|Dates||October 21, 2006–October 27, 2006|
|MVP||David Eckstein (St. Louis)|
|Announcers||Joe Buck and Tim McCarver|
|Umpires||Randy Marsh, Alfonso Marquez, Wally Bell, Mike Winters, John Hirschbeck, Tim McClelland|
The 2006 World Series, the 102nd edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, began on October 21 and ended on October 27, and matched the American League champion Detroit Tigers against the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals won the Series in five games, taking Games 1, 3, 4, and 5. This was the third Series meeting between the Tigers and the Cardinals. St. Louis won the first in 1934, and Detroit won the second in 1968; each went the full seven games. The 1968 Series was the last before divisional play and an extra round of playoffs began.
It was only the third time in the last thirty-two years that the Series featured two of the classic 16 major league teams that had both remained in the same city since the formation of the American League in 1901, the last time being the 2004 World Series between St. Louis and the Boston Red Sox. The last one prior to 2004 was the 1975 World Series between the Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cardinals, who moved into Busch Stadium in April, became the fourth team to win the Series in their home stadium's debut season, joining the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates (Forbes Field), 1912 Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) and 1923 New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium). St. Louis also won their tenth Fall Classic, second to only the Yankees' 26 titles. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who won the 1989 World Series title with the Athletics, became the second manager in history to lead teams in both leagues to championships, joining Sparky Anderson.
The 2006 Cardinals' regular-season record of 83-78 is the worst regular-season record ever by a World Series champion, eclipsing the 1987 Minnesota Twins, who won the World Series after compiling an 85-77 record. St. Louis became only the second team, since the three-round format went into effect in 1995, to win the Series without ever having home field advantage in the playoffs; the first was the 2003 Florida Marlins, who went through the San Francisco Giants in the Division Series, the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, and the New York Yankees at the World Series.
The Cardinals became the seventh World Series champion in seven seasons, the longest such stretch without repeats since baseball had ten champions in ten seasons from 1978 through 1987. This still would have been true if the Tigers had won.
It was also the first time since 2002 that the home team won the deciding game of a World Series, hence the presentation of the World Series trophy on the field.
National Anthem Singers: Game 1: Bob Seger (sang "America the Beautiful"); Game 2: Anita Baker; Game 3: Trace Adkins; Game 4: Nikko Smith (son of Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith); Game 5: Billy Ray Cyrus
A pair of battered ballclubsEdit
Neither team was given much chance to advance far into October by many baseball pundits.  Both teams stumbled through the second halves of their seasons. The Tigers yielded a 10-game lead in the American League Central to the Minnesota Twins and lost the division on the last day of the season after being swept by the last-place Kansas City Royals at home. The Cardinals held a seven-game advantage in the National League Central over the Cincinnati Reds and an 8½-game lead over the Houston Astros with just two weeks to play. However, the combination of an eight-game losing streak by St. Louis and an eight-game winning streak by the Astros (highlighted by a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in Houston) caused the Cardinals' lead to shrink to ½-game with only a few games left. However, the Cardinals held on to clinch the division after an Astros' loss to the Atlanta Braves on the last day of the season.
Thus, both the Tigers and Cardinals were clear underdogs in their matches, against the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres, respectively. However, after a Game 1 loss, the Tigers' pitching took care of the vaunted Yankees lineup, and won their series 3-1. The Cardinals also won their series 3-1, including the first two games in San Diego. The Tigers then swept the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS, winning game four on a three-run walk-off home run by Magglio Ordóñez in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals won their series against the New York Mets on a ninth-inning home run by Yadier Molina in a tense Game 7.
The Tigers had home-field advantage in the Series, due to the AL's 3-2 win over the NL in the 77th Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 11 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. These two teams had already played against each other in June 2006. The Tigers swept the Cardinals 3-0 in Detroit, part of an eight-game Cardinal losing streak. This was the first time since 2000 that teams meeting during the regular season met again in the World Series.
The Series marked the third time in a row that both teams sought to win a championship after at least a 20-year drought. In 2004, the Boston Red Sox ended their 86-year hiatus by defeating the Cardinals; in 2005 the Chicago White Sox ended an 88-year drought by defeating the Houston Astros who were competing in their first World Series after 43 seasons. The Tigers had not appeared in the World Series since winning it in 1984. The Cardinals last won in 1982, losing three times since then, in 1985, 1987 and 2004.
