The impressive performances should have come as no surprise: Both catchers would be named as the league MVP's in 1955, giving each man his third MVP Award over the past five seasons. Neither of the catchers featured in the 2011 World Series -- Mike Napoli and Yadier Molina -- are going to take home a season MVP award, but with their combined performances last night, they are now directly responsible for driving in more than one-third of all the runs scored in this year's Fall Classic, and have some connection to the two backstops who played such vital roles in the 1955 World Series.
World Series Game 5: Cardinals at Rangers
The Rangers erased an early 2-0 deficit with a pair of solo homers and a late two-run double from Napoli to defeat the Cardinals, 4-2. Texas took a 3-2 lead in the Series.
Napoli went 1-for-4 with the two RBIs, giving him nine RBIs in the World Series. Napoli has driven in at least two runs in four of the five games in the Series (no other player this Series has more than one such game). The four multi-RBI games tie him with Mickey Mantle (1960) for the most in a single Fall Classic.
Napoli's nine RBIs are tied for the sixth most for a single World Series. Bobby Richardson, with 12 in 1960, holds the high mark, and is followed by Mantle, with 11 in 1960. Napoli is one of eight players with nine. The other seven: Danny Murphy (1910), Lou Gehrig (1928), Gene Tenace (1972), Gary Carter (1986), Dwight Evans (1986), Tony Fernandez (1993) and Moises Alou (1997).
Napoli's nine RBIs are nearly half of the Rangers' team total (19), with Michael Young (3) having the second most on the club.
Napoli has six multi-RBI games this postseason, with five coming while he was catching. The total of six tie Napoli with Scott Spiezio (2002), David Ortiz (2004) and Ryan Howard (2009) for the most in a single postseason. The five as a catcher tie Napoli with Sandy Alomar (1997), Benito Santiago (2002) and Jason Varitek (2004) for the most in a single postseason for a catcher.
Molina went 3-for-4 with an RBI single for the Cardinals in Game 5. Molina's three-hit game was the second of his World Series career, with his first coming in Game 5 in 2006. Other catchers to have multiple three-hit games in the World Series: Campanella (3), Thurman Munson (3), Hank Gowdy (2), Bill Dickey (2), Mickey Cochrane (2), Berra (2), Tim McCarver (2) and Charles Johnson (2).
The Cardinals' 3-5 hitters (Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman) combined for seven of St. Louis' nine walks, with Pujols receiving three intentional passes and Berkman one.
The Cardinals became the fourth team to draw as many as nine walks in a nine-inning World Series game and still lose. The other three: the 1910 Cubs (Game 2, nine walks), the 1924 Senators (Game 3, nine walks) and the 1997 Indians (Game 3, nine walks).
Pujols' three intentional walks tied the World Series record, shared by Red Sox first baseman Rudy York (1946, Game 5) and Giants left fielder Barry Bonds (2002, Game 4). York and Bonds were on the winning side when they received their three intentional walks.
The Cardinals tied the 1946 Red Sox (Game 5) and the 1991 Twins (Game 7) for the most intentional walks received in a World Series game. The Cardinals are the only one of these three to lose the game. The Cardinals are one of 14 teams to draw at least three intentional passes in a World Series game, but one of only two to lose that game. In Game 5 of the 2001 World Series, the D-backs received three but lost, 3-2.
The Cardinals became the 39th team in the World Series to leave at least 12 men on base in a nine-inning game. The overall record of the 39 teams is 19-20.
Batting ninth, Mitch Moreland hit his second career World Series home run. The first also came as a nine-hole hitter, in Game 3 of the 2010 Fall Classic. Moreland is the fourth player (and the only starting position player) to have multiple homers out of that spot in the batting order. The quartet:
Bob Gibson, starting pitcher, 1967 (Game 7), 1968 (Game 4)
Dave McNally, starting pitcher, 1969 (Game 5), 1970 (Game 3)
Bernie Carbo, pinch-hitter, 1975 (Game 3, Game 6)
Mitch Moreland, first baseman, 2010 (Game 3), 2011 (Game 5)
Both Chris Carpenter and C.J. Wilson made their fifth start of this year's postseason. They are two of 43 pitchers to make at least that many in a year, with Curt Schilling making six in 2001. Neither Carpenter nor Wilson was involved in the decision, which left Wilson winless for this year's playoffs. Of the 43 pitchers with at least five starts in a postseason, Wilson is one of three to not record a single victory.
Darren Oliver pitched a scoreless seventh inning with one strikeout and picked up the win. At 41 years and 18 days, Oliver is the third oldest pitcher to record a World Series victory. Dolf Luque was 43 years and 64 days when he got the win in relief for the Giants in Game 5 of the 1933 World Series. Kenny Rogers was 41 years and 346 days when he started and won Game 2 of the 2006 World Series. This win was the first for Oliver in the World Series.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less