Cards fly over Rangers (barely), 3-2 in Game 1

I could not have timed the acquisition of a new computer better than I did. I had wanted it by the start of the World Series at the latest, and as fate would have it, the thing arrived today. I have been spending some time familiarizing myself with it while watching Game 1 of the World Series. As I started to write early in this game Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter made a stunning face-first diving play while guarding first base to get a runner out, so that pretty much sold me on watching the rest of it. Plus, I do like CJ Wilson, so there’s that.

The game stayed pretty even and pitcher-duel-y until the 4th inning, when poor Wilson just lost it for a while. He started out by hitting Albert Pujols with a pitch, which in St Louis, I’m pretty sure is punishable by death under ordinary circumstances let alone the World Series. Cardinals Matt Holiday followed up Pujols walk with a double to right, and Lance Berkman drove them both in with a single. Berkman has apparently been the subject of some very light controversy recently, with some statements he made early in the season when the Rangers were interested in him. While the crowd in St Louis enjoyed the RBI, I have the feeling he’ll be booed in Arlington. Wilson intentionally walked Nick Punto to get to Carpenter, and was able to get Carpenter out  to end a 20-pitch inning. The game went into the 5th inning 2-0 in the Cardinals favor.

Texas would even up the score in the top of the 5th, though, with an Adrian Beltre single followed by a Mike Napoli homer. Both hits were on sinkers in the lower 90s, which by the looks of GameDay, Carpenter loves to throw. Wilson struggled in the bottom of the 5th, and then did not last the entirety of the 6th inning. He was replaced with Alexei Ogando after allowing a double and a walk. Ogando also struggled, giving up an RBI single to Allen Craig. But he managed to get Rafael Furcal to fly out to a running Nelson Cruz, who gloved the ball near the warning track in right field.

We had company over for dinner tonight, so even with GameDay open and the game actually on, it was a little difficult for me to focus. Plus, I’m rusty from over a month of not doing this. I used to be able to divide my time and attention pretty easily, but between poking around on the new machine, taking part in the discussions at hand, and trying to give two teams I don’t technically love my full 9 innings, it was a bit much for a Wednesday. I did get drawn back in briefly when Adrian Beltre took a bouncy pitch to the leg, complained, and got called out (and was so obviously cheated via the weird infra-red gimmick they appear to be using this year), but Jason Motte got the job done otherwise, ending the game at 3-2 St Louis.

I am pleased with the Cardinals win, but displeased with this last incident with Beltre. Adrian Beltre is many things, but a fake or a liar he is most definitely not. A lot of guys might try and play up the umpire’s inability to see where the ball landed, but every Mariners fan knows that Adrian Beltre keeps a very good eye on his personal space, and should have been granted a base this evening. I’m sure that there will be anti-St Louis calls in this series at some point, but I still find it disturbing that this game flat-out refuses to correct itself, especially when a fix to reverse a call would be so ridiculously easy. I have stood by the ‘it’s the charm of the game‘ argument for quite some time, and I suppose that if I’m truthful, the human element does make  things a little more interesting. But the lack of acknowledgement of human error can be extremely aggravating.

Tomorrow night, Colby Lewis goes up against Jamie Garcia. I know nothing about Jaime Garcia. Curse you, National League!

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