by Jason Wojciechowski
What a World Series.
|You have won!|
First. Who needs Matt Holliday anyway? Allen Craig did Allen Craig things (opposite-field homer in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2) and also not-really-Allen-Craig things (taking a probable homer away from Nelson Cruz in the top of the sixth) and was rewarded by the baseball gods with an easy fly ball to him to close out the championship.
Mike Napoli is probably still my MVP of the series (I haven't looked at it carefully), but Allen Craig did some tremendous work in this game and Game Six, one of the most memorable contests of all time.
Second. David Freese did plenty in Game Six to redeem himself for his awful dropped popup, but his two-out full-count double in the bottom of the first to tie the game at two and his nice leaning-over-the-rail catch on a foul pop in the fifth continued his streak of doing great things ever since that error.
Third. I don't like starters going on short rest. I don't like starters on short rest pitching into the seventh inning. I don't like starters on short rest in a Game Seven being left in after giving up two runs in the first inning. But Chris Carpenter doesn't care what I like or dislike, so he just went out and didn't allow a run after the first, giving the Cardinals time to take the lead and lengthen it to put Texas in a nearly hopeless position. (Six to two doesn't sound like much, but Fangraphs has their Win Expectancy cracking 75% in the fifth inning on Yadier Molina's walk that put them up 4-2, and they never looked back from there.)
... you know what? This is silly. This was Game Seven. There is no more baseball. Any bad I say about the Cardinals is moot: they won the World Series! Any bad I say about the Rangers will only feel like piling on after they came as close to winning it all as they did. Instead, here's a bonus Good.
Favorite part two
Fourth. A Game Seven victory for the home team is awesome. Sports fans tend to be respectful and appreciative when the road team eliminates their guys, clapping politely for the victors and/or for the great season the vanquished squad provided. But what's polite clapping compared to confetti and yelling and screaming and the sheer joy of the good guys winning the whole kit and kaboodle? I wasn't rooting for either team, but I'm happy for the St. Louis fans in attendance that they got to participate in that frenzy of happiness.