In the top of the fifth inning, C.J. Wilson got into all sorts of trouble. He gave up a single to Skip Schumaker before walking Nick Punto. All that was missing was an appearance by Ryan Theriot. Good lord, La Russa breeds these guys like tribbles.
But Wilson clawed and scrapped and clawed to get out of the inning without allowing another run. He struck out the suddenly mortal Allen Craig, and he induced a weak grounder from Matt Holliday with the bases loaded. Whew. And Wilson, with 100 pitches, went to sit in the dugout for the rest of the game, cheering his teammates on with some ice wrapped around his shoulder.
Except he came out for the sixth.
The gambit worked about as well as expected, with Wilson getting an out before allowing a base runner. He was on the ol' allow-a-runner-and-get-yoinked plan, as Ron Washington replaced Wilson with Scott Feldman, the official long reliever of the 2011 MLB Postseason.
Feldman then got into similar trouble, giving up a single to Yadier Molina to put runners on first and second with one out. But Feldman's hands, slippery from all the churned butter, were made to throw a sweet curveball. Skip Schumaker grounded out and Nick Punto struck out, and the rally ended. This doesn't feel like a 2-1 game, but a 2-1 game it is.