October 28, 2011: Cardinals capture their 11th world championship

After rallying from 10 ½ games back in the National League wild-card race and falling behind five separate times in their 10-9 Game 6 victory over the Rangers, a 2-0 first-inning deficit didn’t seem like much for the 2011 Cardinals to overcome.

Six unanswered runs later, the Cardinals had a 6-2 victory in World Series Game 7 and the 11th world championship in franchise history.

“It’s unbelievable, amazing, incredible,” said manager Tony La Russa. “The teams we played in the playoffs were all great teams.”[1]

Shortly after the madness of Game 6, including David Freese’s game-winning home run in the bottom of the 11th inning, La Russa turned his attention to Game 7. With Game 6 postponed a day due to weather, the Cardinals planned to pitch ace Chris Carpenter on short rest.

As La Russa recalled in his book, One Last Strike, “It was fun to relive that sixth game, but about the middle of the dinner I started to get distracted, turning my attention to Game 7. Dunc (pitching coach Dave Duncan) and I had decided that Carp was going to start. But just to make sure, I called Dunc later that morning and said, “Let’s discuss the alternatives.” He said, “Carp’s pitching.” And then he hung up on me.”[2]

Game 7 would mark the sixth start of the postseason for the 36-year-old Carpenter. After pitching just three innings in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Phillies, Carpenter bounced back with a dominant showing in Game 5, throwing a complete-game, three-hit shutout opposite Roy Halladay to send the Cardinals to the NLCS.

Since then, he had picked up two more wins, including Game 1 of the World Series. In Game 5, he allowed two runs over seven innings and received no decision.

“Dave and I had a heart-to-heart with him to gauge just how ready he was to pitch, not mentally but physically,” La Russa said. “He’s the guy our club wants to have out there. He’s our guy.”[3]

The Rangers, meanwhile, turned to Matt Harrison, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-hander from North Carolina. The 25-year-old won 14 games during the regular season and picked up another during Game 4 of the ALDS. He had taken the loss for the Rangers in World Series Game 3, allowing three earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

In the top of the first, the Rangers gave Harrison an early lead, though Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina did his part to limit the damage. After Ian Kinsler led off with a single into left, Molina picked him off for the first out of the game.

“That was huge,” Carpenter said. “Unbelievable. That’s Yadi doing his thing. That’s what makes him so great.”[4]

Elvis Andrus followed with a walk before Josh Hamilton and Michael Young hit back-to-back RBI doubles to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

“He had to settle down,” Hamilton said. “We caught him a little by surprise there in the first, but he did settle down, started getting some guys out.”[5]

“My command wasn’t great to begin with, but I thought I made some pretty good pitches also, and they hit them,” Carpenter said. “But I felt good, I made some adjustments. I continued to make pitches and do what I needed to do, and fortunately we were able to come back and win the game.”[6]

That comeback began in the bottom of the first. After Harrison walked Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman, Freese hit a two-run double into left field to tie the game.

“To me,” Berkman said, “that kind of gets lost in the shuffle. They jump out to a lead, and we come right back? At that point, we’re like ‘We’re winning, we’re winning this thing.’”[7]

Carpenter worked around a hit and an error in the second, then threw a scoreless third inning. In the bottom of the third, Allen Craig, in the lineup due to an injury to Matt Holliday in Game 6, homered on a 3-2 pitch.

“It’s phenomenal,” Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire said. “Here’s a guy who was having a great year and then unfortunately broke his kneecap. He’s still got a problem with his knee, but he played through it.”[8]

Scott Feldman entered the game for the Rangers in the fifth and loaded the bases with a walk, hit-by-pitch, and an intentional walk. He issued a six-pitch walk to Molina to bring the go-ahead run home before he was replaced by C.J. Wilson. Wilson hit the first batter he faced, Rafael Furcal, to make the score 4-2.

“Walks hurt us,” Rangers reliever Mike Adams said. “It’s tough to get away with that many walks. You walk people, you pay for it, especially against a team like this. That’s what made the difference in who won the Series. Maybe we tried to be a little too fine, maybe trying to be too perfect and it came back and bit us.”[9]

With two outs in the sixth, Nelson Cruz hit a deep fly ball to left field. Craig, who already hit a home run, made a leaping catch at the wall to take one away.

“The whole experience was awesome,” Craig said. “Hitting a home run was awesome and I’ve never robbed a home run like that. I was glad to do it in the seventh game of the World Series. It’s all about making the best of your opportunities. You can’t let opportunities slip.”[10]

In the seventh, another opportunity slipped by the Rangers. After outfielder David Murphy led off the inning with a ground-rule double, veteran left-hander Arthur Rhodes entered the game in place of Carpenter and got Yorvit Torrealba to fly out to center field. Octavio Dotel followed, striking out Kinsler and getting Andrus to fly out to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, Molina added an RBI single to make the score 6-2. From there, the game was in the hands of the Cardinals’ bullpen. Lance Lynn retired the side in order in the eighth, placing the Cardinals three outs away from the world championship.

Closer Jason Motte took the mound for the ninth inning.

“Sitting at first base with three outs left and thinking about all the things that we went through this year, just how special this group of guys that we have is – to do that and bring another championship to the city of St. Louis is just amazing,” Pujols said.[11]

Motte started the inning by getting Cruz to fly out to center, then getting Mike Napoli to ground out to third base.

“I just remember standing out in left field and looking up into the crowd,” Craig said. “They’re chanting ‘Let’s go Cards. Let’s go Cards!’ over and over again. It just gives me goose bumps to this day remembering that and feeling that moment.”[12]

After Motte fired a first strike past Murphy, the Rangers outfielder lifted the second pitch to Craig in left field. Craig caught it to clinch the World Series. Molina raced out from behind the plate to embrace Motte and begin the celebration.

