What started out as a home run derby at Miller Park, with a combined six home runs in the first three innings, ended in joy for the St. Louis Cardinals and disappointment for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cards won Game 6 of the NLCS, with a score of 12-6, securing their berth in the World Series against the Texas Rangers.
Struggling starting Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum was no help to Milwaukee for the one inning he pitched. The Cards led from the start, scoring first, and then cementing the lead with a three-run homer from David Freese, making the score 4-0. A home run from Brewers slugger Corey Hart gave the Crew a glimmer of hope and provided a rally point. Cards player Rafael Furcal answered with another homer in the second inning. At the Brewers’ next time up at bat, Rickie Weeks added another run and catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run double, bringing the score to 5-4. It seemed as if the game was going to come down to the wire for these two talented teams.
But the Cards seemed determined to not take any chances, and Albert Pujols aided his team in bumping up the lead to 9-4 in a home run off of Chris Narveson. The Brewers were only able to score one more run from the Cards’ strong bullpen, and after this it seemed like the home team was falling apart.
The Brewers’ errors hastened the team’s collapse. In the fifth inning, Jerry Hairston Jr. booted a grounder and flipped a ball through Weeks’ legs, allowing the Cards to score yet again off of a hit by Yadier Molina. “You can’t get away with mistakes to them and we made way too many mistakes,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. Pinch-hitter Adron Chambers sacrificed a fly, even further bolstering the Cards lead to 11-5.
Ryan Braun was about to cut the lead to 11-6 in a hit off of Mark Rzepczynski that ended in a groundout. A review of the play shows Braun as safe, but the call had already been made. Pujols was slow to get up from the play, but he remained in the game. He made his presence known, adding to the Cards score with a RBI single, bringing the score to 12-6.
That was it for the struggling Brewers. In possibly his last at-bat in a Brewers uniform, Prince Fielder hit a long drive to right centerfield, but Jon Jay made an amazing leap to catch the ball for the second out in the ninth.
One out later, the Cards were the NL Champs. “Well, it was crazy,” outfielder Matt Holliday said. “We had a lot of adversity, but we found a way.”
The Cardinals will face AL Champions the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of the World Series in St. Louis on Wednesday night.