2011 October

1stThe Rangers even their divisional series against the Rays with an 8-6 win. Derek Holland gets the win for Texas, backed by a HR from Mitch Moreland. Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce homer for TB.

The Yankees take the opener of their divisional series with a 9-3 win over the Tigers. Ivan Nova gets the win in relief for the Yanks and Robinson Cano clouts a grand slam. Delmon Young homers for Detroit.

Yovani Gallardo hurls the Brewers to a 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Prince Fielder homers for Milwaukee and Ryan Roberts connects for Arizona.

The Phillies open their divisional series against the Cardinals with an 11-6 victory behind Roy Halladay. Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez homer for Philadelphia and Lance Berkman connects for St. Louis.

2ndThe Tigers edge the Yankees, 5-3, to even their division series at one game apiece. Max Scherzer picks up the win with the aid of a homer by Miguel Cabrera. Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson homer for New York.

The Brewers beat the Diamondbacks, 9-4, to take a 2-games-to-0 lead in their division series. Takashi Saito gets the win in relief. Ryan Braun homers for Milwaukee, while Chris Young, Justin Upton and Paul Goldschmidt all connect for Arizona.

The Cardinals even their series with the Phillies, defeating Philadelphia by a 5-4 score. Octavio Dotel gets the win in relief for St. Louis.

3rdThe Rangers edge the Rays, 4-3, to take the lead in their division series. Colby Lewis gets the win, backed by a Mike Napoli HR. Napoli adds a stolen base and throws out a runner, the first catcher to do all 3 in one post-season game. Rookie Desmond Jennings hits a pair of homers for TB.

The Tigers defeat the Yankees, 5-4, on Delmon Young’s 7th-inning HR to take a 2-games-to-1 lead in their division series. Justin Verlander gets the win for Detroit.

4thThe Yankees trounce the Tigers, 10-1, to tie their division series at 2 games apiece. AJ Burnett gets the win for New York while Victor Martinez homers for Detroit.

The Rangers edge the Rays, 4-3, to win their division series and move on to the ALCS. Matt Harrison gets the victory, aided by 3 homers by Adrian Beltre and another by Ian Kinsler.

Ben Francisco’s 3-run, pinch HR carries the Phillies to a 3-2 win over the Cardinals and a 2-games-to-1 lead in their division series. Cole Hamels gets the win for Philadelphia.

The Diamondbacks defeat the Brewers, 8-1, to stay alive in their division series. Paul Goldschmidt hits a grand slam in rookie Josh Collmenter’s win. Corey Hart homers for Milwaukee.

5thThe Cardinals defeat the Phillies, 5-3, to even their division series at 2 games apiece. Edwin Jackson gets the win for St. Louis, with help from David Freese’s HR and 4 RBIs. Also helping is one of the furry denizens of Busch Stadium, the rally squirrel.  After making an appearance in yesterday’s game, the squirrel (or squirrels) dashes onto the field in the 5thinning and crosses the plate with Skip Schumacker at bat. Roy Oswalt’s pitch is called a ball and the distracted Oswalt protests that it should be a do-over., but to no avail. “I was wondering what size of animal it needed to be for it not to be a pitch,” he said.  After the season four squirrrels will be caught at Busch and released in the wild. But it will not be their last appearance. When the Cardinals win the World Series, the commemorative rings will have a small rally squirrel engraved on the side.

The Diamondbacks even their series with the Brewers at 2 games apiece with a 10-6 victory. Micah Owings gets the win for Arizona, who get a pair of homers by Chris Young, a 1st-inning grand slam from Ryan Roberts and a solo from Aaron Hill. Carlos Gomez connects for Milwaukee. For Roberts, it is his second grand slam in a little over a week. Arizona has now hit a grand slam in four consecutive home games, the only team in ML history to accomplish the feat.

6thThe Tigers edge the Yankees, 3-2, to move on to the ALCS. Doug Fister gets the win for Detroit. Don Kelly and Delmon Young hit back-to-back homers in the 1stinning for the Tigers while Robinson Cano connects for NY.

The White Sox name Robin Ventura, who has not managed or coached at any level, as their new manager.

7thThe Brewers edge the Diamondbacks, 3-2, in 10 innings to take their division series and move on to the NLCS. John Axford gets the win in relief after blowing his first save in six months for Milwaukee. Justin Upton homers for Arizona.

