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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

World Series Game 6 – the good and the bad

As the St. Louis Cardinals return home to complete the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers, here are some numbers from past Series. There should be something for everyone here…

Win the battle but lose the war

2011 marks the 62nd time in World Series history that one team led the other, three games to two. Of the previous 61 occurrences, the team with the 3-2 lead won Game 6 just 24 times (39.3%). However, the team with the 3-2 lead went on to capture the World Series title 41 times of 61 (67.2%).

Closer to home

The Cardinals have been down 3-2 in the World Series on five previous occasions. In those five occurrences, St. Louis won Game 6 four times, with the only Game 6 defeat in 1930 to the Philadelphia Athletics. That was also the only time the Cardinals lost the Series after being down 3-2 after five games.

The four Game 6 wins when the Cardinals were down 3-2 occurred in 1982 against Milwaukee, 1946 against Boston, 1934 versus Detroit and 1926 versus the Yankees. Of course, St. Louis also took all four Game 7s.

Comebacks common

In Major League Baseball’s current best-of-seven format, a team has come back to win the World Series after trailing 3-2 on 18 occasions: They include the aforementioned four Cardinals teams.

The Cardinals also were on the wrong end of this stick three times – in 1968 against Detroit, 1985 against Kansas City and 1987 versus Minnesota.

Home team down 3-2

The Cardinals are the 33rd team in World Series history to trail 3-2 when going home for Game 6 in a best of seven World Series: Of the 32 previous occasions, the club down 3-2 won 23 (71.9%) and lost just nine Game 6s. The most recent case was in 2003, when the New York Yankees were defeated in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium.

Of the 32 previous occasions when a team trailing 3-2 came home for Game 6, it won the World Series 12 times (37.5%). However, the tables have turned in recent years, with seven of the last nine since 1982 coming back to take the Series. The most recent was the Anaheim Angels over the San Francisco Giants in 2002. Exceptions during that time were the Yankees in 2003 and the 1992 Atlanta Braves.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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74 Responses to “World Series Game 6 – the good and the bad”

  1. blingboy says:

    The case for getting Furcal out of the leadoff spot.

    I went ahead and voted for ‘win games 6 and 7’ so as not to infuriate the lemmings. Hopefully we will.

  2. RCWarrior says:

    Bling, I also voted for a game 6 and 7 Cardinals win. Not only will it make me a few more bucks to put gas in my Harley but I actually believe the Cardinals are the better team. Also I like Jaime at home where he is virtually unhittable and I like Lance hitting from the left side and the Cardinals as a team hit right handed pitching better than left.

    So game 6 should be a nice solid win for the Cardinals and game 7 would be a crazy atmosphere at Busch and I think Albert would rise up and lead the Cardinals to victory.

    Thats how I see it.

    • blingboy says:

      A game seven would be good for baseball and for a lot of bank accounts. There has been a lot of buzz nationally about the goings on in game 5 and afterwards. Drumming up as much interest as possible in a couple teams from flyover country. At the more provicial level, it will be a crazy atmosphere around here. Bring it on.

      Your comments about your Harley make me long for my Norton, but that’s 30 years ago. Had to choose the bike or the girl.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I think the Rangers are the stronger team. They seem to have a nice collection of starting pitchers and a lot of hitters too.

      However, the Cards could well win the last two games.

      The final games will have to be played. Once they are played, we can safely conclude that what could have happenned, did in fact happen.

  3. Bw52 says:

    RCW-what did you think about Bernie`s article today? Bernie raises the questions about what is really going wrong.Bernie is getting ripped by a portion of the fans for todays article.Interesting read.

    • crdswmn says:

      Bernie switches sides faster than a tennis ball at Wimbledon. He will say one thing and then say the exact opposite the next day. I have given up on a reading him because I don’t think the guy has ever had an original thought. And even if he does, he loses it the next day.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        But I don’t think it’s out of the question, or disrespectful, to wonder if we may have seen La Russa hit by a perfect storm of factors during Game 5 on Monday night.

        Read more:

        He reads here………

      • blingboy says:

        I don’t see where he has fewer ‘original’ thoughts than other guys who write about the Cards. If there is an original thinker out there, name him, so I can be sure to read.

