Tag:2011 playoffs
Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:32 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 11:02 pm
 

Napoli, Rangers promptly answer Cardinals

World Series coverage

By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals struck first, but it didn't take long for the mighty Rangers' offense to answer.

After falling behind 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Rangers have knotted things up. Adrian Beltre led off the fifth with a single to right field and then Mike Napoli hit a 389-foot home run to right field, tying things up at two.

As was previously stated, there's plenty of game left. Make sure to keep up with all the action ...

Click here to watch CBSSports.com's live GameTracker

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.





Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:27 pm
 

Cardinals offense strikes first

By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- After three scoreless innings -- which was quite surprising given the high-powered offense in this World Series -- the Cardinals' big boppers got the job done in the bottom of the fourth.

World Series coverage
After Albert Pujols was hit with a pitch -- beward later in the game, Josh Hamilton! -- Matt Holliday delivered a double down the right field line, leaving runners on second and third for Lance Berkman.

Berkman was batting right-handed against the lefty C.J. Wilson, and Berkman isn't near as deadly from that side of the plate. Still, he found a hole with a grounder down the first-base line turning into a two-RBI single.

David Freese then hit a deep fly to center that was caught on the warning track by Josh Hamilton. The inning ended with no further damage, but the Cardinals have drawn first blood and carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth.

And Chris Carpenter is dealing at this moment, too, so the advantage is definitely St. Louis at this point, but the game is far from over.

Click here to watch CBSSports.com's live GameTracker

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:22 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 11:32 pm
 

First half-inning brings the entertainment

By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- OK, so if it's true that the first inning sets the tone for the entire series, we're about to be served up a beauty. Ian Kinsler led off the game with an excuse me/tornado-like spinning swing that sent a ball with plenty of english on it to third base deflecting off David Freese's glove and into foul territory for a base hit. Then, Ron Washington stayed true to his word.

World Series coverage

"Whether it's Johnny Bench or whoever is back there, Molina, we're going to run, if the numbers say we can run," the Rangers' manager said before the game. "If the numbers say we can't run, we're not going to run. If the numbers say we can run, we're always going to maximize our lead."

So Kinsler took off for second base during Elvis Andrus' at-bat and was nailed by Molina.

Next, Andrus hit a grounder in the hole between first baseman Albert Pujols and second baseman Nick Punto. Pujols made the stab-and-throw to pitcher Chris Carpenter, but led him by too much. Carpenter made an incredible diving grab while simultaneously touching first base for the out. He narrowly avoided a possible injury, too.

In the bottom half, the Rangers' defense erased a leadoff baserunner with a strong double-play turn.

So, yeah, this looks like it's going to be exciting.

Click here to watch CBSSports.com's live GameTracker

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:41 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 9:26 pm
 

MLB to allow Dirk Nowitzki first pitch

Dirk NowitzkiBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Update: MLB has invited Nowitzki to throw out the first pitch of one of the World Series games in Texas, ESPN reports. That would either be Games 3, 4 or 5. Spokesman Pat Courtney said that commissioner Bud Selig was unaware that Nowitzki was not involved, and felt he should be.

Read below for more on MLB not allowing Nowitzki to throw out a first pitch before reversing itself.

Apparently a guy dressed up as a cartoon character is OK for throwing out the first pitch in the NLCS, but an NBA player can't throw out the first pitch in a World Series.

Major League Baseball nixed a Rangers proposal to have the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki throw out the first pitch in one of the Rangers' home games in the World Series. Although a report by ESPN claimed it was because of the NBA's labor issues, an MLB official denied that was the reason when asked by CBSSports.com.

The MLB official said MLB oversees the selection of the first pitch honorees and they prefer not to promote other sports, but instead promote their own sport. Each team gives the MLB office 10-15 names they are thinking about having throw out the first pitch, and MLB takes a role in saying which ones they would like. Nowitzki was on the Rangers' list and was denied by MLB. Last year the Rangers scheduled two former players and two former presidents (including one that's a former owner of the team) throw out the first pitch during their four scheduled home games in the World Series.

Nowitzki threw out the first pitch at a June 25 game after leading the Mavericks to the NBA title. Teams control who throws out the first pitch in the regular-season, but not the postseason.

Game 6 of the NLCS between the Brewers and Cardinals featured a person dressed up like the character Sully from the movie Monsters, Inc., the inspiration for the team's "beast mode" meme. While MLB oversees who throws out the first pitches in the first two rounds of the playoffs, they give the teams more leeway in their selections in the two rounds leading up to the World Series.

