RANGERS 4, CARDINALS 0
DEREK HOLLAND'S WISPY MUSTACHE MAKES HIM LOOK like a boy who has accompanied his father to the barbershop, then gathered some floor clippings and pressed them to his sweaty lip. Holland is young, barely 25. And while the things the Rangers' starter can do with his left arm are almost nonpareil, his pitching lines from the regular season demonstrate that he sometimes has trouble keeping himself in control. In 11 of his 32 starts he allowed one earned run or fewer. In eight of those starts he allowed five earned runs or more.
In Game 4 he was a pitcher in total command. Washington, the Rangers' manager, had discussed the reason why the Cardinals, and Pujols in particular, had battered Texas for 16 runs the previous evening. Rangers pitchers kept throwing mistake pitches over the middle of the plate, Washington said. Holland made no such mistakes, pitching to the very edges of the strike zone again and again.
Napoli hit a three-run homer in the sixth, but Texas had scored the only run that Holland would need, on a first-inning double by Hamilton. In 8 1/3 innings before giving way to Feliz, Holland allowed only four Cardinals to reach base. In so doing he showed his older teammates that the St. Louis lineup—even in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, with its warm air and inviting outfield walls—can be slain. He also ensured that this World Series would last no fewer than six games, and would be decided in St. Louis.
RANGERS 4, CARDINALS 2
TWO OCTOBERS AGO, WHEN MIKE NAPOLI WAS A MEMBER OF the Angels, his manager, Mike Scioscia, thought so little of Napoli's catching abilities that he gave more playoff at bats to Jeff Mathis, despite Napoli's having slugged 20 home runs in the regular season with an .842 OPS, while Mathis had hit five homers with an OPS of .596.
In 2011, his first season as a Ranger, Napoli was more productive than ever at the plate, but he endeavored to be a star behind it too. "I'm not just here trying to be an offensive player," he said after Game 5. "I'm trying hard on the defensive side. That's my main goal."