        He does tend to follow the ebb and flow, like most fans.

        • crdswmn says:

          Bernie is a columnist, not a beat writer like Goold, Strauss and Gordon. Therefore I expect more original thinking from him since he is giving an opinion rather than just imparting information. His opinions ebb and flow too much and it hard for me to give him any credibility. Of the guys who cover the Cards, I like Goold better. He is more straightforward and fair, and less apt to go with the prevailing wind. He has written some clunkers, but for the most part he is pretty solid, imo.

    • RCWarrior says:

      I’ll give you my thoughts BW. I believe Bernie plays a big role in baseball in St. Louis. Like I stated earlier, I know for a fact if he writes something Tony reads it and has taken players into his office and talked to them about what Bernie wrote. I know Colby felt like Tony was trying to get Colby to do certain stuff based on what Bernie said the fans thought. Call me crazy but that actually happened.

      Now I haven’t totally figured out what is going on but it is a weird situation between Bernie and TLR.

      My guess is that Bernie is a mouthpiece for Tony in much that he writes. I believe that Bernie is privy to a lot of Tony’s thoughts on what Tony is about to do and he slides this info to Bernie prior to it actually happening on the field. So Bernie appears to almost predict much of what actually happens on Tony’s team. I do also believe that Tony knows for credibility sake that Bernie is going to write a piece every now and again that is biting toward Tony but will always come back to make him out to be the good guy in the end.

      Now on to Bernie’s article, I believe Bernie is absolutely correct that the Cardinals had numerous opportunities to score runs against CJ Wilson and if they had been a little more clutch the Cardinals would have won the game and the BP would not have been an issue. All that is correct.

      But the fact remains that even though the Cardinals hit poorly with runners in scoring position Tony still had opportunities to do what he does, which is matchup manupulation, which gives his teams a chance to win games they probably should have lost. Thats his MO, BW, and he is usually good at it. He just wasn’t in this case.

      Do you remember when Ian Kinsler stold second and that steal along with the Jay throw/Albert miss played a huge role in the Rangers winning a game earlier in the series? After the game Tony came out and said that he should have called for a pick but didn’t. In other words, the pitcher didn’t even bother to pick because he never is allowed to think for himself. Tony calls the picks, which kind of pick, and everything that goes along with holding the runners is ran by Tony. So the pitcher didn’t pick because he didn’t get the sign to pick from Tony. Now here again, there is nothing wrong with this, but I don’t blame the pitcher for not holding the runner in this situation because he is not in charge of holding the runner,….Tony is. So in my mind, Tony is responsible for the runner stealing second because it is his decision to pick or not.

      This is just another reason why I believe Tony to need to be held more accountable in the winning and losing of games that the cardionals play. He controld most every move every player makes in a lot of situations that are big in the game.

      • RCWarrior says:

        should be stole second.

      • Bw52 says:

        RCW- i don`t believe a major league pitcher doesn`t have the sense to at least pay attention to the baserunner.That is beyond belief IMO. So in your scenario the pitcher or fielders are not allowed to react freely and only allowed to do what the manager says.I don`t see that being possible.I can see the manager saying pay more attention to a runner,I can`t see a pitcher just totally ignoring the runner.Your scenario just doesn`t wash IMO.These are major league ballplayers.These people are supposed to be the best at what they do.Thinking and reacting quickly are imperative.So saying a play wasn`t made because a player can`t think on his feet ???????????????????????????
        Your scenario is simply a little too far out IMO.
        You would think that when player reach the major leagues they would have a understanding of baseball fundamental strategy.It just seems like common sense to be aware.

        • RCWarrior says:

          And I’m not saying that players don’t freely watch that stuff but can you agree that if the manager makes all these calls that it would be easy for a player to basically allow the manager to think for him in many situations?

          I didn’t say that a pitcher couldn’t throw over, but I wll say that may be a situation with Tony…… where a veteran may be able to do what he wants whereas a player with less than 4 years of experience may not be able to throw over if he chooses. I know the rules for playing the game are much different depending on your years of experience. The young players are not allowed to do much thinking on their own.