Chris Carpenter allows 3 hits and defeats Roy Halladay to give the Cardinals a 1-0 win over the Phillies. St. Louis moves on to the NLCS. Skip Schumaker drives home the game’s only run. Ryan Howard ruptures his left Achilles tendon making the final out for the Phils, and will not return to action until next July.  Howard, with a five year $125M contract extension will start a deep decline in production.

8thThe Rangers edge the Tigers, 3-2, to take Game 1 of the ALCS. Alexei Ogando gets the win in relief, backed by a homer from Nelson Cruz.

9thThe Brewers take the opener of the NLCS with a 9-6 win over the Cardinals. Zach Greinke gets the victory as Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Yuniesky Betancourt homer for Milwaukee and David Freese connects for St. Louis.

10thHector Cruz hits a pair of homers, including a walk-off grand slam in the 11thinning, to lead the Rangers to a 7-3 win over the Tigers, and a 2-games-to-0 lead in the ALCS. Mike Adams gets the win in relief while Ryan Raburn homers for Detroit.

The Cardinals rout the Brewers, 12-3, to even the NLCS at a game apiece. Albert Pujols hits a HR and 3 doubles, and drives in 5 runs for St. Louis, which also gets a homer from David Freese. Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks homer for Milwaukee. Lance Lynn gets the win in relief.

11thThe Tigers defeat the Rangers, 5-2, behind Doug Fister. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta all homer for Detroit. Texas stills leads the ALCS, 2-games-to-1.

12thThe Rangers defeat the Tigers, 7-3, in 11 innings to take Game 4 of the ALCS. Victor Cruz’s 3-run HR is the big blow, helping Scott Feldman to the victory. Brandon Inge homers for Detroit.

The Cardinals score 4 runs in the 1stinning and go on to hold the lead and edge the Brewers, 4-3, in Game 3 of the NLCS. Chris Carpenter gets the win for St. Louis while Mark Kotsay homers in a losing cause for Milwaukee.

13thThe Tigers defeat the Rangers, 7-5, to cut Texas’ ALCS lead to 3-games-to-2. Justin Verlander gets the win for Detroit aided by a pair of homers by Delmon Young and solo blasts by Ryan Raburn and Alex Avila. Hector Cruz homers for Texas.

The Brewers edge the Cardinals, 4-2, to even the NLCS at 2 games apiece. Randy Wolf gets the victory for Milwaukee. Allen Craig and Matt Holliday go deep for St. Louis.

Lance Berkman and Jacob Ellsbury win the NL and AL Comeback Player of the Year awards.

14thThe Cardinals defeat the Brewers, 7-1, to take the lead in the NLCS. Octavio Dotel gets the win in relief.

15thThe Rangers score 9 runs in the 3rdinning and go on to trounce the Tigers, 15-5, to win the ALCS and move on to the WS. Alexei Ogando gets the win in relief. Michael Young and Nelson Cruz homer for Texas. Miguel Cabrera hits a pair of HRs for Detroit, while Austin Jackson and Jhonny Peralta also connect. Cruz is named ALCS MVP. He sets records for a postseason series with 6 HRs and 13 RBIs.

16thThe Cardinals clinch the NL pennant and move on to the WS with a 12-6 victory over the Brewers. Marc Rzepczynski gets the win in relief, backed by HRs from Rafael Furcal, Albert Pujols and David Freese. Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy all connect for Milwaukee in a losing cause. Freese is named NLCS MVP.

17thFrank McCourt and his estranged wife Jamie reach a settlement in their long-running and ugly divorce case. Both sides have racked up legal fees in excess of $20 million, making it the most expensive divorce in California history. Jamie will receive $130 million, while McCourt retains ownership of the Dodgers. Terms of the agreement call for payment to be completed by April 2012. MLB has been running the team since April when Selig appointed Tom Schieffer, the former president of the Texas Rangers, to run the team because he was concerned about how the finances were being managed.

19thThe Cardinals edge the Rangers, 3-2, in Game 1 of the World Series. Allen Craig’s PH single drives in the deciding run. Chris Carpenter gets the win, while Mike Napoli hits a HR for Texas.

