Game one of the 2011 World Series was a contest the Cardinals should have won.
The Redbirds had their experienced ace Chris Carpenter on the hill -- at home -- against Rangers starter C.J. Wilson who has put up some ugly numbers this post-season.
The task will be tougher Thursday as St. Louis sends young lefty Jaime Garica to the hill. But there are a lot of reasons to believe the Cardinals can win this game and take firm command of the Fall Classic.
First, Texas is a fastball hitting team and Garcia is a hurler who is capable of throwing several different pitches to keep batters off balance. If he has good command, the fact that the Rangers batsmen have never seen him before should be a tremendous advantage for the southpaw.
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On the other side of the ball, Rangers game two starter Colby Lewis is certainly a good pitcher. He allowed onl 8.4 hits and 1.2 baserunners per nine innings. But that doesn't mean he's untouchable. Lewis led the American League in home runs allowed in 2011 with 35.
The veteran St. Louis hitters must take advantage of their opportunities to drive in runs and give Garcia a cushion. If they can do that -- and then turn the game over to the sure-handed bullpen -- the Cardinals could head to Texas up two games to none. And then they really would only need to win one game in Arlington to come home with two chances to win a game and bring home the franchise's 11th World Series title.