|A fifth World Series ring for the great catching Molinas|
The 2-0 first-inning Texas lead evaporated later that same inning on MVP David Freese's two-run double, and Allen Craig's solo home run in the third put the Cardinals out in front for good. The game didn't feel well and truly over, though, until the sad debacle of the fifth. Reliever Scott Feldman, for whom we can only feel sympathy at this point, walked Craig, hit Pujols, and, after a Berkman ground out, was asked to put Freese aboard to load the bases with two away. A bases-loaded walk -- which is totally the worst kind -- on a close pitch brought Craig home, Washington to the mound, and C. J. Wilson in from the 'pen. With his first pitch of the game, Wilson plunked Rafael Furcal to plate another run. It was brutal
And that was pretty much that. After the best thirty-one days of baseball in my lifetime, the St. Louis Cardinals walked away with their eleventh World Series championship, perhaps the unlikeliest of them all. Good for them. You can't help but feel for the Rangers, the first team to drop back-to-back World Series since the Atlanta Braves of 1991 and 1992. Ron Washington is getting absolutely murdered in the papers and on the blogs, fairly or not, and you've got to wonder if he'll even be back after this. But there's no reason to think the Rangers can't survive the odd free agent loss and remain the class of the AL West for the foreseeable future; and with their young talent coming to the fore this postseason, and with the Brewers about to take a step back, the Cardinals look like they're going to remain relevant for a long time, too, with or without Albert Pujols. It's not inconceivable that these two teams could end up here again in a couple of years. It's almost entirely inconceivable, though, that they would be able to put together a series like this again, a seven-game thriller that featured the best single-game World Series performance in a generation, and one of the strangest and most compelling games we've ever seen.
This one was a honey. Baseball is awesome.