Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals - Game 4

World Series Game 4 Live Blog: Cardinals vs. Rangers

52 Comments

11:14: Feliz gets Holliday swinging to end it. The Rangers top the Cardinals 4-0 and tie the series at two games apiece. C.J. Wilson will take on Chris Carpenter in Game 5 tomorrow night. We have one heckuva World Series on our hands here, people.

11:11: Pujols skies one to Craig Gentry in center field for the second out. Matt Holliday will try to keep the Cards alive in this one.

11:10: Pujols popped one in foul territory, but neither Moreland or Cruz could catch up to it.

11:08: Uh oh. Feliz walks Allen Craig. Runners on first and second with one away for Albert Pujols.

11:04: Holland issues a one-out walk to Rafael Furcal and that’ll be it. The young left-hander pleaded his case with Ron Washington, but Neftali Feliz will come in to try to finish this one. Holland gets a well-deserved standing ovation from the Arlington faithful as he walks back to the dugout.

11:01: Nick Punto retired on a ground ball to Adrian Beltre. One away.

10:59: Derek Holland, currently at 105 pitches, will try to finish what he started. He’s back out there for the top of the ninth.

10:57: Moreland’s struggles continue, as he grounds into an inning-ending double play. Nicely turned by Punto and Furcal. Last licks coming up for the Cards as the Rangers lead this one 4-0.

10:56: Westbrook got David Murphy to ground out, but issued a walk to Mike Napoli. Runners on first and second with one down for Mitch Moreland.

10:50: Allen Craig misjudges a fly ball in right, resulting in a leadoff single for Nelson Cruz.

10:48: Jake Westbrook on to pitch for the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth while Skip Schumaker takes over in center field.

10:45: Wow. And he gets Theriot swinging, as well. Holland has allowed just two hits over eight shutout innings while striking out seven and walking just one.

10:44: Two quick outs for Holland. Here’s Ryan Theriot, pinch-hitting for the struggling Jon Jay.

10:41: Interesting. Derek Holland back out there for the top of the eighth.

10:38: Nice job by Boggs. He retired three straight after the leadoff double by Andrus to keep the score 4-0.

10:35: Boggs gets Michael Young swinging for the second out. It’s up to Adrian Beltre to keep the inning alive.

10:33: Zooey Deschanel and her FOX cohorts have left the building. What a shocker.

10:31: Nope. Hamilton lines out to center field. One away for Michael Young.

10:29: Allen Craig comes up empty attempting a diving catch in right, which results in a leadoff double by Elvis Andrus. Let’s see if Josh Hamilton can cash in again.

10:28: Mitchell Boggs remains in the game to begin the bottom of the seventh. Jake Westbrook up in the bullpen for the Cardinals.

10:24: Holland gets Lance Berkman looking on the inside corner to end the inning. Seven shutout innings. What a night for the young left-hander.

10:21: And now Matt Holliday bounces out to Holland. Two away for Berkman, who has both of the Cardinals’ hits tonight.

10:17: Derek Holland retires Pujols on a comebacker to begin the top of the seventh. Now he’ll face Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.

10:14: Boggs gets Mitch Moreland to ground out and fans Ian Kinsler to end the inning, but the damage is done. 4-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the seventh.

10:09: And Napoli promptly crushes a high fastball from Boggs for a three-run bomb to left. There’s your No. 8 hitter, ladies and gentlemen. 4-0 Rangers.

10:07: The Cardinals stalled long enough so that Mitchell Boggs had enough time to get ready. He’ll come in to face Mike Napoli with runners on first and second and one away.

10:04: Oy. Make that seven walks for Jackson. Time for the hook?

10:02: Nelson Cruz draws a one-out walk. Edwin Jackson has now walked six batters tonight.

9:58: Adrian Beltre fouls a ball off his leg to begin the bottom of the sixth. That’s just what he does. Edwin Jackson is still out there, by the way.

9:55: Allen Craig strikes out swinging for the third out. Holland has thrown 77 pitches over six shutout frames.

