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Cardinals win 11th World Series behind Chris Carpenter

Oct 28, 2011, 11:22 PM EDT

Cardinals championship Getty Images

It looked bleak early.

Chris Carpenter, who had never started on three days’ rest before getting roughed up by the Phillies to start the NLDS nearly four weeks ago, managed to give up two first-inning runs despite a boneheaded move by Ian Kinsler, who got picked off first base after a leadoff single. Seemingly without his best fastball, he gave up a walk and back-to-back doubles before he retired a batter and eventually escaped the inning.

Who knew then that the entire rest of the game would belong to the Cardinals?

Game 6 hero David Freese delivered a game-tying two-run double in the bottom of the first, and Carpenter bounced back to pitch five scoreless frames as the Cardinals beat the Rangers 6-2 to claim an 11th World Series crown.

St. Louis took a 3-2 lead in the third on an Allen Craig homer. It was in the fifth, though, that the Rangers really gave the game away. A walk, a HBP and an intentional walk to David Freese loaded the bases and then a walk to Yadier Molina and the second HBP of the inning plated runs. An insurance run came in the seventh, as Molina singled in Lance Berkman to make it 6-2.

Carpenter, who received another chance to start on three days’ rest only because of Wednesday’s rainout, got better every inning. He escaped a jam with runners on the corners in the second and then allowed just a HBP and a single over the following four frames. He even talked his way into coming back out for the seventh, only to leave immediately after giving up a leadoff double.

The bullpen finished the job done from there. Arthur Rhodes and Octavio Dotel pitched around the double in the seventh, Lance Lynn worked a perfect eighth and Jason Motte was sharp in the ninth.

The Rangers showed surprisingly little life after the first. Nelson Cruz hit their long drive of the night, a shot to left that may have snuck over the wall if not for a jumping Craig. Still, it only would have been a solo shot. Texas had just one baserunner during the final four innings.

  1. uyf1950 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    Congratulations to the Cardinals and their fans.

    Both the Cardinals and Rangers provided baseball fans with one of the more memorable and exciting World Series in recent memory.

    Again, congratulations.

  2. aceshigh11 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Chris Carpenter…like a BOSS.

    Congratulations to the Cardinals…what an improbable run to a World Series championship.

    I feel bad for the Rangers, losing two years in a row…great team though, I’m sure they’ll be back.

  3. sparky1002 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    No doubt Texas will want to again secede after this loss. Well done Cards!!

  4. aceshigh11 - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Bill Maher said it best…this was the first time in the history of the state that Texas couldn’t execute.

    Too soon?

    • fearlessleader - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:58 PM

      Never too soon to be awesome.

      I LOVE THIS TEAM! But now what I do for the next four months?

  5. 8man - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    I like the fact that Texas executes! Congrats to the Cards!

    That being said, if my Red Sox missed the opportunities the Rangers had last night, I’d hear about it for decades. Oh wait…..

    And how the hell did the Sox sweep the Cards in 2004?

    And how about David Freese? Bad error in the 5th yesterday to help put the Cards behind and then a mere 26 hours later…MVP. That’s what can happen when you play a game that doesn’t have a clock that tells you when it’s over.

  6. polegojim - Oct 28, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    Congrats Cards- you played like Champs.

    Very exciting series, but…to Texas: Bad…no horrible pitching was your complete undoing two nights in a row. That was a pitching staff meltdown of epic proportions, not just bullpen, but even the starters faltered repeatedly.

    Texas improvements for 2012 – throw strikes…throw strikes…throw strikes… get ahead in the count… get ahead in the count…and…. get ahead in the count. Good hitting teams will burn you EVERY TIME for messing around on the mound like that.

  7. baccards - Oct 29, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    So I get another year before I have to grow up..Thank you Cards first and Rangers second. Looks like the ranger fans are growing in stature.. good luck next year.. Hope to see as good a series with you then

  8. Marty - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Awh shucks. 8 comments! Were are all the baseball Philly fans????

    • halladaysbiceps - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Dumb ass comment. The Philly fans have been here everyday on HBT. Where have you been? Haven’t seen you comment in weeks.

  9. txnative61 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    I’m really happy fans from the coasts didn’t watch this series much, because this was the most exciting World Series I’ve ever seen, and they missed it!

    • txnative61 - Oct 29, 2011 at 2:44 AM

      And congrats to Cards, awesome run, awesome finish!

    • paperlions - Oct 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      What makes you think coastal types didn’t watch? I live in CT and every day at work people (nearly all Red Sox fans) were approaching me about the game (knowing I am a Cardinal fan from StL) and had obviously watched it….most even stayed up until 1 am Thursday to watch the end of game 6.

  10. kandh2004 - Oct 29, 2011 at 3:21 AM

    Here is a Phillies fan saying congrats to the Cards. Great series all around but you got to give it up to the Cards nobody thought this but them and they played like champs and now are champs

  11. Old Gator - Oct 29, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    An anticlimactic conclusion to an otherwise terrific World Series, but I’ll still take a seven game Series any time. That Texas boolpen needs some serious focus therapy, though.

  12. eagles512 - Oct 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Congrats to the Cards. Tough as nails. I didn’t think they’d beat Texas. But I still find them extremely unlikable. Larussa, Molina, Carpenter, Theriot, Pujols bailing on his teammates with the media, etc.

    • 62rocker - Oct 29, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I have to say that the Rangers and Cardinals are a breath of fresh air. I was rooting for the Cards and find them to be very likable, especially after all the garbage that has come out since the Red Sox collapse. It’s nice to hear talk of how they hung together and believed in each other even when they were 10 1/2 games back. I’m sure there were few people who believed they would end up as World Champs. They are the epitome of a real team, and I am very envious, yet happy, for the Cardinals’ fans. Well deserved!

  13. wethog66 - Oct 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Congrats Cardinals and thank you for once again denying the hated Rangers a chance at a Championship. As a life long resident of the greater Washington DC area, the longer the Rangers franchise goes without a championship the better. Karma is a bitch Bob Short.

  14. Reflex - Oct 29, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    Fantastic series even if the final game was not up to the rest. Can’t wait for next season!

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