David Murphy Texas Rangers
October 24, 2011 by staff
Not bad throws, plays about missed calls or for Napoli in Game 4 of the World Series.
Behind the plate, Napoli was a calming influence for Derek Holland, the young lefty gave up two hits and pitched into the ninth inning of the Rangers win 4-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. Texas’s victory evened the World Series at two games apiece.
“The receiver is huge in a performance like that,” said Ian Kinsler. “We kept the pace of the game, I talked to him a couple of times. He went to the mound to visit a couple of times, kept him on the track, you’ll be back on track.”
Napoli also had much success.
While Josh Hamilton put Texas ahead to stay with an RBI double in the first inning, Napoli delivered in the sixth inning with his three-run homer on the first pitch thrown by reliever Mitchell Boggs.
“I know that Boggs has a good lead. In this situation, he is probably trying to get a double-play ball,” said Napoli. “I just got a pitch I could drive to.”
The Rangers have Game 5 at home on Monday night before returning to St. Louis. They lost the World Series last year in Game 5 without having to return to San Francisco.
After a strange game 3, Napoli was in the midst of much that went wrong in Texas in a 16-7 defeat, the Rangers promised to do what they’ve always done after losses – regroup and wait for win next one.
They did, with Napoli deserve much credit.
“He was behind me when I left the court,” said Napoli of Game 3. “I do not really think about it. I knew I had to come here and get a win, so I mean, I went back today and went through the routine and let it go.”
Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson was pulled after walking David Murphy and Nelson Cruz with one out in the sixth. With the Napoli to come, and the fans and breaking into chants of “nap-o-li!, Nap-o-li”, San Luis was stalled for some time. Jackson even went to make a pickoff throw to second base without a throw to Naples before Tony La Russa changed pitchers.
Boggs’s first pitch was high in the strike zone. Napoli crushed, send 392 meters for the left-field line to make it 4-0 to Rangers.
“It usually takes pitches trying to get the pitcher, and only came to the altitude and crashed the ball just over the fence, which made it very easy,” said Kinsler.
The public was not satisfied until Napoli poked his head out of the dugout to acknowledge their applause.
It was the second homer of the World Series and third in the postseason for Napoli, who reached a career-high 30 in the regular season, when he also beat personal bests batting .320 with 75 RBIs.
Traded twice in five days in January to get to Texas after his first five major league seasons with the Angels in the AL West rival Los Angeles, Napoli turns 30 this winter.
Although Naples has always been known as an offensive player who can hit for power, eliminated a few labels people had put into it, with its high average this season and the way it is set behind the plate.
“He has a very good style for the reception and a very good for what their pitchers are able to do, and did a great job tonight to make sure that Holland established his pitches,” manager Ron Washington said. “That’s the key, only the establishment of his pitches, all of them. He used everything, curve, change up, straight up, down, out. He did everything, and that is what has brought us napping.
“And he also brought a three-run homer,” said Washington.
Napoli was the perfect partner for the Netherlands, which had at the beginning of the longest World Series for an American League pitcher since Andy Pettitte pitched eight innings for the Yankees 1-3 also in New York in a 1996 game against Atlanta.
“We both have very strong chemistry between them,” Holland said. “He does a really good job of controlling my emotions, making sure that I have before me. … He kept me under control, basically.”
The closer Neftali Feliz is branded ending game at Napoli, he rose and put his right hand in the air. It then slammed his glove before throwing the ball to Feliz.
It was a very different scene to the game on Saturday 3 Napoli played first base for the first time in this World Series.
He ran home a shot into the room happened catcher Yorvit Torrealba with for an error that allowed two runs to score for the Cardinals.
That outburst came in a four-run fourth, which began when second baseman Kinsler made a pair in the first couple to finish what should have been a double play. Napoli reached wide to his left to catch the ball, then with a sweeping motion marked the runner approaches squarely on the shoulder.
Almost simultaneously, the Napoli was holding his glove in front of first base umpire Ron Kulpa in disbelief after Matt Holliday was declared safe.
After the game, Kulpa acknowledged that missed the call. Napoli refused to blame that call for anything, saying it could have minimized the entry by a good shot.
Less than 24 hours later, was celebrating a victory in the middle of the infield.
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