The 2011 World Series is tied at 1-1 heading to Texas after the Rangers sneaked out of St. Louis with a miraculous win to even the series Thursday night.
The Rangers will come home for three games against the Cardinals with a shot to close out the championship series after rallying to score two critical runs in the final inning of Game 2, winning 2-1.
Although momentum is clearly on Texas' side now, the Rangers will not close out Albert Pujols and the Cards at home Monday night.
After all, St. Louis' ace Chris Carpenter will likely be on the mound for the Cards in Game 5, and St. Louis is 4-0 this postseason when he pitches.
Some will say Cards' manager Tony La Russa lost the game for St. Louis in Game 2, but in truth the Rangers' bats came to life at exactly the right time, when the Cardinals were just three outs away from a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Credit instead of blame is deserved here, and in this case it belongs to Ron Washington and the Rangers, who outlasted the Cardinals in another pitching clinic.
The series will continue Saturday night in Arlington, Texas, where the winner of Game 3 will take a pivotal 2-1 series lead.
If Kyle Lohse can't get it done on the mound for St. Louis, don't expect the Rangers to run away with the series and to be popping champagne Monday night.
As mentioned earlier, Carpenter is scheduled to pitch Monday night in Game 5, and has been in the pressure cooker before this postseason (Game 5 of the NLDS at Philadelphia).
If Carpenter can win that game and at the very worst St. Louis heads back to Missouri down 3-2, the Cards can feel good that the Rangers will have to once again beat them on the road to claim the World Series crown.
The day off in between Games 5 and 6 would also supply Carpenter with an extra day of rest and could potentially set the stage for him to take the mound in a possible Game 7 at Busch Stadium next Thursday night if the series permits.
Any way one slices it, the St. Louis Cardinals are in good shape to win the 2011 World Series, or at least get it back to St. Louis.