10/24/11 2:15 AM ET
Cardinals' bats suffer historic decline
Sixteen-run dropoff from Saturday's win matches Series mark
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Hit and then miss
|16||1946||Cardinals||20 in Game 4; 4 in Game 5|
|13||2011||Cardinals||15 in Game 3; 2 in Game 4|
|13||1993||Blue Jays||18 in Game 4; 5 in Game 5|
|13||1986||Red Sox||18 in Game 2; 5 in Game 3|
|13||1936||Yankees||17 in Game 2; 4 in Game 3|
The 16-run falloff matched the 1936 Yankees, who won Game 2 of that World Series, 18-4, at the Polo Grounds against the New York Giants, and Game 3, 2-1, across the river in the Bronx at the original Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won the Series in six games.The 1946 Cardinals went from 20 hits in Game 4 against the Red Sox to four in Game 5, a 16-hit decline. The Cardinals won that World Series over Boston in seven games. The 1993 Blue Jays went from 18 hits in Game 4 against the Phillies to five hits in Game 5, a 13-hit drop. The Jays won that Series in six games on Joe Carter's walk-off homer. All this proves that each game is its own contained unit and that quick adjustments can change the course of action from one day to the next, as it did here this weekend. The difference for the Rangers? "It was Holland and [catcher] Mike Napoli," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "[Holland] was able to use his pitches all around the strike zone. He had good offspeed stuff tonight, kept them off balance, moved them in, up and down. He and Napoli worked outstanding tonight. And that was the reason. It was Derek Holland and Mike Napoli." The difference for the Cardinals? "Holland," Berkman said. "The guy throws 95 miles per hour from the left side. How many starting pitchers in the game do that? There are a handful of them, and they're all studs: Jon Lester, CC Sabathia, David Price. If the guy moves the ball around the zone, it's going to be very tough to hit him." The Rangers have now played 14 games in the postseason, and because of Holland's 8 1/3-inning, two-hit, two-walk, seven-strikeout performance, they were able to use less than four pitchers in a single game for the first time. In Game 3, Rangers starter Matt Harrison couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. For his part in that one, Pujols had five hits, setting World Series records for hits in four successive innings and 14 total bases. His six RBIs tied a World Series mark. Obviously, he didn't have the same success against Holland, who collared him three times. "He did an outstanding job," Pujols said. "It was a big leap for them. He saved the bullpen. In Game 3, we got into the bullpen deep, and that's what we couldn't do today. For me, I got some good pitches to hit, and I just missed them. But that's just part of the game." So is that fickle beast momentum.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.