Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: World Series Game 7

MLB Notebook: World Series Game 7

MLB Notebook: World Series Game 7
When Pete Alexander came in and saved the day for the Cardinals in Game 7 of the 1926 World Series -- a series that brought the franchise its first title -- Jim Bottomley was the team's first baseman. Bottomley was also once teammates with Dizzy Dean, who threw a six-hit shutout in Game 7 of the '34 World Series to give St. Louis its third title.

Dean played with an outfielder on the Cardinals named Terry Moore, who was one of seven Cardinals to play in all seven games of the 1946 World Series -- a Fall Classic during which the Redbirds defeated the Red Sox in seven games for the franchise's sixth title.

The starting second baseman on that 1946 club was Red Schoendienst, who, 21 years later, was the Cardinals' manager as Bob Gibson won three games and Lou Brock had 12 hits and seven steals in leading the '67 club past the Red Sox in seven games for yet another title -- the eighth in the club's history.

The regular third baseman on that team was Mike Shannon, who was calling games for the Cardinals 15 years later, when a rookie named Willie McGee had two homers and a homer-stealing catch as part of an iconic Game 3 performance in the 1982 Fall Classic. The Cardinals won that series in seven games for their ninth title, thanks in part to performances like the ones offered by McGee, Lonnie Smith and Dane Iorg.

Smith and Iorg each collected five extra-base hits in that series. The next time the Cardinals had one of their players collect that many extra-base hits in a Fall Classic was in 2011, when yet another seven-game series allowed players like World Series Most Valuable Player Award winner David Freese (the guy with the five extra-base hits), Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter to connect their own performances and stories to a timeline played out over 86 years and distinguished by 11 championship trophies.


The Cardinals defeated the Rangers, 6-2, to capture their 11th World Series title. The 11 crowns are the second most for any franchise, and the most for any National League club. The top-five totals have the Yankees with 27, St. Louis with 11, the Athletics with nine, the Red Sox with seven, and the Dodgers and Giants with six each.

With the victory, the Cardinals improved to 8-3 in World Series Game 7's. Before Friday, their last Game 7 victory had come in 1982. The 2011 Fall Classic marked the eighth time the Cardinals had opened the World Series at home, and they are now 7-1 in those Series.

With the victory, the all-time record for home teams in a World Series winner-take-all contest improved to 19-17. St. Louis was the ninth straight home team to win a Game 7. This streak dates back to 1982.

The last home team to lose a Game 7 was the 1979 Orioles, who fell to the Pirates. The teams responsible for the winning streak: the '82 Cardinals, '85 Royals, '86 Mets, '87 Twins, '91 Twins, '97 Marlins, 2001 D-backs, '02 Angels and '11 Cardinals.

In this year's seven-game Series, the Cardinals scored 38 runs, while the Rangers tallied 30. Texas outhit the Cardinals (60 to 56) and collected 21 extra-base hits to the Cardinals' 18. The Redbirds' team ERA was 3.86, while the Rangers' staff owned a 4.65 mark.

Chris Carpenter
Carpenter got the win for the Cardinals, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He was the only St. Louis starter to pick up a victory in the World Series, going 2-0 in three starts. The Rangers' Derek Holland (in Game 4) was the only Texas starter to pick up a win in the series.

The 2011 World Series then, with a total of three wins by a starter, offered as few as any seven-game World Series. The others to feature no more than three wins by a starter: 1947 (Yankees defeated the Dodgers), '72 (Athletics defeated the Reds), '75 (Reds defeated the Red Sox), '79 (Pirates defeated the Orioles) and 2002 (Angels defeated the Giants).

With his third start in the World Series:

• Carpenter joined Curt Schilling as the only pitchers to make six starts in a single postseason. In 2001, Schilling went 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA in 48 1/3 innings. This fall, Carpenter went 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in 36 innings.

Most Victories Through First 15 Postseason Appearances
Pitcher Wins ERA
Orlando Hernandez 9 2.57
Chris Carpenter 9 3.05
Whitey Ford 8 2.08
Catfish Hunter 8 2.40
Orel Hershiser 8 2.02
Greg Maddux 8 3.29
Curt Schilling 8 2.06
• Carpenter joined Dean (1934), Gibson ('64, '67, '68) and John Tudor ('85) as Cardinals pitchers to make three starts in a single World Series. Overall, Carpenter was the first pitcher since Schilling in 2001 to make three World Series starts.

• Carpenter became the 15th starting pitcher to win a winner-take-all World Series game while pitching on no more than three days of rest. The others: Babe Adams (1909), Dean ('34), Paul Derringer ('40), Hal Newhouser ('45), Johnny Podres ('55), Lew Burdette ('57), Gibson ('64), Sandy Koufax ('65), Gibson ('67), Mickey Lolich ('68), Ken Holtzman ('73), Frank Viola ('87), Jack Morris ('91) and John Lackey (2002).

