Last chance for Rangers
St. Louis now has a 2-1 series lead and can actually close it out in Arlington if they win the next two.
Even though Ed Wyatt is well aware of the old saying 'you win some, you lose some', and knew Game Three of the World Series was going to feature an explosion of offense, he didn't expect St. Louis to do the exploding.
The Cardinals scored 16 runs on 15 hits, with Albert Pujols smacking three home runs.
St. Louis now has a 2-1 series lead and can actually close it out in Arlington if they win the next two. They cannot lose the series without heading home to Busch Stadium.
Game Four will again feature what looks, at least on paper, an even pitching match-up. The Cardinals will send nine-year veteran Edwin Jackson to the mound. Jackson struggled in the NLCS, lasting just six innings in two starts, but during the regular season he was 12-9 with an ERA of 3.79. Jackson pitched in the American League for six years, so he's well aware of what the Texas hitters can do, and though it was three years ago he did pitch at the Ballpark of Arlington.
The Rangers will go with Derek Holland, who was 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA during the regular season. At home, Holland was 9-2 this year and is 17-9 lifetime at the Ballpark. He had two no-decisions in the ALCS and gave up seven runs in just over seven innings of work.
Once again that means we need to look at the hitters and who's going to respond better.
The Cardinals answered the call in Game Three, as Pujols tied a Major League record with his three home runs. Pujols, who was five for six in Game Three, is hitting over .400 for the World Series, as are teammates Lance Berkman and David Freese.
The Rangers banged out 13 hits of their own, with red-hot Adrian Beltre going four for five and Michael Young finally coming to life with two hits. including a home run. Nelson Cruz, the star of the ALCS, also homered, but is still hitting a paltry .286.
Also keep in mind that a controversial call and a throwing error killed the Rangers in the fourth inning, leading to a 5-0 deficit.
So, what to do?
I expect another high scoring game, with both bullpens getting plenty of work again. I've been riding this Texas train since the ALDS and although my belief is starting to waiver, I just can't help thinking that the Rangers are due to break out at home.
I'll give it one more shot.