October 19, 2011
Score and situation: The St. Louis Cardinals got another strong effort from their bullpen and just enough offense to win Game 1 of the World Series 3-2 against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night.
Leading lads: Ace right-hander Chris Carpenter allowed two runs and five hits over — whaddya know?! — six innings. The Cardinals bullpen — Fernando Salas(notes), Mark Rzepczynski, Octavio Dotel(notes), Arthur Rhodes(notes) and Jason Motte(notes) — allowed just a hit and a walk over three scoreless relief innings.
Cardinals pinch-hitter Allen Craig(notes), no doubt cheered on by his famous pet tortoise @TortyCraig, hit a perfectly placed RBI single in the sixth inning against Alexi Ogando(notes) that landed just beyond the grasp (pictured) of outfielder Nelson Cruz(notes).
Head hangers: Though he allowed three runs and four hits, Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson(notes) struggled again in the postseason, walking six over 5 2/3 innings. Slugger Josh Hamilton(notes) and cleanup hitter Michael Young(notes) combined to go 0-for-8 for the Rangers.
Key play: With two outs and a runner at third base in the sixth, the Rangers decided to pitch around eighth-place hitter Nick Punto(notes) — a move which knocked down a bunch of dominoes. Ron Washington's move encouraged Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to use Craig as a substitute for Carpenter, and a bullpen tug-of-war had begun.
[Slideshow: Top moments from Game 1]
What they'll be talking about: Should the umpires have been allowed to use Fox's infrared replay camera on Adrian Beltre's(notes) grounder in the ninth? X-ray replay appeared to show that the ball hit his shoe and should have been called foul.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Fox's infrared camera proves Adrian Beltre right about dispute
• Don't call Manny Pacquiao the 'Mexicutioner'
• Kobe Bryant, other NBA stars plan global barnstorming tour