.

  5. Reflex - Oct 25, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Fantastic game to watch, but yes some of the decisions were real head scratchers. I could not figure out what was going on with the Allen Craig thing, then it happens again? What the heck?

    Any insight into that one yet?

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