9:51: Derek Holland issues a one-out walk to Nick Punto. While Edwin Jackson has been erratic, that was Holland’s first walk of the evening.

9:46: Michael Young flies out to right field to end the inning. Edwin Jackson is now at 94 pitches through five shaky innings of one-run ball. Good chance he’s done for the night.

9:42: Josh Hamilton goes down swinging for the second out of the inning. Big strikeout for Jackson, who is approaching 100 pitches.

9:38: Andrus fails to get the bunt down and then flies out to right for the first out of the inning. No advancement by Kinsler.

9:36: Ugh. Making Elvis Andrus bunt? Don’t like.

9:35: Edwin Jackson issues a leadoff walk to Ian Kinsler, who will no doubt be more careful at first base this time.

9:31: Yadier Molina lines out to Josh Hamilton for the final out of the inning. Make that five shutout innings for Holland.

9:28: Lance Berkman singled to lead off the top of the fifth, but David Freese grounded into a double play.

9:27: Anybody else see Baseball Reference and Rotoworld on that Google “perfect game” commercial? Neat.

9:25: And Edwin Jackson gets Moreland swinging to end the threat. The Rangers have a 1-0 lead going into the top of the fifth.

9:22: After a lengthy at-bat, Napoli draws a walk. Runners on first and second with two outs for the struggling Mitch Moreland.

9:18: Edwin Jackson issues a two-out walk to David Murphy. Here’s No. 8 hitter Mike Napoli. Did I mention he’s batting eighth tonight?

9:15: Jon Jay makes a leaping grab near the center field wall on a fly ball off the bat of Nelson Cruz. Two away.

9:10: Matt Holliday set aside on a grounder to third baseman Adrian Beltre. Derek Holland now has four shutout frames under his belt.

9:08: Albert Pujols pops out to first baseman Mitch Moreland in foul territory for the second out of the fourth. He’s slumping.

9:03: Michael Young skies out near the warning track in distant center field for the final out of the third. It’s 1-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the fourth.

9:01: Tim McCarver: “What are Sprockets?” Classic.

9:00: Dirk doing “The Wash.” Awesome.

8:55: Furcal retired on a comebacker for the final out of the top of the third.

8:53: Very close play on that Jay grounder to Andrus, but it looks like first base umpire Ted Barrett got it right.

8:50: Oh boy. Yadier Molina throws behind the runner and catches Kinsler napping off first base. Inning over.

8:47: Ian Kinsler reaches with a two-out single to left field. Here comes Elvis Andrus, who singled in the first inning.

8:43: Napoli flies out to the warning track in center field. That’s a long first out.

8:41: Eighth place hitter Mike Napoli. That sounds about right.

8:38: Good play by Ian Kinsler to catch up to a ground ball off the bat of Yadier Molina for the final out of the inning. At first it looked like Kinsler was going to eat it, but then he realized a Molina was running.

8:37: Holland goes to the insider corner again to get David Freese looking for the second out. Freese isn’t pleased with home plate umpire Ron Kulpa.

8:34: Lance Berkman goes the opposite way for a double, the first hit of the evening for the Cardinals.

8:32: Matt Holliday rung up on a fastball on the inside corner for the first out.

8:28: So much for that. Murphy put a charge in one, but Matt Holliday tracked it down near the warning track in left for the final out of the bottom of the first. It’s 1-0 Rangers as we move to the top of the second in Arlington.

8:27: Jackson walks Nelson Cruz to load the bases for David Murphy, who was moved up to seventh in the order tonight.

8:23: Adrian Beltre goes down swinging after being fooled badly on a slider. Runners on first and second with two away for Nelson Cruz.

8:21: Michael Young walks on four straight pitches. Just look at that classy stroll down to first base.

8:19: The Rangers strike first courtesy of an RBI double by Josh Hamilton. He turned around on a changeup from Edwin Jackson and yanked it into the right field corner. Andrus scampered home from first base.