          But this is just my opinion and you may very well be right and I may be off in the twilight zone.

          I can tell you this…Colby Rasmus was a smart baseball player at one time in his life but sure doesn’t appear to be one anymore. Which is why I have stated that every player doesn’t thrive in an environment where you have some guy arguably thinking for you. I am anxious to see next year if he can regain some of his prior form or if he truly was the problem. It will be interesting to watch.

          • Bw52 says:

            RCW-I don`t see every solution to every situation as being written in stone.A player should realize that there are more than one ways a play can turn out.Being able to see and react instinctively should be the goal.Your scenario makes me wonder about the reasons manager would have to “think for a player”.I know it has been discussed many times about fundamentals and the lack of many young players basic understanding them.RC you really raised a good question about the player letting manager basically think for him.
            We have seen many times in all baseball over the years a poor understanding of basic startegy,fundamentals and other areas that show themselves such as off-field behavior etc;.Maybe the money factor forces players to the majors before they even complelely understand the game they play.I don`t know what the answer is.

          • blingboy says:

            I hope Colby bounces back next year, RC. I’d think that coming out of the gate strong and getting off to a good start would be real important. It seems like I heard he didn’t do much last winter, so I hope he decides to put in the work this time. Wouldn’t hurt if he was able to get his swing straightened back out, but I don’t know if he wants your help these days or not. Hope he does well in any event.

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            Molina calls all throw overs…………..he is checking with the bench of course……..between every pitch………Boggs puts his chin in his chest………..he relies on Molina completely……

  4. Bw52 says:

    Jamie really needs to pitch like he did in game 2.The offense needs to wake up and nail Texas early.Since Texas probably won`t pitch to Albert and will be extra careful with Berkman it means Holliday and others will need to produce.
    Among everything else happening in game 6 is that tonite could possibly be Albert`s last game as a Cardinal.

  5. Kansasbirdman says:

    Lotsa catching up to do on Brian’s latest and everyones’ posts. So if this is redundant. I apologize, but BJ Rains (ironicly given his name) is reporting game 6 postponed until Thursday.

  6. blingboy says:

    How convenient, Carp can go in game 7 with five days rest. The baseball gods are Cards fans.

  7. Brian Walton says:

    Thursday Game 6 lineup:
    1. Rafael Furcal (S) SS
    2. Skip Schumaker (L) CF
    3. Albert Pujols (R) 1B
    4. Lance Berkman (S) RF
    5. Matt Holliday (R) LF
    6. David Freese (R) 3B
    7. Yadier Molina (R) C
    8. Nick Punto (S) 2B
    9. Jaime Garcia (L) P

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    thats expected,,,,,,,,,,,, Lohse will come out of the BP if Garcia is stressed in the first 4 innings…..likely will start an inning with the BP handling any mid inning crisis………….

    AP signaled to O from the on deck circle to look for his sign…………he then put it on at 0/1……. against a wild pitcher……… the pitch by Ogando was beyond reach……..and that appeared to be intensional…… AP is then summarily walked…………….. as he new he might be in many scenarios……….this is a guy you owned in game 3….who fears Craig so much…..he walks him……. a selective AB likely gets you walked anyway……or a + count for you to considered…………all eventualities premeditated……..without Tony being aware of them…………. ??????????? This is what happened……..any in depth analysis of this is with your own analytical abilities…………… Bottom line…….was this so distracting to Tony……… that he “tilted”???? causing the BP fiasco ……… Oquendo has a dialog with a player that circumvents Tony’s purview?????????? why would someone think this necessary? and it was premeditated………in truth……..this is just the scab……….

  9. blingboy says:

    Fit Elvis rules.

  10. blingboy says:

    $120M doesn;t buy what it used to. Niether does $27M apparently.

    Hopefully the minimum wage guys will come through,

  11. blingboy says:

    $120M doesn’t buy what it used to.

  12. blingboy says:

    Young studs > old nags

  13. Nutlaw says:

    Oh hell yes! Tied up in the bottom of the ninth with one strike to spare! What a game!

