And so it’s all set: The St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers will play in the 2011 World Series!
Game 1 of the World Series is Wednesday night from Busch Stadium in the heart of downtown St. Louis. It’ll be the Rangers’ top gun C.J. Wilson (0-2, 8.04 ERA) against the Cards’ ace Chris Carpenter (2-0, 3.71).
The Rangers wrapped up their second consecutive American League title with a 15-5 route in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. The Cardinals, who clinched the NL wild card on the last day of the regular season, put a similar Game 6 beating on the Milwaukee Brewers, 12-6, Sunday night.
Interestingly enough, the Cardinals can thank their World Series Game 1 opposing pitcher as well as LCS foe Prince Fielder for owning the home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.
Of course, everyone knows that home-field advantage is determined by the All-Star Game. The National League won it this season, 5-1, therefore the Cards have it, meaning they’ll get Games 1 and 2, and, if necessary, 6 and 7 at their park.
Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, Game 5 will be played in Arlington on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
So, just how did the NL take the Mid-Summer Classic?
Well, in the fourth inning, Fielder, the Brewers’ left-handed slugger, faced Wilson, the Rangers’ No. 1 starter. On a 2-2 count, Wilson fired a fastball. Fielder swung and launched it 410 feet to center field for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead. Wilson took the loss and now the Cardinals, who eliminated the Brew Crew Sunday night, are the happy beneficiaries.
It’s doubtful Albert Pujols will send either Wilson or Fielder a thank you note.
An oddity in this World Series are the pitching staffs. The Cardinals needed seven innings of relief work to close out Game 6 and its bullpen actually pitched more innings in the NLCS than the starting rotation. The Rangers had similar issues with no starter going deeper than six innings in the ALCS while bringing a combined 6.59 ERA in the series. That’s the second-worst rotation ERA in the ALCS by any team that won the series to advance to the World Series.
Both bullpens are ready and so are two explosive batting orders.
This should be fun
INJURY REPORT: LG Bill Nagy is out for the year | Felix Jones high-ankle sprain | DeMarcus Ware back spasms
Left guard Bill Nagy broke his ankle in the fourth quarter. He will miss the rest of the year, according to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The rookie from Wisconsin started the season opener but was replaced by veteran Derrick Dockery in practice the following week before Nagy injured his neck. Nagy missed the 49ers game, with Dockery making the start. But Dockery broke his tibia and sprained a knee against the 49ers. Dockery has been out since, with Nagy starting the past three games. The Cowboys hope Dockery can get healed by this week. He said last week he was close to returning. The only other guard is rookie Kevin Kowalski, who also is the backup center.
Dallas might have to seek a backup guard. They released veteran Montrae Holland after training camp. He has yet to sign with another team. Leonard Davis also is on the free agent market.
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Running back Felix Jones sprained his ankle, which will keep him out at least one game and likely longer. Jerry Jones said he is “concerned” about his starting running back’s availability for the short-term. It is a high-ankle sprain, the same injury that kept cornerback Orlando Scandrick out three games.
Without Felix Jones, the Cowboys turned to rookie DeMarco Murray, who finished with 32 yards on 10 carries. The Cowboys, who came in with the league’s 26th-ranked rushing offense, finished with 77 yards on the ground, including a 17-yard scramble by quarterback Tony Romo. In a key situation, the Cowboys couldn’t run the ball to produce a first down. Holding a 16-13 lead
with 3:36 left at their 28, the Cowboys ran for a loss of 2, a loss of 1, took a penalty for 5 yards and ran for 8 yards before punting.
“We’ve got to be more consistent with it,” tight end Jason Witten said of the running game. “They are big up front. We knew that. But we have to be better at it. There are no excuses. You have to find ways to run.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he liked the way Murray ran. “I thought he finished runs well,” he said. “He made people miss a little bit. And again, we weren’t running it great, but I thought he was making the most of some of the opportunities that he got.” Murray said he is ready to assume a bigger role with Felix Jones on the sideline. “When I get an opportunity when I’m in there, I’m just going to try to make plays and continue to work hard,” he said. “I think Felix is going to make a full recovery. I think he’ll be fine. He’s tough. He’s a fighter.”
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DeMarcus Ware had perhaps his best game of the season with five tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries, but the Pro Bowl outsidelinebacker was walking gingerly after the game.
After his second sack of New England’s Tom Brady, he suffered some back spasms but he did not miss a play. “I thought it was going to get better,” Ware said, “but it got worse.”
Sunday marked the 20th multi-sack game of Ware’s career, which is a franchise record. Jim Jeffcoat and Greg Ellis had 19 multi-sack games in their careers with the Cowboys.
Dallas Cowboys AT New England Patriots Highlights
New England Patriots Postgame Press Conference
|Dallas Cowboys (2-3-0)||New England Patriots (5-1-0)|
Continued … click on MORE
Garrett & Romo: Postgame
Jason Garrett and Tony Romo addressed the media following the Dallas Cowboy’s loss in New England.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass as with pressure by Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent (92) during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
By Howard Ulman | AP Sports Writer | October 16, 2011
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Down three points. Barely two minutes left. One thought on Tom Brady’s mind.
“You can’t not get the ball in the end zone,” the master of late comebacks said.
That’s where he got it, throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left and giving the New England Patriots a 20-16 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
“He’s probably one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever seen, especially from a quarterback standpoint,” Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said. “There was plenty of time for our offense.
“When it mattered the most, they came up with what we needed.”
It was the 32nd successful comeback of Brady’s career in games the Patriots trailed or were tied in the fourth quarter. And it came against a solid defense — ranked fourth in the NFL — that had allowed just one touchdown on the Patriots first nine possessions.
“When you’re playing against a quarterback like Tom Brady, he’s going to go down as one of the all-time greats,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “So you have to try to make it hard on him.”
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Dangerous offense a deadly game of Good Romo/Bad Romo
Sunday, October 16, 2011
And dangerous is the operative word. It’s a danger to opponents when the Good Romo is making the throws. But when the Bad Romo comes out, it is a danger to Dallas. That awe-inspiring Cowboys offense often goes up in smoke.
In a word: pressure.
Romo tends to turn the ball over when he’s under duress. He does wacky things when he gets flustered and presses to make plays. That’s not very encouraging news for a Cowboys offensive line that has allowed 13 sacks in four games — which is extra troubling for a mobile quarterback such as Romo.
After waiting until their 50th season to reach their first World Series, the Texas Rangers are going right back.
Nelson Cruz had one more big blast, Michael Young caught the final out long after hitting a pair of doubles in one of the highest-scoring postseason innings ever and the Rangers became the American League’s first repeat champion in a decade.
The team that lost Cliff Lee in free agency and held onto Young after his offseason trade request finished off the Detroit Tigers with a 15-5 romp Saturday night to win the AL championship series in six games.
”This a great trophy, we’re real proud of it,” said Young, who walked off the field with the AL championship trophy in his hands. ”But we’re looking forward to the one with all the flags on it. … Happy, but not satisfied.”