Mitch Moreland, right on cue.
Fox color man Tim McCarver had just finished saying that Moreland has some serious pop, even though he hadn’t shown it this postseason, when Moreland drove a 2-0 pitch from Chris Carpenter into the second deck in right field to cut Texas’ deficit to 2-1 in the third inning.
Before that, Moreland was 2 for 23 (.087) in the postseason. He did have 16 homers during the regular season.
Carpenter was mad at himself for not getting the ball down.
Two walks by C.J. Wilson and then some shaky defense hurts the Rangers again.
Wilson walked Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman to start the second inning, also throwing a wild pitch that allowed Holliday to reach second with some aggressive baserunning.
Yadier Molina hit an RBI single and David Murphy bobbled the ball in left field for an error that let Berkman go to third.
That was costly. Skip Schumaker, making his first World Series start, followed with a grounder to first. Moreland might have had a shot to get Berkman at the plate, but he dropped the ball for a moment before stepping on the bag. Berkman scored to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead.
Murphy made a diving catch on Nick Punto’s sinking, humpback liner to end the inning, saving another run.
Funny scene: The diminutive Punto brought the bat with him all the way to first base, rounded the bag and began to try to break the bat over his thigh. Then he thought better of it. Might have saved himself some embarrassment on national TV.
Wilson made an error in the third when he bounced a flip toss to first base on Rafael Furcal’s bunt single. That was Texas’ 10th error in 15 postseason games this year. Furcal went to second, but Wilson escaped by getting Holliday to ground into an around-the-horn double play.
Game 5 started the same way Game 4 did, with a lineout by Furcal to Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre. Tough start for Furcal on his 34th birthday.
Albert Pujols swings at a 3-0 pitch and flies out to center field to end the first inning. Wilson retired the Cardinals in order.
Besides his record-setting performance in Game 3, Pujols is 0 for 11 in the Series.
Carpenter issues a two-out walk to Josh Hamilton in the first, but that’s it. Scoreless after one.
This is shaping up as the most competitive World Series in nearly a decade.
With the Cardinals and Rangers tied at two games apiece, Carpenter is facing Wilson in a rematch of the opener.
It’s the first time the Series has been tied 2-all since 2003, when the Florida Marlins upset the New York Yankees in six games. The last seven-game Series was the year before that, when the Angels beat the Giants.
Carpenter has excelled in October, but Wilson has been a dud. A 16-game winner during the regular season with a 2.94 ERA, the Texas ace is 0-3 with a 7.17 ERA in four postseason starts this year.
Those numbers could cost him some serious cash, too, because Wilson can become a free agent next month. This is his last chance to prove to potential suitors that he can thrive under pressure in a big postseason game.
No pitcher has ever lost four times in one postseason, according to STATS LLC.
Wilson walked six and lost to Carpenter 3-2 in Game 1, though the lefty threw the ball better than he had in his previous playoff outings.
The fiery Carpenter is 3-0 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts this postseason. The only time he didn’t win, he was pitching on three days’ rest for the first time in his career.
Carpenter owns eight career postseason wins, tied with Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for the most among active pitchers.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa made a change to his lineup for Game 5, inserting Schumaker in center field. Schumaker, who is batting eighth, replaced slumping Jon Jay, who is 0 for 14 in the Series.
The scrappy Schumaker, who mostly played second base this season, missed the NL championship series because of a strained muscle on his right side. He has one at-bat in the World Series.
Game 6 is Wednesday night in St. Louis, where some raw weather is expected.
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