“After the final out was made, I turned to Yadi and was like, ‘Hey, come get some, baby!’” Motte recalled. “He was running out, and I remember going to put my arms around him, as he’s jumping in the air, and then next thing you know, I’m getting sideswiped from the rest of the bench! And I completely had blinders on. I hadn’t been looking at anyone else, just seeing Yadi. And I know my joy and my emotion in that moment was pretty awesome, but for me I got to see Yadi’s face. He’s got that smile, running out at me, and it’s one of those things I’ll never forget, baseball-wise. It’s burned into my mind.”[13] 

“When it finally happened, it was just pandemonium,” Adam Wainwright said. “You’re just running and you don’t know where to go or who to hug and you just realize you’re going to jump into everyone and hug everyone. You’re going to scream as loud as you can for as long as you can. And that’s what we did.”[14]

The victory capped as unlikely a championship as baseball had ever seen. No team had ever won the championship after being 10 ½ games back so late in the season.[15] At one point, the Cardinals had a less than 4% chance of even making the playoffs, and Las Vegas was offering 500-to-1 odds on the team winning the World Series.[16]

Somehow, St. Louis defied the odds.

“We’ve got character, that’s why,” Carpenter said. “The personalities in our clubhouse are unbelievable. I’ll never forget them. I’ll never forget this.”[17]

As the scoreboard flashed graphics declaring the Cardinals World Series champions and confetti fell from the sky, backup catcher Gerald Laird couldn’t believe it.

“Man, Carp, can you believe this?” he said.

“Yeah, I can,” Carpenter said. “This is unbelievable, but we all kept battling and now look at us.”[18]

With two runs allowed over six innings, Carpenter claimed his fourth win of the postseason without a loss. For the playoffs, he had a 2.72 ERA, including two wins and a 2.79 ERA across 19 1/3 World Series innings.

Freese, the Lafayette High School alum, became the first position player since Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter in 1982 to win both the NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP in the same year. Along with the World Series MVP trophy, Freese also received a sports car.

“He also shouldn’t have to buy a meal in this town for four years,” Wainwright said.[19]

“It’s a dream come true,” Freese said. “Every step of the way has been incredible. We really had to work hard for this. We believed. We wanted it, but we stayed humble. We had to fight our way into the playoffs, but once you get in it gives you a special feeling. We just kept our heads down and worked hard.”[20]

For the Rangers, who had lost to the Giants in a five-game World Series the year prior, the loss was doubly devastating.

“This will never be a good feeling,” Murphy said. “It hurts. It’s hard to go through a full season and play so well and get to Game 7 of a World Series and not get it done. There are so many positive things we can take away from this year but right now it hurts. That’s the easiest way to put it.”[21]

Ultimately, the Cardinals timely hitting and the Rangers’ untimely walks proved the difference in the series. Texas pitchers walked six batters in Game 7 and a record 41 batters in the series.[22]

Afterwards, Harrison insisted that the Rangers weren’t feeling a hangover from Game 7.

“We knew we had a chance to put it away and we didn’t,” Harrison said, “but last night was over with. Nobody was saying anything about it when we got here today.”[23]

Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Gil LeBreton wasn’t convinced.

“The Rangers played … like a team that knew it had let its best chance to win the World Series slip away,” he wrote.[24]

With his third World Series title, La Russa became the ninth manager to capture three championships, joining Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel, Connie Mack, Walter Alston, Joe Torre, Sparky Anderson, Miller Huggins, and John McGraw.[25]

On October 31, after the conclusion of the World Series parade, La Russa gathered his team in the clubhouse for one final meeting. There, he announced something only a small handful of people had known since he made his decision back in August: he was retiring from the game. Craig, who had held onto the baseball from the final out of Game 7, immediately went to his locker to give the ball to La Russa.[26]

“I think this just feels like time to end it,” said La Russa, the winner of 2,728 games, including a franchise-record 1,408 with the Cardinals.[27]

Game 7 also proved to be the final game in Cardinal red for Pujols, who signed with the Angels that offseason. It was a heck of a way to end an era.

“They just would not go away,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “They just wouldn’t go away, and that’s the heart of a champion.”[28]


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[1] Joe Strauss, “Cardinals Rule,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[2] Tony La Russa (2012), One Last Strike, [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com, Page 576.

[3] Dan O’Neill, “Carp Is ‘Our Guy,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[4] Dan O’Neill, “Carp Is ‘Our Guy,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[5] Tom Timmerman, “Doubly Painful,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[6] Dan O’Neill, “Carp Is ‘Our Guy,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[7] Benjamin Hochman (2021) 11 in ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com, Page 211.

[8] Rick Hummel, “Craig’s Time,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[9] Tom Timmerman, “Doubly Painful,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[10] Rick Hummel, “Craig’s Time,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[11] “They Said It,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 29, 2011, Page 6CC.

[12] Benjamin Hochman (2021) 11 in ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com, Page 211.

[13] Benjamin Hochman (2021) 11 in ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com, Page 213.

[14] Benjamin Hochman (2021) 11 in ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com, Page 213.

[15] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards win like never before,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[16] Joe Strauss, “Cardinals Rule,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[17] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards win like never before,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[18] Bryan Burwell, “Incredible dream realized,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[19] Derrick Goold, “Banner Year,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[20] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards win like never before,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[21] Tom Timmerman, “Doubly Painful,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[22] Tom Timmerman, “Doubly Painful,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[23] Gil LeBreton, “Rangers’ pitching never even came close,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 29, 2011.