Detroit entered the Series as a prohibitive favorite. Bob Nightengale of USAToday expressed popular sentiment when he said "Tigers in three".
Two veteran managers return to post-season playEdit
St. Louis' manager Tony La Russa joined his mentor, Sparky Anderson, as only the second manager to win the World Series with teams in both leagues. La Russa won in 1989 with the Athletics. Coincidentally, Anderson first accomplished the feat by managing Detroit to their previous championship in 1984; he was chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2.
Jim Leyland is the seventh manager to win pennants in both leagues. The previous six are Joe McCarthy (1929 Cubs and the Yankee teams of 1932, 1936–39 and 1941–43), Yogi Berra (1964 Yankees, 1973 Mets), Alvin Dark (1962 Giants, 1974 A's), Sparky Anderson (1970, 1972, 1975–76 Reds, 1984 Tigers), Dick Williams (1967 Red Sox, 1972–73 A's, 1984 Padres), and Tony La Russa (1988–90 A's, 2004, 2006 Cardinals).
Additionally, the opposing managers are close friends; Leyland was La Russa's third base coach for the Chicago White Sox in the early 1980s. Leyland also served as a Pittsburgh-based advance scout for the Cardinals before he was hired by the Tigers.
This was the first World Series in 22 years to have two previous World Series winning managers facing each other, but at the helms of new teams. Leyland previously won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins, and La Russa won the 1989 World Series with the Oakland Athletics. Overall, it was the first World Series since 1999 to have two previous Series-winning managers facing each other.
Game times were in North American Eastern Daylight Time.
|1||October 21||St. Louis||7||Detroit||2||1-0||8:03 pm||42,479|
|2||October 22||St. Louis||1||Detroit||3||1-1||8:26 pm||42,533|
|3||October 24||Detroit||0||St. Louis||5||2-1||8:33 pm||46,513|
|4||October 26 ‡||Detroit||4||St. Louis||5||3-1||8:27 pm||46,470|
|5||October 27 ‡||Detroit||2||St. Louis||4||4-1||8:27 pm||46,638|
|St. Louis wins 4-1|
‡ Game 4 was initially scheduled for October 25, but was postponed due to rain. Subsequently, Game 5 scheduled for October 26 was pushed back a day as well.
Game 1, October 21Edit
Two rookies faced off in Game 1 for the first time in history: Anthony Reyes for St. Louis and Justin Verlander for Detroit. It looked like the Tigers were going to get to Reyes early in the bottom of the first, when Craig Monroe doubled and Magglio Ordóñez walked. Carlos Guillén singled Monroe in, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead. However in the top of the second, Scott Rolen led off and hit a long home run to left field, tying the score at 1-1. Rolen was 0-for-15 in his career in the World Series before hitting the home run. The previous mark had been 0-for-13, set by Benny Kauff of the New York Giants in the 1917 World Series. In the third inning the Cards broke through, first when Chris Duncan's RBI double scored Yadier Molina to give the Cardinals the lead. On Verlander's next pitch, the 2005 National League MVP, Albert Pujols, banged a 2-run home run, punishing the rookie who elected to pitch to the dangerous Pujols, rather than walk him with first base open and two outs and pitch to Juan Encarnación. Meanwhile, Anthony Reyes was the story. The pitcher who had the fewest wins of a Game One World Series starter (5) at one point retired 17 in a row from the 1st inning to the 6th inning, a World Series record for a rookie. The previous record was 13 (John Stuper, STL, 1982, and Dickie Kerr, CHW, 1919). Reyes' final line was 8+ innings, four hits, two runs, and four strikeouts. The Cards took advantage of Detroit's mistakes again in the 6th, when Brandon Inge made two errors in one play. With runners on second and third, Inge threw to home wild to score a run and then obstructed Scott Rolen, who was running home, to score another run. Craig Monroe hit a solo home run off Reyes in the bottom of the ninth, which led to Reyes being pulled from the game, as Braden Looper came in to finish the game. The final score was 7-2 Cardinals, marking the first time since 2003 that the National League has won a World Series game, and the first World Series game won by St. Louis since Game 5 of the 1987 World Series.
