Rangers tie Cardinals at two apiece

Ron Washington giving

The 2011 World Series will be at least six games thanks to the stellar pitching of Derek Holland who shut down and shut out the Cardinals for 8.1 innings in a 4-0 Texas victory in Game 4.

Derek Holland was brilliant in another chapter in this great World Series. Saturday night was all about hitting, Sunday night reverted to pitching mastery. Holland held them scoreless, permitting only Lance Berkman‘s double and single, and allowing just three of the 28 batters he faced to hit the ball out of the infield. Holland retired the side in order six times, striking out seven.

The big blow of the night was deliver by Mike Napoli, Holland’s catcher, who turned a 1-0 nail-biter into a 4-0 game when he took reliever Mitchell Boggs‘ first pitch deep for a “Three-Run Jimmy Jack.” Edwin Jackson started for the Cardinals and reminded the national audience why he has changed teams so frequently in his career. He frustrated the Rangers only allowing three hits in 5.1 innings, but ultimately frustrated his manager and team by walking seven and leaving two runners aboard for Boggs and Napoli.

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The 8.1 scoreless innings by Holland matched the longest shutout streak by an American League pitcher in a World Series game since the New York Yankees’ Andy Pettitte in 1996. And the two hits for St. Louis were the fewest in a World Series game since the Atlanta Braves got two in the opening game in 1999. The last AL World Series shutout was tossed by Jack Morris in Game 7, 1991. Josh Beckett is the last pitcher to throw a complete game World Series shutout, blanking the Yankees in the 2003 Series. Mention that to Beckett and the pitcher will probably buy you a pitcher.

Jayson Stark points out this morning:

Only once in the history of the World Series had any pitcher done what Holland did Sunday — throw eight-plus shutout innings against a team that had scored 15 runs or more the night before. That was in 1993, when a young up-and-comer named Curt Schilling twirled a five-hit, 147-pitch shutout for the Philadelphia Phillies against a Toronto Blue Jays team that had won a 15-14 game just the night before.

Hero: Derek Holland
Goat: Edwin Jackson

Tonight with the series tied, 2-2:

Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) at Rangers (C.J. Wilson), 8:05