[24] Gil LeBreton, “Rangers’ pitching never even came close,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 29, 2011.

[25] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards win like never before,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 29, 2011.

[26] Benjamin Hochman (2021) 11 in ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals [Kindle Android version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com, Page 214.

[27] Joe Strauss, “‘I have no regrets,’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 1, 2011.

[28] Kevin Baxter, “Ultimate wild Cards,” Los Angeles Times, October 29, 2011.

October 27, 2011: David Freese’s home run caps historic World Series Game 6

With rain threatening, Major League Baseball postponed the sixth game of the World Series a day.

It was well worth the wait.

The 47,325 fans at Busch Stadium that evening saw David Freese cement his legacy with a game-tying, two-run triple in the ninth inning and a game-winning solo home run in the 11th. Along the way, the Cardinals became the first team in World Series history to score in the eighth, ninth, 10th, and 11th innings.[1] With their 10-9, 11-inning win, the Cardinals forced a decisive seventh game despite twice coming one strike away from elimination.

“If that’s not the best postseason game of all time, I don’t know what could top it,” said outfielder Lance Berkman. “That was unbelievable.”[2]

After Albert Pujols hit three home runs in Game 3 to lift St. Louis to a 2-1 Series advantage, the Rangers rallied with 4-0 and 4-2 victories in Games 4 and 5. One more loss, and the Cardinals’ late-season rally to claim the wild card would be little more than a footnote to baseball history. At various points in the game, it looked as though that was exactly what would happen.

“It was nothing pretty, but an absolute sight to see,” wrote St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell. “It was terrible execution but enthralling drama. It was joy and pain, up and down, fun and frustration all balled up into 11 of the wackiest innings of championship baseball I’ve ever seen.”[3]

The Rangers took the lead five separate times in the game, beginning in the first inning when Josh Hamilton hit an RBI single off Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia. Berkman responded with a two-run homer off Colby Lewis in the bottom of the first to give the Cardinals a brief 2-1 lead.

Texas tied the game in the second when Ian Kinsler came to the plate with runners on first and second and hit a two-out, ground-rule double into the left-field gap. With Garcia removed after three innings, Fernando Salas entered the game in the fourth and fell victim to a fielding error by Matt Holliday in left field.

Nelson hit a fly ball into shallow left field, and with shortstop Rafael Furcal racing back to try to make a difficult play, Holliday made a late stab for the ball and dropped it. With Cruz safely on second base, Mike Napoli followed with a single into right that gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

“Things happen. That’s part of the game,” Holliday said. “Obviously it’s no fun, but it’s part of it. Plays like that happen.”[4]

The Cardinals tied the score in the bottom half of the inning. Berkman reached on an error by Michael Young at first base and Holliday drew a walk before Yadier Molina drove in a run with a ground ball to Adrian Beltre at third base.

Once again, the Rangers responded. After Freese dropped a pop fly off the bat of Josh Hamilton, Young doubled into left field to give Texas a 4-3 lead.

In the fifth, La Russa entered Jon Jay into the game as a pinch hitter for Salas, and when the Cardinals took the field in the sixth, La Russa placed Jay in center field and had incoming pitcher Lance Lynn take Skip Schumaker’s spot in the lineup. The move gave the Cardinals two more at-bats before the pitcher’s spot would come up again, but also meant that Schumaker – who had made solid contact in each of his three at-bats – would be unavailable the remainder of the game.

“If Schu had stayed in the game and I took Jay out, then Lynn wouldn’t have been able to pitch another inning,” La Russa explained. “You need innings from as many relievers as you could.”[5]

Lynn threw a scoreless sixth inning, and the Cardinals tied the score again in the bottom half of the frame, sending seven hitters to the plate without getting the ball out of the infield. After Lewis struck out Pujols, Berkman reached on an infield single, Holliday reached on an error, and Freese drew a one-out walk.

Alexi Ogando entered the game in place of Lewis and immediately walked Molina, tying the score once again. The Cardinals might have taken the lead, but Ogando picked off Holliday at third base before walking Nick Punto.

“I thought I was safe,” Holliday said. “You’re trying to be aggressive there because if the ball gets away, you want to score. They did a good job of selling it.”[6]

Left-hander Derek Holland entered the game and retired Jay to end the inning.

In the seventh, Allen Craig entered the game in place of Holliday, who had injured his right pinky finger while diving back into third base. Lynn, meanwhile, struggled in his second inning of work, allowing home runs to Beltre and Cruz. After David Murphy singled to center field and Holland’s attempt at a sacrifice resulted in a force out at second, La Russa turned to Octavio Dotel.

Although the 37-year-old reliever had been effective throughout the postseason, he threw a wild pitch that advanced Holland to second base before Kinsler singled to give the Rangers a 7-4 lead.

Holland was still on the mound for Texas in the bottom of the eighth when Craig, in the game due to Holliday’s injury, hit a solo home run to cut the deficit to 7-5.

As the game headed into the ninth inning, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, one of just a few people who knew that La Russa planned to retire at the end of the season, was trying to gather his thoughts.

“Throughout the ebb and flow of that game, multiple times I was writing what I was going to tell the club on Tony’s departure,” Mozeliak said. “On the sheet of paper, I was writing down what I thought the messaging should be. One time I even rolled it up and threw it out in the trash can—and then I had to pick it back up.”[7]

Neftali Feliz opened the ninth by striking out Ryan Theriot. Pujols came to the plate next and hit the first pitch over Hamilton’s head in center field. Berkman drew a four-pitch walk before Feliz struck out Craig for the second out.

