Due to the National League’s victory in this July’s All-Star Game, the NL entrant in the 2011 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals, will enjoy the home field advantage. World Series Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 (as necessary) will be in St. Louis. The American League champion Texas Rangers will host Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary).
For the first time in Tony La Russa’s three World Series since joining St. Louis, I am actually enthused by the opportunity for the use of the designated hitter. (Of course, this is required in the AL home parks.)
Based on past history, that would be a crazy thing to say. After all, in La Russa’s other two World Series with St. Louis, his designated hitters have been more than bad. They were a combined 1-for-14 (.071) with three walks and a whopping eight strikeouts.
In 2006, Scott Spiezio and Chris Duncan received the starts at DH. In the latter case, that pushed light-hitting So Taguchi into the starting lineup in left field. In 2004, Reggie Sanders and another weak-hitting infielder, Marlon Anderson, started as the designated hitter. The Cardinals lost three of the four DH games.
In fact, with his pinch-hit during Sunday night’s NLCS Game 6, Craig collected more RBI (two) than the aggregate of the Cardinals’ four games worth of World Series designated hitters this decade (one RBI in 17 plate appearances).
Beyond Craig, there are no other good DH candidates on the Cardinals roster. The latter part of that statement is one I recall making about the Cardinals’ options in the previous two Series – no solid DH candidates.
Here are the stats of who served as the DH in the past two World Series and how they fared.
Designated hitters, St. Louis Cardinals, World Series, since 1996
|Year||WS Game||Site||W-L, Score||Designated Hitter||AB||R||H||RBI||BB||K|
|2006||1||Detroit||W, 7-2||Chris Duncan||4||1||1||1||0||2|
|2006||2||Detroit||L, 1-3||Scott Spiezio||3||0||0||0||1||1|
|2004||1||Boston||L, 9-11||Reggie Sanders||3||1||0||0||2||2|
|2||Boston||L, 2-6||Marlon Anderson||2||0||0||0||0||1|