2003 - At Fenway Park: The Cardinals and Boston Red Sox played a wild, see-saw slug-fest before a partisan Tuesday night crowd of 34,937 - and in the end, a two-run ninth-inning rally finally gave the persistent Redbirds a 9-7 win over the equally persistent Red Sox.
After St Louis failed to score in the first-inning off Boston starter Byung-Hyun Kim - a World Series basket case for the Arizona Diamondbacks in '01 (back-to-back blown saves against the Yankees) - the Red Sox scored twice in the bottom half off Woody Williams, with back-to-back RBI doubles by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.
The Cardinals finally broke through in the fifth-inning against Kim. Renteria led-off with an opposite-field double down the line in right - then Tino Martinez - who greatly facilitated Kim's '01 Fall Classic meltdown - just missed hitting this one out to dead-center. Renteria advanced to third on the catch, and stayed there as Mike Matheny's lazy fly ball to right became out number two.
Part-time outfielder Orlando Palmeiro's base hit to right scored Renteria - then an infield single by Miguel Cairo, along with a throwing error by second baseman Todd Walker had runners on second and third for J.D. Drew, who got a pitch he could handle, and drove it way out to right field - for a three-run home run.
The Cards added three more runs in the seventh, on an Albert Pujols two-run home run and Edgar Renteria's two out RBI single, scoring Jim Edmonds - who reached on an error - with an unearned run.
The 7-2 St Louis lead quickly evaporated as Boston scored three in the seventh - including a Manny Ramirez two-run home run, which ended Williams' night - then a two-run eighth-inning blast by Jason Varitek off reliever Kiko Calero - which tied the game, 7-7.
St Louis answered back with a pair of runs of their own in the ninth, off reliever Brandon Lyon. Back-to-back one-out doubles by Edmonds and Rolen scored the tie-breaker, then with two out, Eduardo Perez punched an RBI single to left.
Cal Eldred preserved the 9-7 win for St Louis with one scoreless inning for his eighth save of the season.
Although the Cardinals hung on for the win, this game typified the team's biggest weakness in 2003 - an unreliable bullpen. That would change for the better in '04 - after one of the heroes in this St Louis win - J.D. Drew - would be part of a package to the Atlanta Braves that brought back some reliable arms for the bullpen - including a pitching prospect by the name of Adam Wainwright.
2005 - At Busch Stadium III: The Cardinals had no trouble in dispatching an error-prone New York Yankees team, as St Louis starter Jason Marquis (8-3) had one of his better outings: 8 IP - 6 H - 1 R - 2 BB - 3 SO. Final score: St Louis 8 - New York 1.
Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang (3-2) lasted just four innings - allowing seven runs (only four were earned runs) on seven hits - featuring a pair of big name players who each made an error tonight - Cano and A-Rod - as well as one by pitcher Chien-Ming "the Merciless" Wang, himself.
The Cardinals immediately jumped on Wang in a two-run first-inning - on RBI singles by Albert Pujols and Larry Walker - then piled on five runs (only two were earned runs) on three hits and two costly errors - in the third-inning to take a 7-0 lead - much to the delight of the 50,250 that packed the house tonight.
Pujols capped a three-hit-two-RBI night with a sixth-inning home run to end the St Louis scoring.
Derek Jeter's fifth-inning RBI double was all the Yankees could muster off Marquis tonight - as Randy Flores pitched a scoreless ninth to put the Bronx Bombers out of their misery.