That brought Freese to the plate as the Cardinals’ final hope. Feliz missed with his first pitch but threw back-to-back strikes to get ahead in the count 1-and-2. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, Freese hit a 98-mph fastball over Cruz’s head in right field. Pujols and Berkman both scored to tie the game, 7-7.

“It’s Cardinal baseball,” Freese said. “This is how they teach us. You never give up.”[8]

In the 10th, the Rangers took the lead for the fifth time in the game. With Cardinals closer Jason Motte on the mound, Elvis Andrus hit a one-out single and Josh Hamilton launched a two-run homer to put the Rangers back on top, 9-7.

“I remember when Hamilton hit it, I literally thought to myself on the mound, ‘Man, I just lost the World Series,’” recalled Motte.[9]

Berkman, the veteran of 13 major-league seasons, shared Motte’s feeling that this might not be the Cardinals’ night.

“It was miraculous that we came back from a two-run deficit,” Berkman said, “and against their closer, who was really good. Then we go down two runs again the very next inning and you’re like: there’s no way. It’s practically speaking as a baseball player. You have enough experience to know that—hey, this is not looking good. The chances of us coming back twice from two-run deficits are not good against a talented team. So when Hamilton hit that home run, I thought, Well, they deserve it. They had a great year, they got a great team. And then you start thinking, Okay, well, wait a minute, am I coming up next inning? You start thinking about your offensive inning and what you need to do to try to tie the game again.”[10]

Daniel Descalso led off the 10th inning for the Cardinals.

“I kind of had to get over [the Hamilton homer] pretty quick,” he said. “I’m thinking, I just need to get myself on base. I thought I was going to be facing Neftali Feliz, who had given up the triple to Freese the inning before. This is one of the best closers in the league, throws high-90s, 100 mph. But I get into the on-deck circle and I see Darren Oliver coming in from the bullpen. And no offense to Darren Oliver, but he was a left-handed pitcher who throws 88 or 89. I’d much rather face him than their closer. So I had a little bit of extra confidence going up there, even though I’d never faced him before. I was telling myself, ‘Have a good at-bat. Find a way to get on base.’ I knew if I could find a way to get on base and the tying run comes to bat, we at least have a shot.”[11]

Descalso did find a way to get on base, pulling a single into right field, and Jay followed with a single of his own. Kyle Lohse’s sacrifice bunt advanced Descalso and Jay to second and third, respectively.

With Theriot up next, Rangers manager Ron Washington replaced Oliver with Scott Feldman. When Theriot hit a ground ball out to third base, it scored Descalso to cut the lead to 9-8, but also resulted in the second out of the inning. The Cardinals were down to their final out as the Rangers intentionally walked Pujols to bring Berkman to the plate.

It was just like Berkman had imagined before the game.

“I knew that I’d be hitting behind Albert and I just had this funny feeling that the season is going to come down to one of my at-bats,” he said. “So I prayed. ‘Lord, If that happens, just don’t let the moment be too big. Let me be able to focus and concentrate. I’m not praying for success. I’m not praying for a hit. But Lord just let me be able to focus and really concentrate on what I’m doing and just use the ability that you’ve given me.’ And what’s crazy is that when I was in the dugout in the 10th inning, I was a nervous wreck. But I just knew: here it comes. I got in the on-deck circle, and the place is going nuts. And when you see him start to intentionally walk Albert, you just know that: okay, it’s on me now.

“And from the second I took that donut off my bat and as I was striding up to the plate, it was like, I can’t explain it, but just a calm and focus. I’ve never really had that level of focus before in my life and you can just see it. When I watched it the other night, I can see on my face this incredible calm focus. The first pitch was a fastball, kind of up and in, and I took a huge rip at it. There was no fear, there was no tentativeness. It was all focused aggression, and what’s great is the competition was pure because he didn’t make a bad pitch. If you go back and watch that at-bat, every pitch he threw was either a ball or it was like right on the corners. He was making really tough pitches.”

Feldman’s tough pitches weren’t enough, as Berkman singled into center field to score Jay and tie the game, 9-9. It was the first time in major-league history that a team’s season twice came down to the final out and it came through each time.[12]

Jake Westbrook, who had been left off the Cardinals’ NLCS roster, entered the game for the Cardinals in the 11th and worked around a one-out Napoli single for a scoreless inning of relief. That brought Freese to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 11th.

Mark Lowe, in the game to pitch in place of Feldman, threw three consecutive balls before he got a questionable called strike. Freese fouled the next pitch off. Then, down to his final strike, he got a 3-2 curveball.

It was arguably the biggest home run in Cardinals history.

As St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz described the scene:

Freese, the hometown hero, sent a miracle soaring above the diamond, rising above the wall in center field to land in the beautiful green grass that no glove, no Ranger, could reach. Freese circled the bases, his right arm raised in triumph, taking a victory lap, and all of St. Louis wanted to be at his side, running with him.[13]

“It’s not that easy to win a world championship, as we found out tonight,” Washington said. “We had the right people in the right spots and they beat us. We’ll bounce back tomorrow. We’ve been in some tough spots before, and we’ve responded. I expect us to respond tomorrow.”[14]

Young shared similar sentiments.

“We thought we had them a couple of times, but give them credit,” he said. “They had some great at-bats when they needed to, so we’ll see them in Game 7. It’s been a classic World Series the entire time, so it’s down to one game for all the marbles. It should be fun. We’re looking forward to it. We thought we had it done, you obviously have to make the final out. Down to the final strike twice. Give them credit. We’ll regroup and be ready tomorrow.”[15]

As the Rangers put on a brave face in the wake of a heartbreaking loss, a Baseball Hall of Fame representative made their way to the Cardinals’ clubhouse to collect Freese’s bat and jersey for the museum’s collection.[16]

“It was all about surviving,” Freese said. “It was all about getting to tomorrow, and Game 7.”[17]

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak placed the game in the context of the Cardinals’ comeback to claim the National League wild-card berth.

