Polanco isn't swinging that bat poorly in this World Series, but he's 0-for-17. This oh-fer comes after Polanco was the MVP of the ALCS. In 2004, Rolen went 0-for-15 in the World Series against the Red Sox after slugging the game-winning home run in Game 7 of the NLCS against Roger Clemens.
Polanco seemed to snap his skid in the seventh, but Albert Pujols may have made the play of the series to rob him. Far off the bag at first, Pujols dived to his right and snagged the ball in the web of his far-extended glove. But in order to nail the reasonably speedy Polanco, Pujols had to roll over to his rear, find pitcher Jeff Weaver streaking for first, and hit him with a hard throw from the seat of his pants just to nip Polanco by a step.
Meanwhile, La Russa started the seventh with a new right fielder and left fielder. So Taguchi shifted from left to right and Preston Wilson entered the game. It's all about pitching and defense now, especially since the Cardinals have three outfielders who all have spent significant time as center fielders during their careers.
Defense continued to be a bane for the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh when David Eckstein reached first with an infield single when shortstop Carlos Guillen double-clutched on the throw to first. That was followed by a walk to the free-swinging Preston Wilson from reliever Fernando Rodney, who started the frame.
Perhaps his crooked hat, fashionably askew atop his head knocked him off kilter during the first two hitters of the seventh?
But Rodney got Pujols to pop out, and Edmonds to do the same. With two outs and two on Rolen dumped an RBI single to right just a few feet in front of Magglio Ordonez in right field.
Not only did that hit extend Rolen's hitting streak to 10 games, but also it should have cinched the MVP Award for the former Phillie if the Cardinals can hold the lead.
The Cardinals ended the seventh with the 4-2 lead. They have six outs to go.