ST. LOUIS — The Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals played one of the most exciting World Series game ever Thursday night in St. Louis. The game featured good pitching, clutch hits, lots of errors and two very big comebacks by the Cardinals. When was the last time you saw a team need just one strike to win the World Series, not once, but twice, and not be able to seal the deal?
Texas started the scoring in the first courtesy of a Josh Hamilton single that scored Ian Kinsler. Then, Lance Berkman quickly gave the Cardinals a one run lead with a two run homer to center. Rangers starter, Colby Lewis, then did not allow another hit by the Cardinals until the bottom of the sixth inning when Berkman picked up an infield single. When the sixth inning ended, the score was tied and the Cardinals had four runs on three hits. Errors continued to hurt the Rangers as they have all postseason. With the score tied at four, it looked like Texas had taken control of the game in the top of the seventh. Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a solo home run and Nelson Cruz followed with another. It was the eighth postseason homer for Cruz and it gave the Rangers a 6-4 lead. The Rangers added another run in the inning to move to a 7-4 lead.
Going into the bottom of the seventh, Rangers’ manager, Ron Washington, rolled the dice and decided to bring in one of his starters, Derek Holland, from the bullpen. Holland pitched a perfect seventh and gave up a solo homer to Allen Craig in the eighth. The Cardinals trailed 7-5 going to ninth, and because of Holland’s appearance, he will not be starting game seven.
Rangers closer, Neftali Feliz, came in for the Rangers in the ninth to close it out. He has been lights out all postseason. Feliz allowed a one-out double to Albert Pujols and then walked Berkman. Feliz got Allen Craig to strike out and the Rangers needed just one out for their first World Series title in team history. All that stood in the way for the Rangers was David Freese, who has been clutch the whole postseason for St. Louis. The Rangers were one strike away when Freese delivered a triple to right, which tied the game. The Rangers were playing a no-doubles defense and the ball hit appeared to be catchable by right fielder, Nelson Cruz. This game was going to extra innings.
In the top of the tenth, Elvis Andrus delivered a one out single to shallow center and Josh Hamilton followed with a two-run homer, giving the Rangers a 9-7 lead. Again, the Rangers were just three outs away from the promise land. In the bottom half of the inning, St. Louis quickly put runners on first and second with singles by Daniel Descalso and John Jay. The Cardinals, out of position players, used pitcher Edwin Jackson to pinch hit for Jason Motte. Tony LaRussa then changed his mind and pinch hit for Edwin Jackson with another pitcher, Kyle Lohse. Lohse put down a sacrifice bunt that got Descalso to third and Jay to second. Ryan Theriot then grounded out to third, which scored Descalso making the score 9-8. Pujols was walked intentionally leaving it up to Berkman with two outs. The Rangers needed only one more strike to close it out when Berkman singled to center and Jay scored. Once again the game was tied and going to the eleventh.
The Rangers were able to get a base runner in the top of the eleventh, but nothing more. David Freese led off the 11th for the Cardinals, the same Freese who tied the game in the ninth with a triple. Freese got a pitch he liked and sent the ball over the center field fence giving the Cardinals a dramatic 10-9 win and forced a game seven. This was one of the most dramatic homers hit in World Series history when a team faced elimination, next to Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 to crown the Pittsburgh Pirates World Series champs, Carlton Fisk’s homer for the Boston Red Sox in 1975 to force a game seven and Kirby Puckett’s home run in 1991 for the Minnesota Twins to force a game seven against the Atlanta Braves.
Game seven is Friday night in St. Louis.
We want to hear your thoughts about the game. Did you watch it all? Did you think it would end this way? Is this the most exciting game you have ever seen? Let us know!
World Series Stats of the Night:
- The Rangers have committed thirteen errors in sixteen postseason games this year.
- The Cardinals committed three errors in a World Series game; they haven’t done that since 1943.
- The Cardinals are the first in history to come back from a two deficit in the ninth or later twice in the World Series.
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, Busch Stadium – St. Louis, M.O.
Texas 9, St. Louis 10 (11 innings)
(WP: Westbrook) (LP: Lowe)
The best of seven series is tied at three.
Copyright © 2011 The Good in Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.