20th  The Rangers score 2 runs in the 9thinning to edge past the Cardinals, 2-1, and even the World Series at a game apiece. Mike Adams gets the win in relief. Michael Young’s sac fly brings home the winning run.

David Ortiz wins the Roberto Clemente Award, given to a player who excels on the field and also gives back through community service.

The Dodgers Clayton Kershaw wins the Warren Spahn Award as the ML’s top left-handed pitcher.

22ndThe Cardinals clobber the Rangers, 16-7, to take the lead in the World Series. Albert Pujols gets 5 hits, including 3 homers, to lead St. Louis. He joins Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit 3 homers in a WS game. His 5 hits and 6 RBIs also tie Series records as is his 4 hits in consecutive innings. Yadier Molina, who is the third brother to play in the last three World Series, has 4 RBIs for the Birds. Allen Craig also homers for the Cardinals. Michael Young and Nelson Cruz connect for Texas.  Lance Lynn gets the win in relief. In the third inning, a fan in the front row throws out a wiffle ball that almost hits Matt Holliday as he is about to catch a fly ball. The fan is ejected.

23rdDerek Holland and Neftali Feliz combine on a 2-hit shutout to defeat the Cardinals, 4-0, and tie the World Series at 2 games apiece. Mike Napoli’s 3-run HR is the big blow for Texas. Lance Berkman gets both of St. Louis’s hits.

24thMike Napoli’s 2-run double off Rzepcyznski in the 8thinning provides the winning margin in the Rangers 4-2 win over the Cardinals in Game 5 of the World Series. Darren Oliver gets the win in relief. Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland homer for Texas. The Rangers lead the series, 3-games-to-2. The game is tied in the 8thinning when not one but two phone calls to the Cardinal bullpen by Tony LaRussa are misheard and the wrong pitcher comes to the mound.

Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp are announced as the winners of the 2011 Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive performers of the year. Bautista, Carlos Pena and Wes Helms were the only ML hitters to receive bases-empty intentional walks this season (as noted by Trent McCotter).

The Cubs announce the hiring of Theo Epstein to a five-year $18.5 million contract to be president of baseball operations. The deal will cost them a player to be named: righty reliever Chris Carpenter will be assigned in February. Carpenter will end up having unforseen elbow surgery in April, curtailing his 2012 season.  Also, as compensation in the complicated deal, the Cubs will receive from the Red Sox first baseman prospect Jair Bogaerts from the Red Sox at the end of March. Bogaerts, from Aruba, is just 19 years old. He hit .288 in the Dominican Summer League last year.

The Red Sox announce that Theo Epstein’s successor as General Manager will be Ben Cherington, Epstein’s lieutenant. Cherington says, “he’s incredibly honored” during his press conference, twice using the word “multifactorial.” He also says that John Lackey will miss the 2012 season because of Tommy John surgery. Lackey finished the year at 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA, the highest ever for a Sox pitcher with 25 starts. He was one of the pitchers who fell into disfavor when it came out the he and others enjoyed a “rally brew” during games they were not pitching.

26thGame 6 of the World Series is postponed due to rain.

27thIn a game marked by six lead changes, the Cardinals bounce back to defeat the Rangers and even the World Series with a 10-9 win in 11 innings. There are a record three blown saves in the game. David Freese ties the game with a 2-out, 2-strike triple in the bottom of the 9th, then he homers to win it in the bottom of the 11th. Texas gets homers from Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton. Lance Berkman and Allen Craig also homer for St. Louis. Jake Westbrook gets the win in relief.

28thThe Cardinals defeat the Rangers, 6-2, to win the 2011 World Series. Chris Carpenter gets the win in the clincher while Allen Craig hits a HR for St. Louis. David Freese is named Series MVP. Former Cardinal pitcher Bob Forsch throws out the ceremonial first pitch: Forsch, 61, will be found dead in his home in less than a week.

31stThe Indians acquire Derek Lowe from the Braves for minor league P Chris Jones. Lowe is the first major-leaguer to have led a league in wins, losses and saves; he led the N.L. in losses this season and in wins in 2006 (with the Dodgers) and the A.L. in saves in 2000 (with the Red Sox).

Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa announces his retirement, a decision he had told the Cardinals in August. He becomes the first manager in ML history to win a WS in his final year at the helm.