Relievers deliver for both clubs in series opener

Chris Hummer

Both teams’ starters pitched well in the game, with Texas’ C.J. Wilson going 5 2/3 innings while allowing three runs. Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter pitched six innings of two-run baseball. But, as advertised in the pre-series hype, the game really came down to the bullpens. The Cardinals relievers were perfect in their four innings on the mound, with five pitchers navigating four innings, allowing only one hit. The Rangers relievers pitched well too, but not well enough. Alexi Ogando allowed a hit against the very first batter he faced, and that hit scored the game-winning run. While the Rangers pen did not allow another run to score from there, that one hit was enough to seal game one for the Redbirds.

Starters leave game on same play

Wilson and Carpenter were both removed from the game on the same play in the bottom of the sixth inning. Carpenter was pinch hit by Allen Craig, and Wilson was pulled in favor of Ogando, despite already having two outs in the frame. Rangers manager Ron Washington’s decision to pull his starter backfired in two ways. Ogando ended up surrendering a run on a Craig single to right. Then, in the next inning, the Rangers lost Ogando’s services after only two batters, when Ogando was pulled in favor of a pinch hitter, but the Rangers couldn’t convert. So, in the end, questionable managing decisions by Washington hurt the Rangers in the key situation of the game.

Cold weather birds

The chilly weather on the field lived up to October baseball’s billing, reaching 49 degrees with a constant wind gust of 25 miles an hour and an off-and-on drizzle. The Texas players were bundled up and ready for this cool Mid-West weather. Elvis Andrus was wearing long sleeves and a pair of snazzy earmuffs to keep warm. Ogando was sporting long sleeves as well when he entered the game in the sixth inning, while constantly rubbing his hands on the mound to keep warm. The Cardinals, on the other hand, looked a little more acclimated to the colder climate, as most of their roster was wearing their traditional uniforms with short sleeves.