ST. LOUIS—Game 7 of the 2011 World Series continued the back-and-forth scoring of Game 6 as well as the entire series, with both teams putting two runs on the board in the first inning. After a historic Game 6 and a hard-fought series, Game 7 closed the World Series climatically on a chilly Friday night in St. Louis.
David Freese countered run-scoring doubles from Josh Hamilton and Michael Young in the top of the first with a two-run double hit in the left-center gap. Allen Craig, who has been clutch throughout the series, inched the Cardinals ahead 3-2 in the third with a solo home run to right field.
The Rangers pitching struggled in the bottom of the fifth inning, surrendering two more runs to the Cardinals to make the score 5-2. Rangers reliever Scott Feldman walked in a run after loading the bases by intentionally walking David Freese. C.J. Wilson then came in relief with the bases loaded and hit Rafael Furcal to bring another Cardinal across the plate.
Nelson Cruz was inches away from shortening the lead with a solo home run, but was robbed by a jumping catch at the wall from left fielder Allen Craig in the top of the sixth. The Cardinals extended the lead in the bottom of the seventh with a run-scoring single off the bat of Yadier Molina.
With the game at 6-2 going into the eighth, it appeared as though the Rangers would be runner-up in the World Series for two consecutive years. They were one bad route to a fly ball that ended up being a two-run triple that sent the game into an extra-inning battle that was ended by a walk-off home run by David Freese.
Busch Stadium erupted as Jason Motte came out of the bullpen gates to close the game with a 6-2 lead. A one-two-three inning from the Rangers and that was it. Let the confetti drift down the field over the ecstatic Cardinals. Fireworks shot out of Busch Stadium in celebration of their franchise’s 11th World Series Championship.
Hats off to the Texas Rangers for an excellent series. Congratulations to Tony La Russa and the St. Louis Cardinals for blindsiding us all and earning a World Series. It was an exciting one.