ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – On a Saturday evening that was etched into eternity, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols joined Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only men to belt three long balls in one World Series affair. The St. Louis slugger would also end the game with a total of five hits, a tally that had only been accomplished once on baseball’s biggest stage.
But the dagger that was King Albert’s Game 3 glory missed the hearts of the Texas Rangers, who tied the chase for the Fall Classic crown at two games apiece on Sunday.
Let’s take a behind-the-numbers look at the Rangers’ 4-0 win in World Series Game 4.
8. Tied at two: The Rangers and Cardinals will be the first teams to play Game 5 with the Series tied since the Florida Marlins and New York Yankees in 2003. But for all the importance that will be placed on the Fall Classic’s fifth affair, six of the past nine franchises to go down, 3-2, managed to win it all (condolences for fans of the 1982 Brewers, the ’86 Red Sox, the ’87 Cardinals, the ‘91 Braves; the ‘01 Yankees and the ‘02 Giants).
7. Texas won Game 4 because: Rangers starter Derek Holland tossed 8 1/3 shutout innings. To put that into perspective, the last American League hurler to record 8 1/3 scoreless Fall Classic frames was Holland’s childhood hero, Andy Pettitte … 15 years ago.
“Growing up as a kid, obviously [winning a World Series game was] the dream that I’ve wanted to do,” Holland said during his postgame news conference. “And after idolizing Andy Pettitte and seeing that, I wanted to be like him.”
6. This win was powered by: The Rangers clung to a 1-0 lead until Texas’ Mike Napoli belted a three-run, sixth-inning homer to become the first catcher with two World Series long balls since Mike Piazza in 2000.
“I was looking for something up and kind of had an idea they were probably going to try to pound me in, and I just got a pitch up that I could handle,” said Napoli, one of the Majors’ most prolific mashers of the high fastball.
5. Futility: The Redbirds were held to two hits, the fewest tallied in a Fall Classic game since the Yankees two-hit the Braves in the 1999 World Series opener.
Both Cardinals hits came off the bat of Lance Berkman, who doubled in the second inning and singled in the fifth.
4. Where’d you go, O?: In getting blanked after Saturday’s 16-run barrage, the Redbirds’ bats tied the World Series record for the largest run differential from one game to the next.
Try guessing the only other time a World Series team’s lineup went that cold without notice? You would have been correct had you said 1936. A mere 75 years ago, the Yankees scored 18 times on the New York Giants in Game 2 before plating only a pair of runs the very next game.
3. Walked on: Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson walked seven, his highest total since June 25, 2010, when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks. (By the way, Jackson no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays that day.)
Jackson’s Fall Classic free-pass benevolence was not unprecedented, however. Fourteen others have walked at least seven in one World Series start, most recently Marlins right-hander Livan Hernandez, who allowed eight in Game 5 of the 1997 World Series.
In case you were wondering, the unflattering “benchmark” for walks in a World Series game is held by the Yankees’ Bill Bevens, who permitted 10 free passes in Game 4 of the 1947 Series. Bevins did so over 8 2/3 innings, however, and in an era when starters often went the distance.
2. Win once, shame on me; win twice, small chance: With the victory, the Rangers have now played 44 straight affairs (playoffs included) sans a losing streak. That is not a typo, either, as Texas last dropped consecutive games Aug. 23-25. The only other team to play so consistently in 2011 was the Philadelphia Phillies, who took the field 44 times in a row (June 5-July 26) without two straight defeats.
1. A busy day in the neighborhood: Hours before the Rangers beat the Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys routed the visiting St. Louis Rams. Interestingly enough, it was the second time in three years that two cities faced off in a World Series game and a football contest in the same town on the same day. The other occasion came in 2009, when the Eagles and Giants battled before the Yankees and Phillies played across the street.