“It was an epic game in a lot of ways,” he said. “It captures our season in one night. Nobody ever quit.”[18]

Meanwhile, Burwell chronicled the fans’ reaction in the Post-Dispatch:

And by the end of the night, this was the soundtrack of the evening: All of Cardinal Nation joyfully exhaling, dancing in the aisles, hugging everyone and partying because this most improbable season of all will live on for one more incredible, historic night. And if you never believed in baseball miracles before, here’s one for the ages: The lights are still on at Busch. Game 7 tonight.[19]

Even as the Cardinals celebrated, they had their eyes set on Game 7 and the opportunity it presented.

“It’s awesome, but the main game is tomorrow,” Pujols said. “After tomorrow, someone is going to be a champion.”[20]


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[1] Joe Strauss, “Comeback Special,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[2] Joe Strauss, “Comeback Special,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[3] Bryan Burwell, “What an unbelievable ride,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[4] Dan O’Neill, “Holliday’s Troubles,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[5] Rick Hummel, “Escalating Drama,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[6] Dan O’Neill, “Holliday’s Troubles,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[7] Hochman, Benjamin (2021), 11 In ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. Triumph Books, 188.

[8] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards pass their greatest test,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[9] Hochman, Benjamin (2021), 11 In ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. Triumph Books, 187.

[10] Hochman, Benjamin (2021), 11 In ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. Triumph Books, 187.

[11] Hochman, Benjamin (2021), 11 In ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. Triumph Books, 188.

[12] Hochman, Benjamin (2021), 11 In ’11: A Hometown Hero, La Russa’s Last Ride in Red, and a Miracle World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals. Triumph Books, 190.

[13] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards pass their greatest test,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[14] Jeff Wilson, “Rangers can’t close it out,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 28, 2011.

[15] Tom Timmerman, “Rangers Regroup,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[16] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards pass their greatest test,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[17] Bernie Miklasz, “Cards pass their greatest test,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[18] Joe Strauss, “Comeback Special,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[19] Bryan Burwell, “What an unbelievable ride,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2011.

[20] Mark Feinsand, “Triumph is a St. Loo-Loo to force Texas to Game 7,” New York Daily News, October 28, 2011.

October 22, 2011: Albert Pujols slugs three home runs in Game 3 of the World Series

With three home runs in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, Albert Pujols didn’t just correct course after an 0-for-6 start to the Fall Classic, or turn attention away from the brief controversy that came after he didn’t speak to the media after the Cardinals’ 2-1 loss in Game 2 of the series.

With three blasts in the final four innings of Game 3, Pujols joined Babe Ruth (1926 and 1928) and Reggie Jackson (1977) as the only players in baseball history to hit three home runs in a World Series game. With five total hits in the game, he also set a World Series record with 14 total bases and tied another mark with his six RBIs.

“There it is, the greatest night in World Series history,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, “and we saw it.”[1]

Pujols and the Cardinals’ offense both got better as the game progressed. Facing 25-year-old left-hander Matt Harrison, a 14-game winner with a 3.39 ERA during the regular season, the Cardinals totaled just two hits in the first three innings. With Lance Berkman at designated hitter, that opened a spot in the lineup for Allen Craig, who hit the second pitch he saw from Harrison for a solo home run. The next hitter, Pujols, grounded out to Adrian Beltre at third base. It proved to be the only time the Rangers retired Pujols all night.

As Harrison cruised through the second and third innings, 32-year-old Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse kept the Ranger offense in check. Like Harrison, Lohse had won 14 games and posted an identical 3.39 ERA over 188 1/3 innings. Through the first three innings of Game 3, he allowed just one hit – a single by Beltre.

Both offenses awoke in the fourth. After Pujols singled to left, Cardinals cleanup hitter Matt Holliday hit a ground ball to Elvis Andrus at shortstop, who flipped the ball to second baseman Ian Kinsler to erase Pujols from the basepaths. Kinsler’s throw to first for the double play sailed wide, forcing Mike Napoli to come off the bag and attempt to swipe tag Holliday. On the television replays, Napoli appeared to tag Holliday on his shoulder before he reached first.

“Everything happened so fast,” Holliday said. “I don’t know. I don’t know where he tagged me, if we just ran into each other and I ended up on the ground. As a runner, you’re not really aware of what happens.”[2]

The safe call by first base umpire Ron Kulpa proved key, as Berkman singled and David Freese hit an RBI double. After Harrison intentionally walked Yadier Molina to load the bases, Jon Jay grounded to Napoli at first, who threw wild attempting to get Berkman out at home. Freese also scored on the play, and after Ryan Theriot singled to drive Molina home, the Cardinals had a 5-0 lead.

The Rangers, however, weren’t done. Designated hitter Michael Young led off with a solo home run, and after Beltre’s second single of the game, Nelson Cruz hit a two-run blast. After Napoli singled, La Russa emerged from the dugout. With a 5-3 lead, Lohse’s night was over after three innings.

Fernando Salas, who saved 24 games during the regular season before Jason Motte claimed the closer’s role, got David Murphy to ground out. After Yorvit Torrealba singled to advance Napoli to third, Ian Kinsler lifted a fly ball to left field. Holliday settled under it, then threw out Napoli at the plate as he attempted to score.

