Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27, 2006: The Cardinals Win Their 10th Championship

On October 27, 2006, St. Louis celebrated the first World Championship since 1982 with a 4-2 Cardinals victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the Fall Classic. The Tigers sent Justin Verlander to the hill while the Birds countered with Jeff Weaver and once again the Tigers rookie pitcher struggled  against the Cardinals. He was wild from the start, he threw two wild pitches in the first and barely escaped a bases loaded jam in the first. A familiar hero by the name of David Eckstein delivered in the second with a two out RBI single that put the Birds up 1-0. On the other side of the diamond, Weaver was looking strong. He had four strikeouts through three innings before a defensive miscue and a pitch to Sean Casey gave the Tigers a 2-1 advantaged in the fourth.  Weaver started that fourth inning with a quick out before Chris Duncan dropped a fly ball off the bat of Magglio Ordonez, the next pitch from Weaver was launched into the right field seats by Casey. The 2-1 lead for the Tigers was short lived, in the bottom of that fourth inning the Cardinals answered right back. Yadier Molina and So Taguchi picked up back to back one out singles before Weaver came to the plate hoping to move them over with a bunt. Weaver laid it down and Verlander fielded it, instead of going to first base for the sure out Verlander tried to get the lead runner and threw the ball away which led to Molina scoring the tying run, one batter later David Eckstein knocked Taguchi in with a groundout and the Birds were up 3-2. Verlander was able to settle down and give his club 7 innings but the damage had been done. The Birds added a little insurance in the eighth, Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney Eckstein gave up a single to Eckstein to lead off the inning, then walked Preston Wilson before getting the next two men out. Scott Rolen made Rodney pay for his mistakes with a single into right that brought Ecsktein into score the fourth Cardinals run. Weaver pitched a 1-2-3 eighth before handing the ball over to Adam Wainwright to close it out. Waino made it a little interesting, the first batter worked the count full before grounding out. The next man up, Sean Casey also worked the count full but he delivered with a double that brought the tying run to the dish. After getting Ivan Rodriguez to groundout Wainwright walked Placido Polanco. With men at first and third and two out Brandon Inge came to the plate with Detroit's season on the line, Waino did't toy around with him, Inge fell behind 0-2 then fired in the third strike that Inge swung but missed on. The Cardinals were World Champions for the first time in 24 years. It was an unlikely run by a team that just wouldn't give up. They had lost 10 of their last 14 regular season games and literally backed into the playoffs. Once the playoffs start the regular season numbers just don't matter, everyone that is in starts with 0 wins and 0 losses. Tony LaRussa's team had belief in themselves that they could compete with anyone and it was something they did on the way to the championship. They never gave up.

Here's the box score:

No comments:

Post a Comment