Saturday, October 21, 2006 atComerica ParkinDetroit, Michigan
|WP:Anthony Reyes(1–0) LP:Justin Verlander(0–1)
STL:Scott Rolen(1),Albert Pujols(1)
Two rookies faced off in Game 1 for the first time in history:Anthony Reyesfor St. Louis andJustin Verlanderfor Detroit. It looked like the Tigers were going to get to Reyes early in the bottom of the first, whenCraig Monroedoubled andMagglio Ordóñezwalked.Carlos Guillénsingled Monroe in, giving the Tigers a 1–0 lead. However in the top of the second,Scott Rolenhit 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 byBenny Kauffof theNew York Giantsin the1917 World Series. In the third inning the Cards broke through, first whenChris Duncan's RBI double scoredYadier Molinato give the Cardinals the lead. On Verlander's next pitch, 2005 National League MVPAlbert Pujolsbanged a two-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 toJim Edmonds.
Meanwhile, Anthony Reyes was the story. The pitcher who had the fewestregular seasonwins of a Game 1 World Series starter (5)at one point retired seventeen in a row from the first inning to the sixth inning, a World Series record for a rookie. The previous record was thirteen (John Stuper, STL,1982, andDickie Kerr,CHW,1919). Reyes' final line was eight-plus innings, four hits, two runs, and four strikeouts. The Cards took advantage of Detroit's mistakes again in the sixth, whenBrandon Ingemade two errors in one play. With runners on second and third, Inge threw to home wild to score a run and thenobstructedScott Rolen, who was running home, to score another run.Craig Monroehit a solo home run off Reyes in the bottom of the ninth, which led to Reyes beingpulledfrom the game, asBraden Loopercame in to finish the game. The final score was 7–2 Cardinals, marking the first time since 2003 that the National League had won a World Series game, and the first World Series game won by St. Louis since Game 5 of the1987 World Series.
Sunday, October 22, 2006 atComerica ParkinDetroit, Michigan
|WP:Kenny Rogers(1–0) LP:Jeff Weaver(0–1) Sv:Todd Jones(1)
With a starting temperature of44 °F(7 °C), controversy surrounded the start of Game 2 when Tigers starting pitcherKenny Rogerswas found to have a 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 claimed it was a combination of dirt and rosin (both legal), but complied with a request from the umpires to wash his hands before the second inning.
Unfazed, Rogers would go on to pitch eight shutout innings while surrendering only two hits, running his postseason streak to 23 straight shutout innings. Craig Monroe hit his second home run in the series, and Carlos Guillén, who was a home run away from thecycle, and Sean Casey each drove in runs to give the Tigers a 3–0 lead going into the ninth.Todd Jonesthen came into the game to close it out but got into a heavy jam, with Scott Rolen being driven in byJim Edmondsbefore a force-out at second with the bases loaded won the game for the Tigers.Craig Monroebecame the fifth player to hit a home run in each of his first two World Series games. The others wereBarry Bondsfor the Giants in2002,Ted Simmonsfor the Brewers in1982,Dusty Rhodesfor the New York Giants in1954, andJimmie Foxxfor the Philadelphia Athletics in1929.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 atBusch Stadium (III)inSt. Louis, Missouri
|WP:Chris Carpenter(1–0) LP:Nate Robertson(0–1)|
After the Cardinals were shut out by Detroit pitcher Kenny Rogers for eight innings in Game 2, St. Louis starterChris Carpenteranswered 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 entire2004 World Seriesdue to injury) gave up only three hits, struck out six and did not issue awalk, while throwing only 82 pitches. Only one Tiger reached second base.
St. Louis began the scoring in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded two-run double by center fielderJim Edmondsoff of Nate Robertson. Two more runs would score in the bottom of the seventh on an error by Detroit pitcherJoel Zumaya, who overthrew third basemanBrandon Ingeon what should have been a routine force out. St. Louis would add another run in the eighth on a wild pitch.
RelieverBraden Looperwould pitch a perfect ninth to close out the game and give St. Louis a two-games-to-one advantage in the Series.
The Cardinals became the first team since theCincinnati Redsin1970to host a World Series game in their first season in anew ballpark.
Thursday, October 26, 2006 atBusch Stadium (III)inSt. Louis, Missouri
|WP:Adam Wainwright(1–0) LP:Joel Zumaya(0–1)
Rainout of Game 4, October 25th.
Game 4 was pushed back a day because of rain, the first time a rainout had occurred since Game 1 in1996. The fans from the game were to attend Game 5. (Thus, fans who had tickets for Game 5 went to Game 4 instead.) The Cardinals won, taking a 3–1 series lead. The Tigers took a 3–0 lead into the top of the third, afterSean Caseyhad twoRBIs, including a home run. The other RBI came from Detroit'sIván Rodríguez, who singled inCarlos Guillén. Rodriguez, who had been hitless in the previous three games, also went 3-for-4. In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals struck back with a run-scoring double byDavid Eckstein, scoringAaron Mileswho had the first stolen base of the series by either team.Yadier Molinadoubled inScott Rolenin 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 ofCurtis Granderson, who had slipped on the wetBusch Stadiumoutfield. Eckstein then scored on a sacrifice bunt bySo Taguchithat was thrown over the head ofPlácido Polancocovering first byFernando Rodney, and that tied the score at three. Later that same inning,Preston Wilsonhit a single to left with two outs that scored Taguchi from third. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the eighth on aBrandon Ingedouble that scoredIván Rodríguez. 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 outfielderCraig Monroe, who had been playing shallow and dove for a ball just out of his reach.
Friday, October 27, 2006 atBusch Stadium (III)inSt. Louis, Missouri
|WP: Jeff Weaver (1–1) LP: Justin Verlander (0–2) Sv: Adam Wainwright (1)
DET: Sean Casey (2)
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 four games to one, making this the first five-game series since theYankees–Mets Seriesin2000.
Justin Verlanderpitched 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 shortstopCarlos Guillénto 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 byYadier Molinafollowed by two advancing groundouts, and then an infield single byDavid Eckstein. Detroit third basemanBrandon Ingemade 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 pitcherJeff 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 byMagglio Ordóñez. This popup turned out to be much more troublesome than it first appeared: right fielderChris Duncandropped 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 bySean Caseyinto 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 andSo Taguchieach 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. Later, Verlander said "I picked it up and said, Don't throw it away, instead of just throwing it. I got tentative." 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. (A placard held by a Cardinals fan in the stands read "HIT IT TO THE PITCHER").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 Iván Rodríguez 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 retired the side in order, 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 beAdam 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,Iván Rodríguez, 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,Plácido 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 the1988 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."