  14. Kansasbirdman says:

    I haven’t been doing any of my superstitious habits. So I will break another habit and post during a postseason game. Because I gotta say THIS GAME HAS BEEN CRAZY!

  15. crdswmn says:

    Well, you can’t say it wasn’t an interesting game.

  16. blingboy says:

    Damn, we’re running out of young guys

  17. blingboy says:

    Fit Elvis plays young

  18. Nutlaw says:

    Tied again in the tenth! Fantastic!

  19. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Told you they were chokes……………..

  20. Kansasbirdman says:


  21. Kansasbirdman says:

    That was the craziest game I have ever seen ! What a ride?

  22. Nutlaw says:

    Wow. Wow wow wow.

    How psyched is everyone for Game 7?

  23. blingboy says:

    Albert shmalbert. Freese for president!

  24. blingboy says:

    Tony is a genius again

  25. blingboy says:

    Show of hands. Is Matt’s sore pinky going to ‘force’ Tony to start Craig???

  26. blingboy says:

    Jake gets the win. Think about that. The last guy on the bench.

  27. crdswmn says:

    Right now I feel like the most stupid person on the planet. I never learn.

  28. blingboy says:

    Albert put on the walk off.

  29. RCWarrior says:

    Man what a great game……..Wow! Just Wow! Freese was just magnificent last night.

    I just don’t see how the Rangers have a snowballs chance in hell of even making it a game tonight. They have to be crushed. Also Holland was burnt up last night and baby that hurts the Rangers going into this game.

    I’m predicting a Cardinals blowout tonight.

    Also the MVP of this Cardinals World Series is Charlie Manuel because without putting the hammer down on the Braves the Cardinals would have been at the house a long time ago. Overconfidence will get you every time and Old Charles thought his Phillies had this thing in the bag. Wrong!!

    Get ready to get your celebration on Crdswmn. Its coming tonight to Ol St. Louey. 🙂

    • blingboy says:

      Don’t forget about Prince Fielder, RC. It wouldn’t be the same without home field advantage.

    • RCWarrior says:

      How about David Freese. A kid who had drug issues, alcohol issues, and a number of personal trials in his life to this point………..has overcome those things to set himself up to be a hero for life to the people of St. Louis………where he grew up. Can there be a better story for any person?

      I’m absolutely proud of David for being the man he has turned in to firstly and I am most certainly proud of his ability to overcome some really tough times……times where many people have just given up…….to become a solid man, one that his family is proud of, one the people of St. Louis should be proud of, and that the kids of St. Louis can look up to.

      And then there is baseball, where he has turned into a solid baseball player, and most certainly a great hitter.

      For a kid who grew up in St. Louis, loved his Cardinals, and now has become a hero for this generation of kids who are in the same spot he was years ago…………….sitting in the stands or in front of the TV idolizing his Cardinals. Damn what a success story.

  30. Kansasbirdman says:

    While we made some mistakes, and the rangers made some spectacular plays (napoli to beltre pickoff) to catch us offguard, I was most glad to see some hustle, there was more than once that a hard run to first to beat the throw/tag kept things alive

  31. Kansasbirdman says:

    I don’t see how napoli remained in the game, squating behind home no less. when they showed the replay I thought his foot snapped off. My wife said, ‘that doesn’t look like one you just walk off’.

  32. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    The pick off play of Holiday was not a great play…….it was a terrible miss play by SL…and Tony….and especially Punto……..if Punto was up there to work the count, a simple show of squaring to bunt on the first pitch would have produced a ball out of the zone…and a crash by Beltre……….. but Texas knew that Tony was indecisive on the safety and the suicide squeezes………. so Beltre stayed back and they had enough brains to call that from the bench………. the second strike was a perfect contact pitch…..and Holiday was too aggressive…..trying to makeup for the other BS…….they outplayed us there…………….

    Lets hope Theriot brings the glove tonight…………. If they start Carpenter…….instead of having him finish with 3 or 4 inning…….they are taking a big risk…..if we don’t get the singles….like last night, and don’t score…..thats trouble…….the Cold is a tough gig for an old man……I waste Jackson and Lohse on short leashes before I risk the Ace here…………I don’t like either one in an emergency in 4 or 5…………

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