I said yesterday that in order to win game four a pitcher had to shut down the opposition. Derek Holland who was solid in the regular season but struggled in the post season pitched a great game and was backed by strong defense.Hollandpitched 8.1 innings allowing just two hits while striking out 7 and walking 2 Cardinals as the Rangers evened their series defeating the Cardinals 4-0.
The game was close as Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson left the game in the top of the 6th inning with two runners aboard and the Rangers leading 1-0. Jackson had allowed three scattered hits but had given up 7 walks, the final two in the top of the 6th leading Tony LaRussa to pull him in favor of Mitchell Boggs who gave up a 3 run home run to Mike Napoli on his first pitch. Holland on the other hand maintained his control, poise and kept the big right handed bats of the Cardinals silent by pitching aggressively on the inside portion of the plate. Albert Pujols who had set a World Series record on Saturday night went 0-4 and both Cardinals hits came from Lance Berkman who doubled and singled. Neftali Feliz got the final two outs for the Rangers securing the win.
The Cardinals had no runs on 4 hits and committed no errors leaving four men on base. The Rangers had 4 runs on 6 hits with no errors and left 8 runners on base. Hollandgot the win andJacksonthe loss.
Tonight the Cardinals will send Chris Carpenter to the mound. Carpenter the victor in game one is probably the best pitcher in the series and I expect a strong outing from him especially if he mixes his devastating curve ball with his other pitches. He will face Rangers ace C J Wilson who was 16-7 with a 2.93 ERA in the regular season but is 0-3 in four starts during the post season. He has pitched 21.1 innings giving up 19 runs 17 of which were earned on 25 hits 6 of which were home runs and has walked 14 while striking out 21. His post season ERA is 7.17. In order to win the Rangers will have to get to Carpenter early and play thatWilsonhas a good start. The Cardinals after having been shut down on Sunday night are certainly going to be out for blood with Wilson on the mound. If Wilson falters expect Ron Washington to pull him early.
One lineup change for the Cardinals is that Jon Jay will not start tonight and is being replaced in center field by Skip Schumaker who hit .283 in the regular season.
We’ll see what happens tonight.