“I knew if I made a good throw, we might have a chance,” Holliday said. “Yadi did a good job of catching it and putting a tag on him. You never know how many runs it’s going to take, especially in this ballpark, to beat those guys.”[3]

The Cardinals added three more runs off Feldman in the fifth. Pujols singled and Holliday and Berkman each walked to load the bases. Freese, the Lafayette High School alum, grounded out to score Pujols before Molina followed with a two-run double that gave St. Louis an 8-3 lead.

Undeterred, the Rangers fought back in the bottom half of the inning. After Andrus and Josh Hamilton each singled, Young doubled to score Andrus and chase Salas from the game. Beltre hit an RBI single off Cardinals reliever Lance Lynn, and Napoli added a sacrifice fly that cut the Cardinals’ lead to 8-6. After Lynn walked Murphy and Torrealba to load the bases, he got Kinsler to pop up to Furcal at shortstop to end the inning.

At that point, Pujols took over the game. Theriot and Furcal each reached base ahead of Pujols. As St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell described it, Pujols’ first home run of the day “left home plate with a majestic sense of urgency, banging off the concrete façade above the left-field Diamond Club, a 423-foot, three-run rocket that gave the Cards an 11-6 lead. Pujols stroked that ball so hard that the sold-out crowd gasped, then fell silent as Pujols paused to admire his handiwork, let the bat go with an insolent flip, then quickly trotted around the bases.”[4]

“It’s Albert,” Chris Carpenter said. “When there’s big pressure, big game, big moment, he’s at his best.”[5]

In the seventh, Pujols hit a two-run homer off Mike Gonzalez that extended the Cardinals’ lead to 14-6. After Napoli hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh, Molina added an RBI double in the eighth to drive home his fourth run of the game.

In the ninth, with the game well in hand, Pujols hit his third home run, a solo shot off Darren Oliver that made the final score 16-7.

“He’s been great for a long time but this has to be the greatest,” La Russa said. “Has someone had a better day – ever – in the World Series? Show me one that’s better. I think it would be hard to do.”[6]

As Burwell wrote, “This was as dramatic as Kirk Gibson’s stiff-legged trot around the Dodger Stadium base path. This was Bobby Thomson chilling. This was Carlton Fisk amazing. This was Bill Mazeroski magnificent. And now we can add Albert Pujols to that stunning list of World Series power moments.”[7]

The Cardinals finished the evening with 15 hits. In addition to Pujols’ five, Berkman, Freese, and Molina each had two.

The 16 St. Louis runs were the most the Cardinals have scored in a World Series game, topping the 13 they scored in Game 6 of the 1982 World Series and two behind the 1936 Yankees’ record 18 runs against the cross-town Giants.[8]

The Cardinals scored against all six Rangers pitchers they faced.

“I don’t know what combination I could have used to stop ’em. We couldn’t stop ’em,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I just hope we can make (Pujols) chase some stuff, not put stuff in the wrong spot. Tonight we couldn’t get the ball out of the middle of the plate and up. He didn’t miss.”[9]

Although Lohse allowed three earned runs in three innings and Salas was touched up for three runs in his inning of work, Lynn righted the ship with 2 1/3 innings to earn the win. He allowed one run on three hits.

“The rookie came up big, getting seven outs and preventing the Rangers from rallying again,” wrote St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz. “Lynn stopped the bleeding. If the Cardinals win this World Series, we’ll note that it was Lynn who applied the bandage.”[10]

Octavio Dotel added 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Mitchell Boggs worked a 1-2-3 ninth. Even as Lynn claimed his second win of the postseason, he told reporters that Pujols’ performance would be one of his lasting memories of the game.

“It was fun to watch him do what he did tonight, and just to be a teammate of his when he did something like that,” Lynn said. “That’s something I’m going to be able to tell my kids and grandkids that I actually witnessed that in person.”[11]


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[1] Bernie Miklasz, “A performance for the ages,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[2] Derrick Goold, “The Middle Man,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[3] Derrick Goold, “The Middle Man,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[4] Bryan Burwell, “Pujols powers into history,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[5] Joe Strauss, “Greatest Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[6] Joe Strauss, “Greatest Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[7] Bryan Burwell, “Pujols powers into history,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[8] Rick Hummel, “Busting Out,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[9] Joe Strauss, “Greatest Game,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[10] Bernie Miklasz, “A performance for the ages,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

[11] Bernie Miklasz, “A performance for the ages,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011.

October 19, 2011: Cardinals win World Series Game 1

The Cardinals opened the 2011 World Series using the same recipe that got them there in the first place: dependable starting pitching, timely hitting, and sparkling relief.

Thanks to a diving play from starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, a two-run single by Lance Berkman, and three shutout innings from the bullpen, the Cardinals beat the Rangers 3-2 in front of 46,406 Busch Stadium fans in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series.

“I feel like we have to win the National League style of game if we’re going to win this thing, and tonight was a National League-style game – 3-2, good pitching, good defense, timely hitting,” Berkman said. “I don’t think we want to get into a gorilla-ball type series with these guys.”[1]

After beating the Brewers in six games in the NLCS, the Cardinals were able to turn to Carpenter, their ace, for the series opener. Through 17 innings that postseason, Carpenter had posted a 3.71 ERA, including a complete-game shutout of the Phillies in Game 5 of the NLDS.

“He’s our guy,” Berkman said. “When he takes the mound, we feel like we’re going to win the game every time.”[2]

The Rangers countered with their own ace, C.J. Wilson. The 30-year-old left-hander had gone 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 223 1/3 regular-season innings, but was roughed up in Game 1 of the ALDS when the Rays scored eight runs – six earned – in five innings. Wilson allowed two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the ALCS, but received no decision in the Rangers’ victory. In Game 5 of that series, the Tigers scored six earned runs over six innings as Wilson took his second loss of that postseason.