Game 2, October 22Edit
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
With a starting temperature of 40 °F (4 °C), controversy surrounded the start of Game 2 when Tigers starting pitcher Kenny Rogers was found to have an unknown substance on a patch of the palm of his pitching hand during the first inning. Although Cardinals hitters claimed that the ball was doing "weird things" in the first inning, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa did not request an inspection of Rogers' hand to determine what the substance was. Rogers said it was dirt, and complied with a request from the umpires to wash his hands before the second inning.
Rogers would go on to pitch eight shutout innings, running his postseason streak to 23 straight shutout innings, giving up only two hits. Craig Monroe hit his second home run in the series, and Carlos Guillen, who was a home run away from the cycle, and Sean Casey each drove in runs to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead going into the ninth. Todd Jones then came into the game to close it out but got into a heavy jam, with Scott Rolen being driven in by Jim Edmonds before a force-out at second with the bases loaded won the game for the Tigers. Craig Monroe became the fifth player to hit a home run in each of his first two World Series games. The others were Barry Bonds for the Giants in 2002, Ted Simmons for the Brewers in 1982, Dusty Rhodes for the New York Giants in 1954, and Jimmie Foxx for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1929.
HRs: Det – Craig Monroe (2)
Game 3, October 24Edit
After being shutout by Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers for eight innings in Game 2, St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter answered with eight shutout innings of his own in a 5-0 Cardinals victory in Game 3. Carpenter, making his World Series debut (he missed the entire 2004 World Series due to injury) gave up only three hits, struck out six and did not issue a walk, while throwing only 82 pitches.
St. Louis began the scoring in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded double by center fielder Jim Edmonds which scored two runs. Two more runs would score in the bottom of the seventh on an error by Detroit pitcher Joel Zumaya, who overthrew a routine ground ball to third baseman Brandon Inge. St. Louis would add another run in the eighth on a wild pitch.
Reliever Braden Looper would pitch a perfect ninth to close out the game and give St. Louis a two-games-to-one advantage in the Series.
Game 4, October 26Edit
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Game 4 was pushed back a day because of rain, the first time a rainout had occurred since Game 1 in 1996. The Cardinals won, taking a 3-1 series lead. The Tigers took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third, after Sean Casey had two RBIs, including a home run. The other RBI came from Detroit's Ivan Rodriguez, who singled in Carlos Guillen. Rodriguez, who had been hitless in the previous 3 games, also went 3-for-4. In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals struck back with a run-scoring double by David Eckstein, scoring Aaron Miles who had the first stolen base of the series by either team. Yadier Molina doubled in Scott Rolen in the fourth to cut the Tiger lead to 3-2. The score remained that way, until the bottom of the seventh, when Eckstein led off with a double over the head of Curtis Granderson, who had slipped on the wet Busch Stadium outfield. Eckstein then scored on a sacrifice bunt by So Taguchi that was thrown over the head of Placido Polanco covering first by Fernando Rodney, and that tied the score, 3-3. Later that same inning, Preston Wilson hit a single to left with two outs that scored Taguchi from 3rd. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the eighth on a Brandon Inge double that scored Ivan Rodriguez. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Cardinals would regain and keep the lead when Miles scored on a double by Eckstein just off the glove of the outfielder.
HRs: Det – Sean Casey (1)
Game 5, October 27Edit
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
On a day in which it rained much of the day but stopped early enough to not delay the game, the Cardinals won to clinch the championship 4 games to 1, making this the first 5-game series since the Yankees-Mets Series in 2000.
Justin Verlander pitched a sloppy first inning for Detroit, walking three and tying a World Series record for a single inning by throwing two wild pitches. He avoided allowing any runs, however, thanks to a good play by shortstop Carlos Guillen to get the third out on what was almost an infield hit.
The Cardinals took the lead in the second inning on a lead-off single by Yadier Molina followed by two advancing groundouts, and then an infield single by David Eckstein. Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge made a good play to stop the ball off Eckstein's bat, but then made a poor throw to first which got by the first baseman and allowed Eckstein to advance to second. The throwing error was the seventh error of the series by the Tigers, also giving them at least one error in every game to that point.
