2011 World Series Game Seven

It seems only fitting that a baseball season in which it took us until game 162 to decide the playoff teams would see its World Series stretched out to a seventh game.  This marks the 33rd time that the World Series has gone to a game seven, hardly a rare event. It is almost as if the baseball gods hear our cries and answer our prayers with just one more game of playoff baseball.

Previous Game Sevens

*Bold Denotes Home Team*

Year

Winning team

Losing team

Score

1909

Pittsburgh Pirates Detroit Tigers 8–0

1924

Washington Senators New York  Giants 4–3 F/12

1925

Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Senators 9–7

1926

St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees 3–2

1934

St. Louis Cardinals Detroit Tigers 11–0

1940

Cincinnati Reds Detroit Tigers 2–1

1945

Detroit Tigers Chicago Cubs 9–3

1946

St. Louis Cardinals Boston Red Sox 4–3

1947

New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 5–2

1955

Brooklyn Dodgers New York Yankees 2–0

1956

New York Yankees Brooklyn Dodgers 9–0

1957

Milwaukee Braves New York Yankees 5–0

1958

New York Yankees Milwaukee Braves 6–2

1960

Pittsburgh Pirates New York Yankees 10–9

1962

New York Yankees San Francisco Giants 1–0

1964

St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees 7–5

1965

Los Angeles Dodgers Minnesota Twins 2–0

1967

St. Louis Cardinals Boston Red Sox 7–2

1968

Detroit Tigers St. Louis Cardinals 4–1

1971

Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 2–1

1972

Oakland Athletics Cincinnati Reds 3–2

1973

Oakland Athletics New York Mets 5–2

1975

Cincinnati Reds Boston Red Sox 4–3

1979

Pittsburgh Pirates Baltimore Orioles 4–1

1982

St. Louis Cardinals Milwaukee Brewers 6–3

1985

Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals 11–0

1986

New York Mets Boston Red Sox 8–5

1987

Minnesota Twins St. Louis Cardinals 4–2

1991

Minnesota Twins Atlanta Braves 1–0 F/10

1997

Florida Marlins Cleveland Indians 3–2 F/11

2001

Arizona Diamondbacks New York Yankees 3–2

2002

Anaheim Angels San Francisco Giants 4–1

The last eight World Series game sevens, have all been decided by the home team, which certainly seems to bode well for the St. Louis Cardinals.

How We Got to Our Game Seven

This has been a back and forth series from the start.  Games one and two were pitching duels between the Rangers and the Cardinals top hurlers.  St. Louis won the first game behind Chris Carpenter, and Texas won the second with a comeback in the bottom of the ninth.

With the series tied 1-1, Albert Pujols took the stage and gave us an unforgettable night. Behind Pujols’ three home runs, the Cardinals showed us the explosive offense that had been on display throughout the regular season and the National League playoffs.

It took a clutch performance from Derek Holland of the Rangers in game four to tie the series up.  Just one night after they exploded for 16 runs, Holland pitched 8.1 scoreless innings, and Neftali Feliz preserved the shutout. The series was tied 2-2.

With the Rangers playing in their last home game of the series, it was imperative that they get a win, and win they did. The crowd was in full throat for most of the contest, and with the game tied at 2 in the 8th, the crowd directly impacted the game with their raucous cheering. A couple of botched hit and run calls from St. Louis were tentatively attributed to the crowd noise, but an 8th inning call to the bullpen from manager Tony LaRussa was misinterpreted, and the wrong pitcher began warming up.  A few moments later, the Rangers took the lead in the game and eventually the series, hanging on to a 4-2 win.

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Back at home, but with their backs against the wall, St. Louis needed a win to keep their World Series hopes alive. In a game where both teams needed to play flawless baseball, neither team seemed up for the challenge.  It was easily the sloppiest game of the series both on the field and on the bases as the teams combined for five errors and were picked off the bases in crucial situations.  The scoring went back and forth in the early innings, before Texas took a commanding 7-4 lead off back to back homers from Beltre and Cruz. The Cardinals rallied for 1 in the eighth inning, but with two outs in the ninth, a two-run triple to the right field wall by David Freese tied this game at 7. Josh Hamilton answered in the 10th, with a two run homer, and Texas had its second two-run lead of the game, facing the Cardinals in their final at-bat.  A dink and dunk rally by the Cardinals, again tied the game in the 10th, and after a scoreless top half of the inning for the Rangers, David Freese, the 9th inning hero hit a no-doubt, solo shot to center.  Joe Buck, reminiscent of his late father, called the home run by simply saying, “And we’ll see you tomorrow night.”

Who Holds the Game Seven Advantage?

As we previously pointed out, the last eight game sevens have all been decided by the home team which might give the Cardinals the edge.  Furthermore, the Cards are playing a little loose right now, especially since they are in a nothing to lose situation.  It will be hard for the Rangers to shake off the fact that they let the 2011 World Series slip through their fingers – twice.

The Cardinals are rolling their ace Chris Carpenter out on short rest, while the Rangers send Matt Harrison to the hill. Harrison was the pitcher who got rocked in game three of the series, so it is a bit interesting to see Ron Washington send him out for a game 7 start.  It should be noted that the bullpens for both teams will be used at the first sign of trouble, and I would imagine that CJ Wilson of the Rangers would be available if needed (he was warming up in the 11th inning of last night’s game).

The Cardinals have been defying the odds since late August, when their playoff chances seemed improbable, if not impossible.  Both teams have everything to lose, heading into tonight’s game, but it will be the team that plays like they have no pressure that will come out on top and right now I think that advantage goes to St. Louis.

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.