Cardinals Are World Series Champions, Top Rangers 6-2 In Game 7

After the St. Louis Cardinals mounted a spectacular Game 6 comeback win to stun the Texas Rangers, both teams must now prepare for the tension, pressure and drama of Friday night's Game 7 showdown.

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17 Total Updates since October 28, 2011
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David Freese Is Your 2011 World Series MVP, Hometown Hero, Earthbound God-King

The St. Louis Cardinals' Game 6 hero is their 2011 World Series MVP: David Freese, whose game-tying RBI double kept the Cardinals from falling to anticlimax in Game 7, earned his second piece of postseason hardware after a night in which he claims to have gotten 45 minutes of sleep. 

David Freese's postseason performance has made it, to say the least, a little more difficult to justify trading him and installing Matt Carpenter at third base. After homering and driving in five runs in the Cardinals' NLDS upset of the Philadelphia Phillies he went 12-22 against the Milwaukee Brewers, driving in nine runs, homering three times, and earning the NLCS MVP Award. But it was his performance in Game 6 of the World Series that will put him in the Cardinals' record books forever.

With the Cardinals down two runs in the bottom of the ninth—down to their last out, their last strike—Freese tripled over Nelson Cruz's head to tie the game and set Busch Stadium afire. In the bottom of the 11th Freese broke another tie with a walkoff home run to dead center field, setting up the first World Series Game 7 since 2002. 

But he didn't stop there. In Game 7, the Cardinals blindsided by the Rangers' two-run opener against Chris Carpenter, Freese came through again, doubling in his 20th and 21st RBI of the postseason—an all-time record. 

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St. Louis Cardinals Are 2011 World Series Champions, Top Rangers 6-2

The St. Louis Cardinals are World Series champions for the 11th time in franchise history, with Allen Craig's home run and David Freese's continued heroics backing Chris Carpenter's remarkably gutty short-rest start to put the Cardinals on top in one of the most incredible postseason runs in franchise history. A night after Game 6's ineffable comebacks the Cardinals took the lead early and held it, and that was all. 

The Cardinals came back early this time; with two outs Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman walked, setting up David Freese for yet another remarkable double for his 20th and 21st RBI of the 2011 postseason. As Chris Carpenter buckled down and began to pitch like Chris Carpenter again Allen Craig homered, capping off his own incredible World Series run, to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Impressive plate discipline plated two more in the fifth, when Yadier Molina walked in a run and Rafael Furcal was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, while Molina struck again to add a sixth run in the seventh inning.

But in the end, of course, it came down to the Cardinals' bullpen. Octavio Dotel and Arthur Rhodes staunched the Rangers' seventh-inning threat with three quick outs after replacing Carpenter. Jason Motte was as efficient as ever in the ninth inning, and when he got series nemesis Mike Napoli to fly out to Magic Turtle owner Allen Craig that was it: The Cardinals had won the 11th World Series championship in their remarkable history. 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score: St. Louis Up 6-2 Through Eight Innings, Jason Motte Lurking

Another postseason inning, another lever pulled for Tony La Russa: In the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2011 World Series the St. Louis Cardinals went to Lance Lynn, who's looked less than sharp in his series performance to date, and Lynn responded with a perfect inning, retiring Josh Hamilton and Michael Young and striking out Adrian Beltre on a 95-mph fastball up in the zone to maintain the Cardinals' 6-2 lead with just three outs to go. Jason Motte lurks in the bullpen for the ninth inning.

After a series of bullpen failures following their near-perfect NLCS stint the Cardinals struck gold again after Chris Carpenter was forced out; Arthur Rhodes and Octavio Dotel stranded a baserunner on second in the seventh inning. 

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning on David Freese's improbable two-RBI double and took a 3-2 lead in the third inning when Allen Craig, who later robbed Nelson Cruz of a home run at the warning track, homered into the right-field seats. Two more runs scored on a walk and a hit batsman in the fifth and Yadier Molina singled in their sixth run in the seventh. 

Veterans of Game 6 will be reminded that no baseball game is over until it is officially over. 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score Update: Yadier Molina's Single Stokes St. Louis Lead 6-2

After a long night's worth of Yadi! Yadi! Yadi! at a raucous Busch Stadium the St. Louis Cardinals' catcher finally gave the people what they wanted, grounding a single up the middle to score Lance Berkman and push the Cardinals' lead to a still-terrifying 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. It was Molina's second hit and second RBI of the night, and his 23rd career postseason RBI. 

Molina's single came as the Cardinals finally appeared to solve Rangers set-up man Mike Adams, and just before inexplicably AWOL Rangers lefty specialist Mike Gonzalez came in to handcuff Skip Schumaker and end the Cardinals' scoring threat.

