Botched Ring Could Mean No World Series Ring for Cardinals

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A bizarre communications error in Game 5 of the World Series foreshadowed the loss that put the St. Louis Cardinals one game away from going down in the 2011 World Series.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa called his bullpen for pitchers Marc Rzepczynski and Jason Motte in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers, but bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist only heard Rzepczynski. Soon after the call, La Russa realized Motte wasn't warming up and he called again to get the hurler ready.

Lilliquist thought he heard La Russa ask for pitcher Lance Lynn and Lynn was warmed him up instead.

After two Rangers players got on base in the eighth inning, La Russa substituted Rzepczynski into the game, who immediately gave up a single to the next batter.

The strategy was to then put Motte on the mound, because La Russa wanted him to pitch against Texas slugger Mike Napoli.

La Russa (thinking Motte was warming up) realized he needed to give the pitcher a few more minutes to prepare , according to MLB.com .

La Russa didn't want Rzepczynski to face Napoli, but he had to. Napoli proceeded to hit a bases-loaded double that scored two runs to give Texas the lead, 4-2.

La Russa called for a time out and signaled to the bullpen to send out Motte, but to the manager's surprise, Lynn raced to the mound. La Russa signaled Lilliquist to warm up Motte, and told Lynn to walk the next batter.

But the damage had already been done. The Cardinals managed to get Motte into the game and get out of the inning, but the final score didn't change from the botched communication. Texas won 4-2 and is now up 3 games to 2 in the World Series.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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