The St. Louis Cardinals have defeated the Tigers 4 games to 1 in the 2006 World Series. Former Tiger Jeff Weaver pitched 4 hit ball for 8 innings as the Cardinals topped the Tigers 4-2 in game 5 tonight. The Tigers played very sloppy ball once again tonight but I'll get into that at another time. Tonight, I'll just congratulate the Cardinals on a great series and strong post-season.
The Cardinals limped into the post-season as big underdogs in the National League after a very poor finish to the regular season. They defeated the Padres 3 games to 1 and then surprised the heavily favored Mets in an exciting 7 game series.
They then went into the World Series as big underdogs against the Tigers but they dominated the Tigers in every phase of the game. They got strong pitching in every game, played great defense and did just enough hitting to win games. In other words, they played the way the Tigers played most of the season and the Tigers didn't.
One of the more impressive things about the series was that the Cardinals did it with very little productuion from Albert Pujols. Pujols went 3 for 15 and knocked in just 2 runs but they didn't need him. They were led by David Eckstein (8 for 22 with all of the hits coming in the last 3 games), Scott Rolen (8 for 19) and Yadier Molina(7 for 17).
The story of the series for the Cardinals though was great pitching. Rookie Anthony Reyes allowed just 2 runs on 4 hits in 8 innings in game 1. Chris Carpenter pitched a 3 hit shutout for 8 innings in game 3. Weaver was excellent tonight as noted above. It didn't stop there though. They really had no poor pitching performances by anybody the entire series as they compiled a 2.05 ERA and held the Tigers to a .198 batting average.
It was the first Cardinal World Series victory since they beat the Brewers in 1982. We all know that the Tiger fans have suffered though a lot of losing over the years but The Cardinal fans have suffered a different kind of fate. The Cardinals had appeared in the post-season 8 times in the past 24 years without a World Series victory. This included World Series losses in 1985, 1987 and 2004.
So, there are a lot of happy Cardinal fans right now. One of the biggest is my father who remembers them winning the 1934 series versus the Tigers but also remembers them losing to the Tigers in 1968, my first year as a Tiger fan. 38 years later, he finally got his revenge.