With a four-run deficit and Game 6 still in our collective memory the Texas Rangers are anything but out of this game with two innings to go. The Cardinals will have to deal with the middle of the Rangers' order once more, at least—and they'll have to do it with the best members of their bullpen pitching after a rough Game 6. 

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World Series 2011 Game 7: Chris Carpenter Out After Six Improbable Innings

Chris Carpenter looked like a human pitcher on three days' rest in the first inning of his Game 7 start in the 2011 World Series, but that was exactly as much time as it took him to turn back into Chris Carpenter. Despite an arm that's pitched more than 270 innings this year the St. Louis Cardinals' ace mowed down the Texas Rangers over the next five innings, striking out five and allowing just the two runs in a six-inning, 91-pitch monument to his refusal to accept age or injury as the answer to any question about his effectiveness.

Pulled to a standing ovation after an inning-opening ground rule double, Carpenter's last crisis was averted when Arthur Rhodes and Octavio Dotel retired the next three batters to end the seventh inning for the Rangers.

The Cardinals have Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse, and their compliment of bullpen guys (likely minus Fernando Salas) available for the last two innings of regulation. Lance Lynn and Jason Motte look like the likely candidates as of the bottom of the seventh inning. 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score Update: Walk, Hit Batsman Put Cardinals On Top 5-2

The St. Louis Cardinals' impressive postseason patience paid off again in Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, when three walks and two hit batsmen turned into two runs for the Cardinals, who lead the Texas Rangers by a score of 5-2 through five innings. Reliever Scott Feldman walked Allen Craig, hit Albert Pujols's jersey, intentionally walked World Series god-king David Freese, then walked Yadier Molina on an incredibly borderline 3-2 pitch to score Craig. Rangers ace C.J. Wilson hit Rafael Furcal to score Pujols before striking out an uncomfortable-looking Skip Schumaker to strand the bases loaded, eventually. 

The Cardinals kept Chris Carpenter going after a rough start, and it's paid shaky dividends in the sixth inning; while Carpenter continues to look solid, he was just a leaping over-the-wall grab by Allen Craig away from allowing a home run to Nelson Cruz in the sixth inning. (Torty has done it again.) 

For more in-game World Series updates, follow along on our Game 7 World Series storystream, and remember to continue doing everything you do for Torty in the next hour or two. 

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2011 World Series Game 7 Lineups: Cardinals Bat Allen Craig Second With Matt Holliday Injured

The lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals' final MLB game of the 2011 season is out:

  1. Ryan Theriot, 2B
  2. Allen Craig, LF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Lance Berkman, RF
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Rafael Furcal, SS
  8. Skip Schumaker, CF
  9. Chris Carpenter, P

The Cardinals got some bad news earlier today when they had to remove left fielder Matt Holliday from the playoff roster, bringing back outfielder Adron Chambers. As a result, Allen Craig, who had an impressive 2011 season during limited action -- and who has been crucial to the Cardinals' postseason success -- takes his place starting in left field.

David Freese -- who played hero in Game 6, hitting a game-saving triple and a game-winning homer -- moves up from No.6 to No. 7 in the lineup following the departure of Holliday.

Meanwhile, Ryan Theriot gets the start and the lead-off spot against lefty Matt Harrison. Theriot hit a strong .310/.356/.413 against lefties in 2011.

Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more breaking news, and for in-depth analysis on the St. Louis Cardinals be sure to visit Viva El Birdos. Visit Baseball Nation for more news and notes on the World Series and other MLB stories.

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World Series 2011 Game 7: Matt Holliday Injury Causes Cardinals To Remove Him From Postseason Roster

The St. Louis Cardinals will have to win the World Series without their star left fielder. Mutliple reports are flooding in from Twitter confirming that the Matt Holliday injury -- a sprained right wrist -- will result in Holliday's removal from the playoff roster. The Cardinals will replace Holliday with minor leaguer Adron Chambers.

Holliday, who missed games in the regular season with quad and finger injuries, hit a strong .290/.349/.488 to go with 22 homers. Chambers, who figures to fill the bench as a left-handed pinch-hitter and defensive replacement, hit .277/.368/.415 with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in 2011.

Cardinals manager figures to replace Holliday's spot in the lineup with young rising star Allen Craig, who hit a homer and a triple in last night's dramatic comeback win.

Stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis for more breaking news, and for in-depth analysis on the St. Louis Cardinals be sure to visit Viva El Birdos. Visit Baseball Nation for more news and notes on the World Series and other MLB stories.

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