Tag Archives: Freese

WS Game 5. Boston wins series; Pearce MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Allow me to repeat the first couple of lines from yesterday’s blog.

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce.

Last night, Pearce won the WS MVP award by hitting 2 HR (3 for the WS) as Boston won their fourth WS of this century (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) by beating L.A. 5-1 to wrap up the Series in five games.

For L.A., it’s back-to-back WS losses.

Pearce got things started in the first with a 2-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who can now opt out of his contract, for all his brilliance, somehow can’t get it together in the postseason. This was his second WS loss this year.

David Freese homered off of David Price to lead off the bottom of the first for L.A., but that was all they’d get. Price was great, and the Dodgers got 3 hits all night.

For Price, 2 WS wins after having had a career filled with postseason failure.

Mookie Betts homered in the sixth to make it 3-1 Boston.

J.D. Martinez homered in the seventh, 4-1.

Then Pearce capped off everything with his second HR of the game in the eighth for the final score of 5-1.

And it was Manny Machado who struck out for the WS’ last out.

Alex Cora, as a rookie manager, wins the WS. Boston led the majors with 108 wins in the regular season, then went 11-3 in the postseason.

So Yankees’ fans have to watch their archrival win the WS. They can only take solace in two things.

One, that no one has repeated since the Yankees threepeated in 1998-1999-2000. So maybe that streak continues next year.

Two, that the Red Sox began last century with WS wins in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 and we know how the rest of the century played out. The Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. The “Curse of the Bambino.”

But somehow, I don’t see a “Curse of the Mookie” coming….

But hopefully next year for the Yanks.

We’ll see what moves the offseason brings and what awards are won by whom.

WS Game 1: Ex-Yank Nunez’ 3-run PH HR ices game for Boston, 8-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ex-Yankee Eduardo Nunez hit a 3-run, PH HR in the bottom of the seventh to cap off an 8-4 Boston victory over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.

Boston jumped on Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw for 2 runs in the first, thanks to an RBI single by Andrew Benintendi, who had four hits in the game. Matt Kemp homered for LA in the top of the second to cut it to 2-1.

Manny Machado, who drove in the other 3 Dodgers’ runs, tied it in the top of the third, but but J.D. Martinez, who singled in a run in the first, doubled in a run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2 Boston.

LA tied it in the top of the fifth, but Boston got two in the bottom of the fifth to go up 5-3. In the top of the seventh, the Dodgers got a run to cut it to 5-4, but Nunez’ HR in the bottom of the seventh iced it for Boston.

Dodgers: Turner 3 hits, Freese 2 hits, Machado 3 RBI. Kemp HR. Kershaw the loss.
Red Sox: Benintendi 4 hits, Martinez 2 hits and 2 RBI, Nunez HR, 3 RBI. Leon 2 hits. Barnes the Win.

For Clayton Kershaw, another postseason dud. For all his regular season success…

Neither he nor Chris Sale pitched more than 4 innings.

 

Cardinals take advantage of Rangers wildness. Win WS 6-2.

In Game Seven of the 2011 World Series, the Cardinals took advantage of wildness by Rangers’ pitchers and won the World Series, 6-2.

Texas started strong, scoring two in the first, but scored nothing thereafter.

The Cardinals came back with two in the bottom of the first. With two out, both Pujols and Berkman walked, then Game Six Hero David Freese doubled in two. Freese was named the WS MVP.

Allen Craig’s HR in the 3rd was the eventual Game-winning Run.

In the fifth, the Cardinals basically put the game away—not by their own merits, but by Rangers’ wildness. With one out, Feldman, in for starter and loser Harrison, walked Craig and hit Pujols with a pitch. After a groundout moved the runners up, Freese was intentionally walked to load the bases. Feldman then walked in a run. C.J. Wilson came in and hit Furcal with a pitch before getting the last out.

2 insurance runs. NO hits. Three walks and 2 HBP. As John Sterling might have said at that point, ballgame over (not officially), World Series Over, Cardinals win.

Carpenter went six for the win, the Cardinals added another run in the seventh and the final was 6-2.

Albert Pujols struck out in the seventh in what could turn out to be his last AB as a Cardinal.

It is the Cardinals’ 11th World Championship, second only to the Yankees, and a most unlikely one.

They were 10 1/2 games out of a playoff spot on Aug. 25th. After blowing a game in the last week to the Mets, they were 3 out of a playoff spot with five to go. Going into Game 162, they needed a win (they got it) and a Braves loss to the Phillies (which they got in extra-innings) to make the playoffs as the wild card. The Phils were heavy favorites in round one. The Cards were down two games to one but took Games 4 and 5 from the Phils—stunning Roy Halladay & the Phils at home 1-0 in Game 5. They then beat the Brewers in six for the NL title before winning the WS in Seven.

…and what a way to win the WS. Down three games to two, and down 7-4 in Game Six, they scored one in the eighth, two in the ninth to tie, two in the tenth to tie again, and one in the 11th to force Game 7, which they then won in far less dramatic fashion.

For Tony LaRussa, it’s his third WS title (1989 A’s, 2006 Cardinals, 2011 Cardinals).

Sometimes it isn’t the best team who wins the WS, it’s the best survivor. St. Louis proved that in 2011 with a comeback for the ages. One that’ll match its 1964 Championship and perhaps 1934 and/or 1942 as well.

Cards force Game 7 with dramatic 10-9, 11th inning win

In one of the greatest games I have ever seen, the St. Louis Cardinals forced Game 7 with a 10-9, 11th inning win on a walk-off HR by David Freese.

Texas got a Josh Hamilton RBI single in the first to go up 1-0. St. Louis came right back with a 2-Run HR by Lance Berkman.

Ian Kinsler’s ground-rule double tied it in the second.