In the early innings of Game 1, both Carpenter and Wilson looked sharp. Wilson worked around a two-out walk to David Freese in the second and a leadoff single by Nick Punto in the third. Carpenter, meanwhile, relied on the Cardinals’ defense, as Yadier Molina threw out Ian Kinsler attempting to steal for the first out of the game and Rafael Furcal started a 6-4-3 double play to end the second.

Wilson got into trouble in the fourth when he hit Albert Pujols with a pitch to lead off the inning and Matt Holliday doubled down the right-field line. On a 1-0 count, Berkman hit a chopper past Michael Young at first base to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.

“Give up a ground ball right there that scores two runs, that’s unfortunate,” Wilson said. “Other than that, I thought I minimized damage and pitched strategically.”[3]

The Rangers tied the score in the top of the fifth. Adriane Beltre led off the inning with a single, and after Carpenter struck out Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli launched a two-run homer to tie the game.

Texas threatened to tie the score in the sixth. Kinsler reached on an infield pop fly and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Young hit a ground ball that Pujols fielded cleanly. However, with Young racing down the baseline, Pujols’ throw was offline and Carpenter was forced to dive headfirst to catch the relay before landing face-first on the base for the final out of the inning.

“I think we need to work on that one next spring,” Carpenter said. “It was just instinct. He threw the ball, it was a little out of my reach, and I dove. I was like, ‘I’m going to get it,’ and it turned out to work out.’”[4]

After six innings and four strikeouts, Carpenter had allowed two earned runs on five hits and one walk.

“The thing about Carp, he was exactly what we needed,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.[5]

While Carpenter’s diving play got him out of the inning, Wilson wasn’t able to escape the sixth for the Rangers. David Freese got things started with a one-out double, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Wilson struck out Molina for the second out, he walked No. 8 hitter Punto on four pitches.

“I’m not going to let him get a hit,” Wilson said. “I know the situation there with the pitcher’s spot coming up.”[6]

With Wilson up to 94 pitches, Rangers manager Ron Washington turned to Alexi Ogando, the 27-year-old all-star who had started 29 of his 31 regular-season appearances. La Russa, in turn, called upon Allen Craig to pinch-hit for Carpenter.

Craig smacked a 1-2 pitch from Ogando into right field, just inches in front of a sliding Cruz, to score Freese and give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.

“Man, he’s tough,” Craig said of Ogando. “He came right at me with fastballs and I missed the first two. Then that last one, I was trying to get the barrel on it, make the defense make a play.”[7]

“Craig is the best pinch-hitter we’ve got,” La Russa said, “but to come off the bench, in your first World Series, in your first at-bat, against that guy? Wow.”[8]

For his part, Washington refused to second-guess the decision to bring Ogando into the game.

 “He was my best pitcher I felt in that situation,” he said. “You have to give Craig credit. He beat him. We didn’t lose tonight. They beat us.”[9]

Before the Cardinals could claim that win, however, their bullpen needed to fend off the Rangers’ dangerous offense. In the seventh, Cruz singled and Fernando Salas walked Napoli to put runners at first and second with one out. Marc Rzepczynski entered the game and struck out Craig Gentry and Esteban German to end the inning.

In the eighth, Octavio Dotel retired Kinsler and Andrus before left-hander Arthur Rhodes got Hamilton to fly out to center field. In the ninth, Jason Motte retired Young, Beltre, and Cruz in order for his fifth save of the postseason.

“They had the pitching tonight,” Young said. “That was about it. Carpenter was really sharp and their bullpen pitched well. … They made pitches when they had to.”[10]


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[1] Bernie Miklasz, “‘La Genius’ lives up to that label,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 20, 2011.

[2] Joe Strauss, “Quality Start,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 20, 2011.

[3] Drew Davison, “Postseason frustration builds for Rangers’ ace,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 20, 2011.

[4] David Thomas, “Cardinals build confidence with opening victory,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 20, 2011.

[5] Joe Strauss, “Quality Start,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 20, 2011.

[6] Drew Davison, “Postseason frustration builds for Rangers’ ace,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 20, 2011.

[7] Ben Walker, “Craig’s single in 6th lifts Cardinals to win,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 20, 2011.

[8] Joe Strauss, “Quality Start,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 20, 2011.

[9] Joe Strauss, “Quality Start,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 20, 2011.

[10] Tom Timmermann, “Lumber Slumber,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 20, 2011.

October 16, 2011: Cardinals win the National League championship

The St. Louis Cardinals weren’t supposed to be here.

Not after Adam Wainwright went down with a season-ending injury in spring training. Not after they fell 10 games behind the Brewers in the National League Central Division and 10 ½ games behind the Braves in the wild card standings on August 24.

Yet somehow, they had gone 23-9 over their final 32 games to erase the Braves’ advantage and claim the wild card. Then they defeated the Phillies and their vaunted pitching staff in the NLDS. Now, with a 12-6 win in Game 6 of the NLCS over the Central Division champion Brewers, the Cardinals were headed to the World Series for the 18th time in franchise history.

“We had a long road,” said third baseman David Freese, the newly minted NLCS MVP. “We had to take the long way back after falling behind by 10 ½ games. We really had to work for this. We had to have a ton of heart, and this team deserves this reward.”[1]

“Improbably, incredible, overwhelming,” manager Tony La Russa said. “If you never lose your heart, and you keep trying, sometimes you can pull off something like this.”[2]

To pull it off, the Cardinals started right-hander Edwin Jackson, the right-hander they had acquired in a July trade with the Blue Jays that had included seven total players, including 24-year-old center fielder Colby Rasmus, who served as the centerpiece of the Blue Jays’ acquisitions in the trade.