8:17: Elvis Andrus singles to left for the first hit of the ballgame. Here comes the ailing Josh Hamilton.

8:15: Ian Kinsler breaks his bat on a groundout to begin the bottom of the first.

8:11: And Pujols is retired on a grounder to Elvis Andrus. It’s a 1-2-3 inning for Derek Holland to get us started.

8:10: Holland gets Allen Craig swinging for the second out. Oh boy, here comes Mr. Pujols.

8:08: Adrian Beltre snags a screaming liner off the bat of Furcal, robbing him of what was likely a leadoff double. One away.

8:07: And we’re off. Rafael Furcal fouls off the first pitch from Derek Holland.

8:03: Are we sure Zooey Deschanel can’t hang around and sing a few more tunes? Or just stand there for a while? Sigh. Anyway, first pitch is a minute or so away, so hang tight.

7:55 p.m. ET: The Cardinals hold a 2-1 advantage over the Rangers in the World Series going into Game 4 tonight in Arlington. We’ll have all the action covered in a live blog, beginning right around first-pitch at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Here are tonight’s lineups and starting pitchers, as mentioned by Drew earlier this afternoon:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS             TEXAS RANGERS
1. Rafael Furcal, SS            1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Allen Craig, RF              2. Elvis Andrus, SS
3. Albert Pujols, 1B            3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Matt Holliday, LF            4. Michael Young, DH
5. Lance Berkman, DH            5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. David Freese, 3B             6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Yadier Molina, C             7. David Murphy, LF
8. Jon Jay, CF                  8. Mike Napoli, C
9. Nick Punto, 2B               9. Mitch Moreland, 1B

SP Edwin Jackson, RHP           SP Derek Holland, LHP

Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section. Let’s do this.

Settling the Scores: Memorial Day edition

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 21:  American flags are shown after being placed by members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in preparation for Memorial Day May 21, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. "Flags-In" has become an annual ceremony since the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) was designated to be an Army's official ceremonial unit in 1948  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Getty Images
8 Comments

Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died in military service. At some point in the past couple of decades, however, it has become an all-purpose flag-waving, patriotism-declaring, civilians-in-camouflage holiday. It’s understandable why this is the case. We, as a country, haven’t always done mourning well. I think it’s part of our national cultural DNA that we don’t and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make days like this difficult.

I feel like the flag-waving and troop-supporting stuff is some sort of subconscious reaction to death. It’s our way of instantly trying to justify those deaths or to explain how they were not in vain, much the same way we might tell someone upon the death of a loved one that they’re in a better place or that they had a full life. Feeling the pain of loss is hard. We want to soften it in any way we can and make our pain serve a larger, better purpose. And so we get today, when Major League Baseball puts its players in camouflage caps and in jerseys with camouflage logos. They’ll sell them too, with proceeds going to good and noble veterans charities. The intent is noble and the ultimate effect of it all is beneficial. But it’s also a little beside the point. Maybe not beside the point as much as mattress sales or big celebratory barbecues which have come to characterize Memorial Day for so many, but still not exactly the purpose of the holiday.

I don’t condemn it. As I wrote last year, the men and women who actually fought and died in wars were hoping that they were, ultimately, making a better and happier world for those they left behind. And they no doubt hoped, among everything else they hoped, that others didn’t have to face what they were facing. They wanted our lives to be happy and our country to be safe and part of a happy and safe country involves 300 million people doing whatever it is they damn please, even if it’s just having barbecues and wearing camo at the ballpark.

I won’t say have a happy Memorial Day because that seems odd. Have any kind of Memorial Day you want, really, even if it includes barbecuing, drinking beer and wearing a cam ballcap. But as you do, please make sure you take some time to think about those who died in military service. And remember that they didn’t get to have as many days like the one you’re having as they were meant to have. And make at least some effort to offset your happy, patriotic or silly pursuits with some mourning and reflectiveness. It’s OK for that to stand on its own.

