Wilson, Carpenter get World Series started

US Presswire

C.J. Wilson and Chris Carpenter get the call in Game 1 of the 107th World Series. Carpenter is 1 win shy of tying for the most wins by an active pitcher in postseason play.

The 107th World Series begins Wednesday with the Texas Rangers visiting the St. Louis Cardinals. The AL has won 62 of the previous 106 series and the winner of Game 1 has won seven of eight and 12 of the last 14. There have been 102 Best-of-7 World Series. The winner of Game 1 has gone on to win the World Series 64 times (62.7 percent).

The Rangers are the first team lose the World Series and return the following season since the 1992 Atlanta Braves (who lost to the Toronto Blue Jays a year after losing to the Minnesota Twins). The last three AL teams to return to the Fall Classic a year after a loss have gone on to win the World Series. The last AL team to lose back-to-back World Series was the New York Yankees in 1963 and 1964.

The Cardinals are in their 18th World Series, tied for the second-most all-time with the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals are making their third World Series appearance since the start of the 2004 season, the most of any team in that span.

On the Mound

C.J. Wilson gets the nod for Texas. Wilson has not enjoyed recent postseason success as he is 0-2 with an 8.04 ERA in three starts this postseason. According to Elias, the only other time a Game 1 starter in the World Series had lost two previous games in that postseason was Tom Glavine for the Braves in 1992. He was 0-2 heading into his Game 1 start against the Blue Jays. He pitched a complete game and won.

A major problem for Wilson has been the long ball, as he has allowed six homers this postseason after giving up just 16 in 223⅓ innings during the regular season.

Rangers RHB vs Sliders from RHP
2011 Season

Chris Carpenter takes the mound for the Cardinals. Carpenter has seven career postseason wins which is one shy of Mariano Rivera for the most among active pitchers. The seven wins are also tied with Bob Gibson for the most in Cardinals history.

Carpenter will face a Rangers lineup that includes six regulars who bat right-handed. Carpenter’s main secondary pitch versus righties is a tight-breaking slider that sits in the high-80s. Carpenter likes to work his slider down and away to get hitters to expand their strike zone. However, he faces a tough challenge in a Rangers lineup that features some of the most disciplined hitters in the league against sliders.

Carpenter got right-handed hitters to chase 47 percent of his sliders that were out of the zone during the regular season, a mark that ranked in the top three in baseball among qualified righties. However, Rangers righties combined to chase just 24 percent of the sliders they saw, led by Michael Young, Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Mike Napoli. Each of them ranked in the top six in the league in chasing the lowest percentage of sliders against righties.

Highest Avg Game-Time Temp
2011 Regular Season

Stat of the Game

With frost and freeze warnings posted across much of Missouri and temperatures expected in the 40s for Game 1, it’s worth pointing out that neither team is used to these conditions. There were 39 games this season that were played at a game-time temperature of 100° or higher, with 27 of those games being played in Arlington.

The Cardinals played 15 games (10 at home) where the listed boxscore temperature was below 60°. They went 5-10 in those games. The Rangers played 13 games with a boxscore temperature below 60°, going 5-8 in those contests. All of those were on the road.