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Chess Match: Cards execute for title

Chess Match: Cards execute for title

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals made the big move, taking down the Tigers, 4-2, in Friday night's Game 5 of the World Series to clinch their 10th title. Along the way, Jeff Weaver's fastballs and breaking balls were the game's biggest gambits. But there were a couple of early moves that were potential difference-makers.

Creating their own break
The situation: Yadier Molina led off the Cardinals' second inning with a single, bringing up So Taguchi, the No. 8 hitter batting ahead of Weaver.

The decision: Taguchi bunted. Although he didn't square up, implying he was bunting for a hit rather than responding to a sacrifice sign, it was a risky decision with the pitcher due up.

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The outcome: St. Louis' first run. Molina advanced to third on a grounder to short by Weaver that otherwise would've likely triggered a double play, and scored on David Eckstein's infield single to third.

Applying their own brake
The situation: Albert Pujols led off the third with a single. When the next batter, Jim Edmonds, worked the count full, the Cardinals appeared in a good situation to add to their 1-0 lead.

The decision: Pujols gets the run sign as Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander sets for the 3-and-2 delivery.

The outcome: The Cardinals take themselves right out of the inning, as Edmonds swings through strike three and Pujols, so far behind catcher Ivan Rodriguez's throw that he puts on the brakes before reaching second, is easily doubled up in a rundown.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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