The scores:

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3
Orioles 6, Indians 4
Yankees 2, Rays 1
Nationals 10, Cardinals 2
Brewers 5, Reds 4
Royals 5, White Sox 4
Cubs 7, Phillies 2
Rangers 6, Pirates 2
Astros 8, Angels 6
Athletics 4, Tigers 2
Twins 5, Mariners 4
Giants 8, Rockies 3
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3
Marlins 7, Braves 3
Dodgers 4, Mets 2

 

Should Dave Roberts have taken Clayton Kershaw out of Sunday’s game?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
15 Comments

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will likely be second-guessed heavily during tomorrow’s news cycle. Starter Clayton Kershaw had pitched a terrific ballgame, as is his tendency, but with 114 pitches to his name, Roberts decided to pull him from the game in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on first base.

Roberts opted not for closer Kenley Jansen, who hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, but for another lefty in Adam Liberatore. He was playing the numbers, with the left-handed-hitting Curtis Granderson coming up. Liberatore, much to Roberts’ chagrin, served up what turned out to be a game-tying triple to Granderson, hitting a rocket to right-center just out of the reach of a leaping Yasiel Puig.

Jansen has, for six years, been one of the game’s elite relievers. Kershaw, though at a high pitch count, doesn’t seem to suffer from the times through the order penalty like most pitchers. Kershaw’s opponents’ OPS facing him for the first time was .525 coming into Sunday. Twice, .597. Three times, .587. Four times, .526 (but this suffers from survivorship bias so it’s not exactly representative).

Furthermore, Kershaw held lefties to a .546 OPS over his career. Liberatore, in 99 plate appearances against lefty hitters, gave up a .575 OPS. Jansen? .560. It seems that, faced with three decisions, Roberts arguably made the worst one. Playing conservative with Kershaw at 114 pitches is defensible, but only if Jansen comes in. If Roberts wanted the platoon advantage, Kershaw should have stayed in.

Luckily for the Dodgers, Mets closer Jeurys Familia didn’t have his best stuff. He loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth on a single and two walks, then gave up a two-run single to Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Jansen came on in the bottom half of the ninth and retired the side in order to pick up his 15th save of the season.

Royals sweep White Sox over the weekend on three late rallies

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 28:  Brett Eibner #12 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates his game-winning RBI single with teammates in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on May 28, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals won 8-7. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
5 Comments

The Royals had themselves a pretty good weekend. The quickly fading White Sox, not so much.

On Friday, the Royals fell behind 5-1 after the top of the sixth. They would score once in the bottom of the sixth, four times in the seventh, and once in the eighth to steal a 7-5 win facing pitchers Miguel Gonzalez Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and Nate Jones.

On Saturday, the Royals entered the bottom of the ninth down 7-1. They scored seven runs on closer David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to win 8-7.

On Sunday, the Royals were down 4-2 after the top of the eighth. They plated three runs in the bottom half of the eighth against Jones and Albers, going on to win 5-4.

Coming into the weekend, the Royals were 24-22 in third place. The White Sox were 27-21, a half-game up in first place. Now the Royals are in first place by a game and a half, and the White Sox are in third place, two games out of first.

Here’s video of the Royals’ comeback on Saturday, since it was so unlikely:

Report: Ryan Braun is “the hot name out there”

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 24: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers waits to hit during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 24, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
18 Comments

In Saturday’s column for The Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo notes that, according to a scout, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is “the hot name out there.” Braun has been bothered by neck and back issues this year, missing on Sunday his eighth start out of the Brewers’ last 14 games, but he has still put up a quality .351/.424/.583 triple-slash line in 170 plate appearances this year.

More importantly for an acquiring team, Braun is in the first year of a five-year, $105 million contract. He’s earning $19 million this season and in the ensuing two seasons, and then his salary decreases slightly to $18 million in 2019, $16 million in 2020, and $15 million if both sides pick up his mutual option (else a $4 million buyout would be exercised).

Per Cafardo, the Astros, Cardinals, Red Sox, Phillies, Mets, Giants, and White Sox are potential landing spots for Braun.