There were 17 homers hit in the series, including six within the first 22 batters Sunday night. By the time someone finally put a zero on the scoreboard, in the bottom of the third, there were already 13 runs scored, and five pitchers had graced the mound.
As for pitching changes, Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa made 28 in the series, including five Sunday night — although, given Jackson’s ultra-brief outing, limiting himself to that many can actually be viewed as restraint on La Russa’s part. It helped that the Cardinals held leads of 4-0 after a half-inning and 9-4 after three, and that the Brewers seemed more likely to self-destruct than mount a serious charge.
The Cardinals are headed to the World Series, after beating Milwaukee 12-6 Sunday night to win the NLCS in six games. The Cardinals will host Texas in Game 1 Wednesday night. (Oct. 17)
(Jeff Roberson/AP) - A Milwaukee Brewers fan watches the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after Game 6 of the NLCS.
It took some real effort for the respective starting pitchers, Milwaukee’s Shaun Marcum and St. Louis’s Jackson, to produce the shortest starts of this series. But by goodness, they did it. Marcum, whom the Brewers chose to start despite mounting evidence (including an 8.18 ERA in his previous six starts) that he was cooked, lasted only one inning, giving up four runs and departing with an ERA of 14.90 in his three starts this postseason.
While the Brewers’ pitching was nothing short of awful, special mention must go their defense, which committed nine errors in the series and outdid itself Sunday night with a series of grotesque bungles, missed cutoff men and unmade plays. By the end of the game, the crowd of 43,926 mustered barely a peep — except a hearty ovation when first baseman and free-agent-to-be Prince Fielder came to the plate in the eighth in what was likely his final appearance for the Brewers.
But the Cardinals are a worthy and compelling World Series team, a band of survivors who were 10 ½ games out of a playoff spot in late August – left for dead by virtually everyone but themselves — but who rallied to sneak in on the last day of the season.
“This is about as driven as you'll ever see a team,” said Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr.
Even now — especially now — the Cardinals remain in survival mode. And if survival means yanking your starting pitcher after the second inning and blowing out your bullpen and living out-to-out for nine innings, every night, the Cardinals are prepared — and extraordinarily equipped — to do that.