In Sunday night's Game 4, Derek Holland and the Texas Rangers blanked the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to even the World Series at two games apiece. However, despite what some might have suggested, the Rangers will not have it easy the rest of the way.
When asked after Sunday's game whether he thinks his team will have an easy time of winning the championship, Rangers manager Ron Washington said, "No." To a follow-up question along the same vein, he responded, "What? No, of course not."
Elaborated Sunday's winning starting pitcher Derek Holland, "Why would anybody think this would be easy? You know that the series is tied, right? That we've won two games and they've won two games?"
Members of the Cardinals' clubhouse agreed with their opponents. Asked whether the Cardinals stand any chance of even competing over the final games, or if they should just forfeit right now, outfielder Matt Holliday replied, "Of course we're going to challenge them, and I think we have a great chance of winning this at home. Nothing's going to be easy for anyone."
Central to the argument that things won't be easy for the Rangers is that the Cardinals are a talented Major League baseball team. The Cardinals won 90 games during the regular season and led the National League in runs scored, with 762. The National League is considered to be roughly on par with the American League. This is a critical detail. Though the San Jose Giants finished with a better record than the Cardinals, they did so in the California League, which is several levels below.
Also central to the argument: the Cardinals have already won two of four games in this series, and have outscored the Rangers 20-15. Prior to Sunday's Game 4, the Cardinals defeated the Rangers 16-7 in Saturday's Game 3. Both teams still have the same players, and little has changed.
There's no history of any World Series ever being easy for one team in the past. There have been twenty World Series sweeps, but those sweeps were competitive on an individual-game level. In 2007, for example, the Boston Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies four games to zero, but won two of the wins were by a single run. Even the 1919 World Series - the scene of the famed Black Sox scandal - saw the Cincinnati Reds defeat the Chicago White Sox five games to three.
The evidence very strongly suggests that the Rangers will have their hands full for the rest of the series, and might not even win the series at all. Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals' scheduled Game 5 starting pitcher, says that anyone who thinks the Rangers will have it easy ought to reconsider their position.
"Anyone who thinks the Rangers will have it easy ought to reconsider their position."
Carpenter and the Cardinals will have their next chance to give the Rangers fits Monday night, at 8:05pm ET.