• Carpenter improved his all-time postseason record to 9-2 in 15 starts. In the 15 appearances, he owns a 3.05 ERA in 94 1/3 innings, and his team -- the Cardinals for all 15 -- was 12-3. The nine victories are the most in Cardinals history, and tie Carpenter with Catfish Hunter and Orlando Hernandez for the 10th most in playoff history. His nine wins through 15 appearances tie Hernandez for the most.

David Freese
David Freese went 1-for-2 with a two-run double in the first inning and also drew two walks in Game 7.

Freese was the ninth third baseman to be named World Series MVP. He joined Brooks Robinson (1970), Pete Rose ('75), Mike Schmidt ('80), Ron Cey ('81), Ray Knight ('86), Scott Brosius ('98), Troy Glaus (2002) and Mike Lowell ('07).

Freese joined Willie Stargell (1979), Darrell Porter ('82), Orel Hershiser ('88), Livan Hernandez ('97) and Cole Hamels (2008) as the only players to win Most Valuable Player Awards in a League Championship and World Series in the same postseason.

To put his postseason numbers into context, Freese:

• Had 25 hits in the postseason -- tied with Marquis Grissom (1995) and Darin Erstad (2002) for the most in playoff history

• Had a record 50 total bases in the postseason

• Tied his teammate Pujols for the most doubles -- eight -- in a single postseason

• Set a new postseason record with 21 RBIs. The old mark for the most in a single year was 19, shared by Sandy Alomar (1997), Scott Spiezio (2002) and David Ortiz ('04)

• Finished the World Series with an 1.160 OPS -- the second highest (to Texas' Mike Napoli's 1.164) for any regular player in this year's Fall Classic

• Became the seventh Cardinals player with at least five extra-base hits in a World Series. The others: Brock (six in '68), Chick Hafey (five in '30), Pepper Martin (five in '31), Stan Musial (five in '46), Iorg (five in '82) and Smith (five in '82).

• Had a record 14 extra-base hits for the entire 2011 postseason

Here and there
• Pujols, who went 0-for-2 with a walk, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs in Game 7, tied a postseason record for most doubles (eight), tied for the second most extra-base hits (13) in a postseason, and collected 47 total bases to tie Glaus (2002) and Carlos Beltran ('04) for the second most. Freese and Pujols combined for 27 of the Cardinals' 57 extra-base hits in the 2011 postseason.

• Ian Kinsler went 2-for-3 with a walk, and he finished the 2011 World Series with nine hits and seven walks for a .500 on-base percentage. For his postseason career, Kinsler has hit safely in 25 of his 33 games. He is one of 25 players in history to hit safely in at least 25 of his first 33 playoff games. Lou Gehrig and Grissom share the high mark, with 28.

• Napoli (1-for-4) finished the 2011 World Series with 10 RBIs, tying him with Yogi Berra (1956), Ted Kluszewski ('59), and Alomar ('97) for the third most in Fall Classic history. Bobby Richardson owns the all-time high, with 12 in 1960. That same series, Mickey Mantle recorded the second highest total -- 11.

• The Rangers joined the 1907-08 Tigers and the 1921-22 Yankees as the only teams to make their first and second World Series appearances in franchise history in consecutive seasons, with losses both years.

• The Cardinals became the fifth Wild Card team to capture the World Series, joining the 1997 Marlins, 2002 Angels, '03 Marlins and '04 Red Sox.

• The Cardinals' Yadier Molina went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and -- for the second straight game -- drew a bases-loaded walk. Molina joined Al Simmons (1931) and Jim Palmer ('71) as the only players with multiple bases-loaded walks in a single World Series. The only other player to even have two in a World Series career was Jim Gilliam, who had one in '55 and then another in '66.

• St. Louis' Tony La Russa became the ninth manager to win at least three World Series titles. He joined Joe McCarthy (seven), Casey Stengel (seven), Connie Mack (five), Walter Alston (four), Joe Torre (four), John McGraw (three), Miller Huggins (three) and Sparky Anderson (three).

• The Cardinals had a record 75 relief appearances in the 2011 postseason. Entering this year, the high mark had been 62, by the 2002 Giants. The Rangers finished 2011 with 70 relief appearances.

• Lance Berkman had a slash line of .423/.516/.577 (average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) for this year's World Series. Berkman scored nine runs on 11 hits. The nine runs are tied for the third most in a World Series. Reggie Jackson (1977) and Paul Molitor ('93) are tied for the most, with 10.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.