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The next pitch, another inch outside, really was ball four.
Molina’s walk with the bases loaded in the fifth inning Friday night brought in Allen Craig and gave the St. Louis Cardinals a two-run cushion. They added another run when C.J. Wilson hit Rafael Furcal with a pitch moments later, and the Texas Rangers never managed to match the runs.
St. Louis wound up scoring 34 runs in the Series, two of them after batters were hit by pitches and 12 more after walks. The 41 total walks issued by the Texas pitching staff broke the World Series record of 40, set by the Florida Marlins in 1997.
“I don’t have the answer, because I wish they would have continued to be dominant,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I wish I did have the answer. I don’t. Those are the guys that got us here, they were in a position to take us further, and it didn’t get done. That’s it.”
“I was just barely missing some pitches in the strike zone,” Harrison said.
Feldman came in to pitch the fifth and quickly set down Ryan Theriot. But the right-hander walked Craig and then grazed Albert Pujols across the front of his chest with a pitch, putting runners on first and second with one out. Lance Berkman grounded out weakly and it looked as though Feldman might escape.
The veteran catcher took three straight pitches for balls as the record crowd of 47,399 at Busch Stadium chanted “Ya-di! Ya-di!” The next pitch from Feldman barely caught the outside corner, and Molina was so certain it was a ball that he ditched his bat and started toward first.
Plate umpire Jerry Layne called him back to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
They turned to cheers in a hurry.
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