On October 21, 2006, the Cardinals took Game 1 of the World Series with a 7-2 victory over the Tigers in Detroit. The game was a matchup of rookie pitchers that had Anthony Reyes on the bump for the Birds and Justin Verlander going for the Tigers. When you look at those names on paper you might think Verlander would dominate this ballgame but that wasn't the case as Reyes gave the Cardinals 8 strong innings, giving up just 4 hits, striking out out 4, while allowing the 2 runs. On the flip side Verlander gave up all 7 of the Cardinals runs in 5 innings of work. The night didn't start well for Reyes, he gave up a run in the first on an RBI by Carlos Guillen before settling down and turning in the stellar performance. The 1 run lead didn't last long for the Tigers, Verlander dropped one in Scott Rolen's wheelhouse in the top of the second and the Cardinals third baseman hit one out of the yard to tie it up. The score stayed even until the third when Yadier Molina led the inning off with a single before being knocked in by Chris Duncan with a two out double that gave the Birds a 2-1 lead. Then came the big blow of the inning, even with first base open Jim Leyland chose to pitch to the perennial MVP candidate Albert Pujols, and #5 made him pay. Pujols took a 93 mph Verlander fastball and parked it over the fence in right that gave the Cards a 4-1 advantage. Meanwhile, Reyes was simply taking care of business while he waited for the offense to add on to the total. His wait ended in the sixth, the Cards broke it open in that inning with three more runs to give them a 7-1 advantage. Reyes was the star of this one, he had the fewest wins of any Game 1 starter in World Series history and he set down a World Series rookie record 17 men in a row before giving up a single to Carlos Guillen in the seventh. Reyes was only removed after giving up a leadoff home run to Craig Monroe in the ninth. With the comfortable 7-2 lead, Braden Looper had no problems shutting the door on the Tigers to secure the victory for St. Louis.
Reyes posted a 5-8 record with a 5.06 ERA in 17 regular season starts. He was the first starter to have a losing record since John Matlack started Game 1 of the '73 Fall Classic. Matlack posted a 14-16 record during that '73 campaign. When it came to Verlander, he was on his way to winning rookie of the year honors after posting a 17-9 regular season record. In the end what happens during regular season just didn't matter because in the postseason you just never know who will step up.
Check out the box score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET200610210.shtml