In perhaps the wildest World Series game in the history of the sport, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers 10-9 in 11 innings and, in the process, forced a deciding game seven to be played tonight.
In a game that saw three lead changes, 28 hits, 19 runs scored and an eye popping 5 errors, The Cardinals, and David Freese, overcame one of their sloppiest games of the year. They committed three errors, a costly wild pitch and lost a runner on a critical pickoff but the Redbirds simply refused to lose.
The game was tight as a crab ass (and a crab ass is waterproof) going into the top of the seventh inning. The score was 4-3 and the Cards called on fireballer Lance Lynn.Lynnpromptly gave up deflating back to back jacks to sluggers Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz to make it 7-4.
Fast forward to the bottom of the eighth inning and things still looking bleak for St. Louis, who were still behind 7-4, Allen Craig, who replaced an injured Matt Holliday (pinkie), hit a 78 MPH curveball into the left field bleachers off Derek Holland to make it 7-5. From there, the Cardinal rallied to load the bases off light out ranger setup man Mike Adams but SS Raphael Furcal, who is 3 for 21 in the series, grounded out meekly to the pitcher and the threat (and so I thought the series) was over.
Entering the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals were still down 7-5 and with one out Albert Pujols ripped a double into the left-centerfield gap. Lance Berkman walked and hitting star David Freese lashed an opposite field triple off the wall in right field to plate Pujols and Berkman to tie the game at seven a piece. Yadier Molina lined out to right field to send the game into extra frames.
In the top of the 10th, Ranger SS Elvis Andrus singled to center and All Star OF Josh Hamilton hit what appeared to be a game winning two run homerun to right to make it 9-7.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Cardinals got back to back singles from Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay. Pinch hitter (Pitcher) Kyle Lohse then sacrificed the two runners to second and third. Ryan Theriot then grounded out to third plating Jay. With now two outs, the Rangers logically walked 1B Albert Pujols intentionally in order to take their chances with Lance Berkman. Berkman, who homered earlier in the game, drove a single to center field scoring Jay to know the game again at 9-9.
In the top of the 11th inning, the Rangers basically went down quietly and in the bottom of the 11th inning David Freese struck again….he hit a 3-2 changeup over the center field wall to win the game.
“We had some good ABs and we tied it up and just kept battling,” Freese said. “That defines our team, that game, the way we just kept coming back. We’ve been doing that for a long time. … It’s incredible to be a part of this.”
“It’s just an exhilarating feeling,” said Lance Berkman, who was 3 for 5 and scored four times. “You’re like Lazarus. You’re back from the dead.”
“I mean, it’s just special, it’s hard to describe,” Berkman added. “I’ve played in several pretty good postseason games, but this one takes the cake. I think you had a little bit of everything. I’m just glad to be part of it.”
“What happened today, I just think it’s — you had to be here to believe it,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “We never quit trying. I know that’s kind of corny, but the fact is we never quit trying. The dugout was alive even when we were behind, and sometimes it works.”
“This game was crazy,” saidTexas’ Darren Oliver. “So many highs and lows. It was definitely tough to watch at times, but the bottom line is we got beat and they battled us to the last out.”
But perhaps slugger Albert Pujols described it best when he said last night: “There is tomorrow now”…there certainly is Albert, and that tomorrow is today.