The St. Louis Cardinals took Game 1 of the 2011 World Series vs. the Texas Rangers in unfamiliar fashion—with a starting pitcher going six innings and a 3-2 lead holding up all the way to the end of the game—but with familiar results. Chris Carpenter went six solid innings, the middle of the order came through, and a pinch-hit single from Allen Craig set the game up for just three innings from the Cardinals' bullpen, including a 10-pitch save from Jason Motte and a lights-out performance from Marc Rzepczysnki.
The Cardinals scored early when thanks to the vaunted middle of their order—Albert Pujols was hit by a pitch to start the fourth inning, and a Matt Holliday double and a Lance Berkman single put in two runs. But after the Rangers got those runs back on a two-run homer from Mike Napoli it came down to two-on, two out, and pinch-hitter Allen Craig in the game for Carpenter. With two strikes on him, Craig did it for Torty, driving the ball for an RBI single that gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Craig's pinch-hit single put the Cardinals' ace in line for the win, but he'd done a fine job even without the decision—Carpenter struck out four and walked one in six innings of work, finally giving the Cardinals' rotation a quality start for the first time since his last quality start, a complete-game shutout in Game 5 of the NLDS. C.J. Wilson struggled, walking six in five-plus innings, but allowed just three runs when the Cardinals failed to take advantage of some game-breaking situations.