Nolan Ryan, Ferguson Jenkins, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush threw out the first pitches before last year's home World Series games at Rangers Ballpark.

Bob Gibson, Bruce Sutter and Adam Wainwright will throw out the "first" pitches at Game 1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: October 19, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Theriot feels 'different' vibe in Cards clubhouse



By Matt Snyder


ST. LOUIS -- Prior to joining the Cardinals, shortstop/second baseman Ryan Theriot had been to the playoffs twice, but his ballclub was swept both times. So before the Cardinals started the NLDS this October against the Phillies, Theriot was 0-6 in career playoff games. Of course, that was with the Cubs, who haven't won the World Series since the Teddy Roosevelt administration.

Upon being traded to the Cardinals this past offseason, Theriot drew the ire of Cubs fans when he remarked that he was finally "on the right side of the rivalry."

The funny thing is, the 2008 Cubs were awesome. Seriously. If you don't remember, they were 97-64 and the top seed in the NL. Their offense led the NL in runs and OPS. Their pitchers led the NL in strikeouts and ranked third in ERA. But they just gagged in the playoffs, getting swept by the Dodgers and generally playing terrible baseball -- errors, no control from the pitchers, etc.

World Series coverage
It just makes one wonder if the Cubs were pressing. It was the 100-year anniversary of the last World Series championship and they entered the playoffs as heavy favorites at least in the NL, probably even the World Series.

Having experienced this and now experienced winning two playoff series for a ballclub that last won it all in 2006, Theriot's a good person to ask about the locker room feel for both clubs.

"It's just ... different," he said. "Over there (Chicago in '08) it was a given that we were going to be (in the playoffs). Here, we had to win almost every game down the stretch and didn't really have time to think about pressure."

Were the Cubs pressing, or feeling the weight of the world in 2008?

"I don't know about all that," he said. "It's just ... again, different here."

Does it feel easier to play in a city that's enjoyed so much more success?

"It's just a completely different atmosphere," he said again.

He wouldn't say anything more, likely out of respect for that 2008 Cubs team, but his continued emphasis on the word "different" spoke volumes.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Rangers, Cards set World Series Game 1 lineups

By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- The lineups for Game 1 of the World Series have been officially released. Here they are:

Rangers Cardinals
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Ian Kinsler 2B 1 Rafael Furcal SS
2 Elvis Andrus SS 2 Jon Jay CF
3 JoshHamilton CF 3 Albert Pujols 1B
4 Michael Young 1B 4 Matt Holliday LF
5 Adrian Beltre 3B 5 Lance Berkman RF
6 Nelson Cruz RF 6 David Freese 3B
7 Mike Napoli C 7 Yadier Molina C
8 David Murphy LF 8 Nick Punto 2B
9 C.J. Wilson LHP 9 Chris Carpenter RHP

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Eye on Photos: St. Louis going Cardinal Crazy

By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- The city of St. Louis has experienced many Cardinals runs to the World Series, but none more unlikely than this one. Amidst the rain, I got the chance to walk around and take some pictures that illustrate the excitement out here. Despite the bad weather, the streets were already teeming with Cardinals fans -- all decked out nearly from head to toe in Cards' garb. There's certainly a city-wide excitement, as one would expect.

Click on any photo below to enlarge.

Stands with World Series merchandise at set up in multiple street locations. 
Street light poles are sporting the images of Cardinals throughout the downtown area. 
The water's running red ... 
Setting up for a pre-game concert/rally.
Businesses all around the city are showing solidarity with the local team. 
A shot of the open part of the stadium ... this picture was taken in a steady rain. Sigh.
Statues of local heroes outside the team store.
Stan the Man. 
The home plate entrance, again, notice the wet ground. 
Um, OK.  
We get it, you've been here before. 
A view of the scoreboard, taken from right behind home plate. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Weather to impact World Series Game 1



By Matt Snyder


ST. LOUIS -- Stupid Mother Nature. Leave us alone. Game 1 of the World Series between the Rangers and Cardinals is set for Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. ET, but it's weather permitting. And as you can see from these two pictures, that's a big question mark right now. The good news is there are still several hours until game time.

The bad news is the forecast. From Weather.com:

"We can't rule out the chance of a rain delay in Game 1, if the rain bands wrap around and pass over Busch Stadium. Even if the rain remains light, temperatures will be in the 40s and winds will be between 20 and 30 mph."

So even if the game is played without any delay, weather is going to have a huge impact. Specifically, it's pretty hard to hit in conditions like that, so the high-powered offenses could be held down -- not necessarily by opposing pitchers, but by the rain and wind.



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com