Cardinals pitcher Jeff Weaver (an ex-Tiger) was cruising into the fourth inning, and he appeared to be nowhere near trouble with a lead-off groundout, followed by a routine popup by Magglio Ordóñez. This popup turned out to be much more troublesome than it first appeared: right fielder Chris Duncan dropped the ball, apparently distracted by center fielder Jim Edmonds who was also going after the ball. With Ordóñez on via the error, the very next pitch of the game was hit by Sean Casey into the right-field seats just inside the foul pole for a two-run homer that gave Detroit the lead, 2-1. The Cardinals would threaten immediately in the bottom of the inning, however, with Yadier Molina and So Taguchi each singling to put runners at first and second with one out. Pitcher Jeff Weaver then came up and attempted to bunt the runners over to second and third. The bunt was fielded cleanly by the pitcher Justin Verlander, but he attempted to force out the lead runner at third and threw the ball into the left-field foul area. This allowed Molina to score to tie it up, with Taguchi and Weaver arriving safely at third and second. The throwing error by Verlander was the fifth error by Detroit pitchers in the World Series, having committed one per game, setting a new World Series record. The next batter, David Eckstein, grounded out to score the runner from third, and St. Louis secured their lead, 3-2.
Chris Duncan misplayed another ball in the top of the sixth for a Sean Casey two-out double, but this time the runner would be stranded as Ivan Rodriguez then struck out to end the inning. A David Eckstein single followed by a Preston Wilson walk in the bottom of the seventh put runners at first and second with none out for the heart of the Cardinals order: Pujols, Edmonds, and Rolen. Pujols popped out and Edmonds flied out, so it appeared Detroit might hold the Cardinals to a one-run lead. Instead, Scott Rolen singled and scored Eckstein, doubling the Cardinals lead to 4-2.
Jeff Weaver had pitched a one-two-three eighth, and the Cardinals went to the ninth three outs away from their first World Series title in 24 years. The man called on to get those three outs would be Adam Wainwright, who had won the job of closer after the star free agent brought to St. Louis in 2002, Jason Isringhausen, had season-ending surgery. Detroit's clean-up hitter, Magglio Ordóñez, led off the inning. He proceeded to work a full count but then grounded out. The second batter, Sean Casey, worked a full count and then doubled to bring the tying run to the plate. The third batter, Ivan Rodriguez, got ahead in the count 2-0 but grounded back to Wainwright on the next pitch, putting the Cardinals one out away. The fourth batter, Placido Polanco, fell behind 1-2, but then worked a walk to put the tying run on. The fifth batter, Brandon Inge, fell behind 0-2, again putting the Cardinals one strike from a World Series championship. He did not extend the drama any longer, as he swung and missed at the next pitch (making it the first World Series to end on a strikeout since the 1988 World Series), giving the World Series title to the Cardinals. The final play of the 2006 season was made at 10:26pm Central Standard time. After the game, Wainwright, who threw a curveball for strike three to win the pennant and a slider to Inge to win the Series, said "I'll probably never throw another curve or slider again without thinking of those two pitches."
HRs: Det – Sean Casey (2)
Quotes of the SeriesEdit
- "For the first time since 1982, St. Louis has a World Series winner" Joe Buck on the final out.
- 2006 World Series statistics at Baseball Reference
- Retrosheet box scores and play-by-play: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4, Game 5
- "LaRussa gets Number He Wants", Washington Post, 28 October 2006
- "Fan Appreciation", by Thomas Boswell, Washington Post, 28 October 2006
- "Redbirds were better than their numbers, SI.com
- "Last chance at the bandwagon", SI.com
- "Cardinals are improbable champions", ESPN.com
- "Pillars of inconsistency shine brightly at right time", Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- "This win is for all Cardinals and their fans", Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- "Parity argument has two sides", USAToday
- "Good-when-it-counted Cardinals capture biggest prize", USAToday
- ↑ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2006-10-19-weekend_x.htm
- ↑ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2006/news/story?id=2610409
- ↑ http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/playoffs/2006-10-20-tigers-scouting-report_x.htm
- ↑ http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6088362
- ↑ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/28/AR2006102800905_pf.html
|Modern Major League Baseball World Series|