“They just keep coming back,” Fox Sports television commentator, Joe Buck, would utter during what would become one of the most epic contests in the history of post season baseball.
The team that just doesn’t seem to go away, the St. Louis Cardinals, defeated all odds more than once on Thursday night, defeating the Texas Rangers 10-9 complete with a walk-off 400+ foot bomb by David Freese in the bottom of the 11th inning.
“I’m out of breath, I just got beat up by 30 guys,” Freese said in reference to his mobbing at home plate by his teammates after knocking out only the third extra innings home run in Cardinals post season history. “ Just beared down, got a pitch to hit… a lot of emotions on that one…It’s just an incredible feeling…seeing my teammates waiting for me,” Freese continued to say after the game.
Lance Berkman’s single in the 10th inning would be the second consecutive game tying hit in consecutive innings after David Freese hit a two-out RBI triple in the bottom of the 9th inning that would score two runs, forcing the game into extra play. In over 100 years of World Series baseball, only two other players have executed a game-tying hit in the 9th inning or later, the last being in 1992 with the Brave’s Otis Nixon. Berkman and Freese did it back to back in the same game.
“It’s just special… hard to describe… I’ve played in great post season games…this one takes the cake. If that’s not the best post-season game of all time, I don’t know what could top it,” stated Berkman.
For the Rangers it looked like it was meant to be. Their all-star closer, Neftali Feliz, was on the mound with only one strike away from the World Series title. Even after the blown save that would ensue, Josh Hamilton would seem to have saved the day for Texas with a two-run bomb to right field in the next inning to take yet another commanding lead. But after the Rangers blew another save in the 10th and failed to score again in the 11th, it left the door wide open for the Cards in the bottom of the inning that would culminate with the Freese lead-off, walk-off home run.
With only a 1.1% chance of making the post season in August and after making yet another dramatic comeback in the post season, it has to have Texas and Cardinals fans alike wondering ; does a Cardinal have more lives than a cat?
When asked about Game 7, Berkman would declare “we feel good, we’ll play it right now.”
Cardinals Outlook: There is no way that La Russa gives the ball to anyone other than Chris Carpenter tomorrow night. He’s been their ace for years, and gives the Cards the best shot to win their 11th World Series title.
Rangers Outlook: It will be tough for Texas to forget about tonight, but they must. It will take a gem of a game by Matt Harrison in Game 7, but if he pitches well, and the Texas bats swing as powerful as usual, all that needs to be there in the end is their bullpen to actually close the game, something they could not do on Thursday night.
Stats Of The Night: David Freese is the first player to hit a walk-off home run in a Game 6 or 7 in the World Series since Joe Carter in 1993 for the Blue Jays. The list also includes an elite class, featuring Kirby Puckett, Carlton Fisk and Bill Mazeroski.
Game 7: Friday – Texas @ St.Louis. 7:05 CT
TEX: Matt Harrison (5.02) vs STL: TBA (Probable Christ Carpenter) (3.30)