Will the World Series go to seven games and, if so, who will win?
Not that anything about the World Series between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals has been predictable, but writers from around the Tribune Co. will do their best to forecast the outcome. Check back throughout the day for their responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Mike Napoli and his Rangers teammates had no choice, really. If they were going to win the World Series, they had to find a way to win Game 5, and they did. Now they go to St. Louis with a chance to end it Wednesday night, but they’re not going to celebrate this soon. This World Series has been one of the best in a long time, and it deserves to go to the distance, which it will.
My original pick was Rangers in seven, and I’m sticking to it. I say that the Cardinals will win Game 6 behind big games from Jaime Garcia and Albert Pujols, but that the Rangers will come back to grab Game 7, scoring early and often against starter Kyle Lohse and a bullpen that has been exposed as the Cardinals’ fatal flaw. Look for Ian Kinsler to step up with a big hit or two, and the Rangers to string together shutout innings late in Game 7.
History tells us that the World Series team that wins Game 5 to take a 3-2 advantage goes on to win the title 66 percent of the time, which makes a pretty strong case for the Texas Rangers winning their first championship. All they have to do is win one of the next two games against the team that had the worst regular-season record among this year's eight playoff teams.
Except it isn't going to go down that way. Cardinals Game 6 starter Jaime Garcia is coming off a terrific seven-inning performance in Game 2 that went to waste when the bullpen blew up in the ninth inning. He'll drag the Cards into Game 7 and they'll have the home crowd behind them with all the candy on the line. If they can just get manager Tony La Russa and bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist a couple of bluetooth headsets, they should complete their unlikely late-season comeback.
Bill Kline, Allentown Morning Call
With the World Series tally at Rangers 3, Cardinals 2, General Sports Fan Interest 0, if there’s any compassion at all for television viewers, this prime-time nuisance will go away Wednesday night with a Texas victory.
Is this an East Coast bias? Guilty. Is this discrimination against Middle America? Guilty. Is this bitterness that the Series is not a Phillies-Yankees smackdown between baseball’s best teams over 162 games? Guilty.
Because the sorry subplot here is that the over-managed Cardinals and their know-it-all skipper are lucky just to be in the playoffs. The Rangers are more deserving, their fans thirstier. Look for Nelson Cruz to play longball and the Rangers to romp Wednesday in a game that will drag on almost as long as the holiday shopping season.
[Updated at 11:14 a.m.:
Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
I do not think the World Series will go seven games. I think Texas will close out out St. Louis in Game 6. The Rangers are the better team, they have the momentum after their dramatic Game 5 victory and their best post-season starter, Colby Lewis, on the mound.
They should also fare better offensively against Cardinals starter Jamie Garcia. Garcia allowed three hits in seven shutout innings in Game 2, but it's asking a lot of any left-hander to shut down a predominantly right-handed-hitting, powerful lineup twice in six days.]
Left photo: Albert Pujols. Credit: John G. Mabanglo / EPA
Right photo: Texas' Mike Napoli. Credit: Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News / MCT