Once in St. Louis, Jackson had gone 5-2 with a 3.58 ERA, helping the Cardinals make their late-season surge. Facing the Phillies in the NLDS, he allowed just two runs in six innings to earn the first playoff win of his career. In Game 2 of the NLCS, he pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs in a game the Cardinals went on to win 12-3.

The Brewers started right-hander Shaun Marcum, who had struggled in each of his two previous playoff appearances for the Brewers. Despite going 13-7 with a 3.54 ERA in 200 2/3 regular-season innings, Marcum had allowed seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. In Game 2 of the NLCS, the Cardinals roughed up Marcum for five runs in four innings.

Marcum’s struggles only continued in the first inning of Game 6 as Lance Berkman hit an RBI single and Freese followed with a two-out, three-run home run that gave St. Louis a 4-0 lead.

The front page of the October 17, 2011, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“They were some kind of team in the first inning,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “We couldn’t get away with anything.”[3]

With his one-inning appearance, Marcum finished with a 14.89 ERA in his three playoff starts, including a 16.20 ERA against the Cardinals.

“I’m not second-guessing anything there,” Roenicke said of starting Marcum. “It was the right decision.”[4]

Corey Hart led off the Brewers’ half of the first inning with a home run to cut the Cardinals’ advantage to 4-1.

In the second, former Cardinal Chris Narveson took the mound for the Brewers. The left-hander, whom the Cardinals had traded to Colorado in 2004 as part of a package for Larry Walker, had started 28 of his 30 appearances during the regular season, going 11-8 with a 4.45 ERA.

Narveson struck out Nick Punto and Jackson before Rafael Furcal hit a solo home run to make the score 5-1.

The Brewers answered with two home runs in the second inning. Rickie Weeks led off the frame with a solo homer, and after third baseman Jerry Hairston reached on an infield single, Jonathan Lucroy launched a two-run homer into the stands to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 5-4.

“When we got it to one run, everybody was excited, but we just couldn’t hold them down,” Lucroy said. “For me, calling pitches, it felt like Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams were all hitting against us. They were hot, real hot.”[5]

Albert Pujols started the Cardinals’ four-run third-inning rally with a line-drive home run. With the bases loaded, Punto hit a sacrifice fly to score Matt Holliday. After LaTroy Hawkins replaced Narveson on the mound, pinch-hitter Allen Craig hit a two-run single that extended the Cardinals’ lead to 9-4.

Fernando Salas entered the game in relief of Jackson and retired the side in order in the third, but allowed an RBI double to Yuniesky Betancourt in the fourth inning.

The Cardinals continued to add runs against the Brewers’ bullpen in the fifth inning. After Holliday and Freese each singled to begin the inning, Yadier Molina hit a ground ball to Hairston at third base. Hairston misplayed the ball, allowing Holliday to score, and two batters later, pinch-hitter Adron Chambers hit a sacrifice fly that scored Freese and extended the Cardinals’ lead to 11-5.

The Brewers added one more run in the sixth off St. Louis reliever Marc Rzepczynski and Pujols added an RBI single in the eighth to make the final score 12-6.

“Did they do anything wrong in this series?” Roenicke asked.[6]

Freese, who had gone 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored in the game, was named the NLCS MVP after going 12-for-22 (.545) with three doubles, three homers, and nine RBIs in the series.

“It means the world to me,” Freese said. “Not too many people get a chance to do this in their home town. It’s an unbelievable feeling. To be a part of this group of guys and this organization, it’s a dream come true.”[7]

Rzepczynski was credited with the win after throwing 2 1/3 innings of relief. Lance Lynn threw a scoreless eighth inning and Jason Motte shut the door in the ninth. When Motte struck out Mark Kotsay to end the game, he received a big hug from Molina.

The front page of the October 17, 2011, St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports section.

“When I heard that ‘strike three’ called I looked at Yadi behind the plate and he’s standing there with his hands stretched out wide, so I figured I’d do the same thing,” said Motte, who threw the final inning in each of the Cardinals’ four wins in the series.[8]

For the series, the Cardinals’ bullpen had thrown 28 2/3 innings, more than the 24 1/3 innings thrown by St. Louis starting pitchers. Despite the workload, they posted a 1.88 ERA while holding the Brewers to just a .155 batting average.

“I wish I could chop the award up into pieces and give it to the bullpen. They deserve it,” Freese said.[9]

Pujols, Holliday, and Molina each had two hits in Game 6. For the series, Pujols went 11-for-23 (.478) with two homers and nine RBIs. Holliday was 10-for-23 (.435) with a homer and five RBIs, and Molina was 8-for-24 (.333) with two RBIs.

Now, they looked to carry that momentum into the World Series, where they were set to face the American League champion Texas Rangers.

“They earned this. They deserved this. And they will always be remembered for this,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote.[10]


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[1] Bernie Miklasz, “A memorable journey,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[2] Bernie Miklasz, “A memorable journey,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[3] Joe Strauss, “Redbirds win slugfest; Freese earns MVP honor,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[4] Dennis Punzel, “Fright from the start,” Wisconsin State Journal, October 17, 2011.

[5] Dennis Punzel, “Fright from the start,” Wisconsin State Journal, October 17, 2011.

[6] Joe Strauss, “Redbirds win slugfest; Freese earns MVP honor,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[7] Dan O’Neill, “MVP Freese says winning is a dream,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[8] Bryan Burwell, “Improbably pennant wasn’t easy for Cards,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[9] Joe Strauss, “Redbirds win slugfest; Freese earns MVP honor,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.

[10] Bernie Miklasz, “A memorable journey,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 17, 2011.