Both teams scored in the fourth, and both teams made errors that helped the other team score. There were five errors in the game.

Texas got a run in the fifth, helped by another error. St. Louis tied it in the sixth, helped by… you guessed it… an error.

Texas got three in the seventh, and the Series appeared over. Back-to-back HR by Beltre and Cruz, combined with a Kinsler RBI single, made it 7-4 Rangers.

Allen Craig HR’d in the 8th to make it 7-5, and things got great.

With one out in the ninth, Pujols doubles and Berkman walked. After Craig struck out, Freese was down to his last strike. One strike away were the Rangers from winning the WS. Freese tied the game with a triple.

Texas came back with two in the top of the 10th on a 2-run HR by Hamilton. St. Louis appeared dead….again.

Nope.

Two singles and a sac bunt put runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out. Theriot grounded out, run scores. 9-8, but two out. Int. walk to Pujols, but Berkman, WITH THE CARDS AGAIN ONE STRIKE AWAY FROM LOSING THE SERIES, singles to tie the game.

In the 11th, Freese hits a walk-off HR to win the game for St. Louis 10-9 and force tonight’s Game 7.

Wow.

WS set: Rangers/Cardinals.

NLCS MVP David Freese hit a 3-run HR in the first to spark the Cardinals to a 12-6 win and the NL Pennant.

They will host the Rangers in Game 1 of the WS on Wed. night.

The Cardinals will be seeking their 11th WS title. They are second to the Yankees (27) in that regard, even though the Giants and Dodgers have won more NL Pennants than St. Louis (the Cardinals have done better in the WS than those other two teams). The Rangers, who began life in 1961 as the second incarnation of the Washington Senators before moving to Texas and becoming the Rangers in 1972, are seeking their first WS title. The Rangers lost last year’s WS to the SF Giants.

Now what?

Thanks Jeff for the comments. Other readers, feel free to chip in.

So now what? Say the Yanks are able to baby Alex through the season (physically that is, not emotionally…although it can be argued that they need to do both).

How do they do it?

Will A-Rod then be treated like a catcher, where he doesn’t play day games after night games? Will he (and what would appear to be his diminished mobility) be pulled for defense in those late inning games where the Yanks have a one-run lead?

Will he be pulled in games where the Yanks are up or down five runs after say, six innings? Of course the ability to come back will be diminished if Alex is pulled after six innings, Yanks down by five. The ability to come back from that spot may be rare, but becomes rarer without Alex.

Joe Girardi best call up Ralph Houk. Find out from Ralph (still alive at 89) how he handled Mantle when the Mick had to move to 1B in 1967 and 1968. 144 g. each year. 131 at 1B, PH in others (of course, not too much PH in the AL, but if Alex has to sit [day game after night game] those PH situations may be more frequent than you think). Of course the Mick got day games after night games off, didn’t play in both games of DHs (not too many DHs anymore, but still…) didn’t play a game before a long plane trip (legs could stiffen, something to keep in mind with Alex), etc.

And if Alex is forced to DH, there is a snowball effect. Going to Matsui, Nady, Damon, Swisher…now you are forced to DH Alex and play someone else at 3B. The DH regularly scheduled for the day (and that can include Posada) sits. Which means Alex’s injury may force Posada, at 37, to play more than what was planned or expected.

Cue the Traveling Wilburys. Handle me with care…….

Say Alex can’t make it through the 2009 season.

With the Twins signing Crede, I wonder if Harris or Buscher could be available. God forbid, should Alex go down and out, the Yanks look into getting Wilson Betemit back…

In trying to explore different possibilities, I e-mailed a friend in Mexico. Maybe he can tip us off to a Mexican League player worth a look. You never know. In 1972, the Yanks started with Rich McKinney. They had traded Stan Bahnsen for him. McKinney was terrible. He went .271-8-46 for the White Sox in 1971, OPS+ 98. Mostly 2B/Rf with a little 3b. Jerry Kenney wasn’t cutting it. .262-0-20 in 1971, OPS+ 100. An upgrade was needed. However McKinney wasn’t an upgrade. In 37 games with the Yanks in 1972, McKinney hit .215-1-7, OPS+ 56. Ugh.

Bahnsen, 14-12, 3.35 (ERA + 96) in 1971, went 21-16, 3.60 (ERA+ just 88 though) in 1972 for the White Sox. The 1968 ROY was 146-149 in his career, 3.60, ERA+ 97. Ok, not great, but he gave 200 IP or more 1968-1974, and you could have gotten much more for Bahnsen than McKinney.

In the end, the Yanks were forced to Celerino Sanchez at 3B. 71 g, 250 AB. .248-0-22. OPS+ 80.        

celerino sanchez

The Yanks rectified their mistake by getting Graig Nettles for 1973. Sanchez was just 48 when he died in 1992.

I’m looking at some other teams. The Mariners have Beltre. .266-25-77, OPS+ 109 last year. Of course you wonder about that big year he had in 2004. The thing is, the M’s do have a 22 year old in righty-hitting Matt Tuiasosopo who hit .281-13-73 in AAA last year. just 7 for 44 for the M’s in a late-season callup.

One guy who never translated to the MLB level and another 3B possibility would be Dallas McPherson of the Marlins, a 6’4″ lefty hitter. 371 MLB AB. .245-18-45. Bad plate discipline, though. 27 walks, 126 K. OPS+ 97. 28 years old. He’s just never taken his game to the next level. 40 HR in AA/AAA in 2004. 42 in AAA last year.

Troy Glaus is at 3B for the Cardinals. (.270-27-99, OPS+ 124 in 2008). David Freese will be 26 and the righty-hitting 3B went .306-26-91 in AAA. Hmmm….

3B has the least members in the HOF of any position. Looking at Alex’s possible replacements, ….