Cards third baseman’s bat brings on a Game 7 in 2011 World Series.
Down to their last strike on two occasions, the St. Louis Cardinals come back from two-run deficits in both the 9th and 10th innings. They defeat the Texas Rangers, 10 – 9, and force a World Series Game 7 for the first time since 2002. The hero of the game is David Freese, spotlighted the other day by our own Travis Coverston.
Heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Cards trailed, 9-7. Rangers closer Neftali Feliz in on and strikes out the first batter, Ryan Theriot. An Albert Pujols double followed by a walk to Lance Berkman outs a pair of runners on base. Feliz gets Allen Craig looking at strike three.
Enter Freese. Behind in the count, 1-2, Fresse takes the Feliz offering and sends the ball into right field. The ball flies over the head of Nelson Cruz and as the ball bounces away from him, Pujols and Berkman cross the plate. Freese ends up ton third base for the game-tying triple. His heroics are far from over.
The Rangers score two in the top of the 10th on a Josh Hamilton home run. The Rangers appear to be headed for the first World Series title.
The Cards begin their half of the 10th with back-to-back singles from Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay. Kyle Lohse will come in to pinch-hit for Edwin Jackson. He lays down a sacrifice bunt, moving up Descalso and Jay. Theriot would ground out and Descalso would score. Pujols was given a free pass to first, bringing Berkman to the dish. The move backfired as Berkman would single to score Jay, and we were tied once again.
The Rangers were blanked in the top half of the 11th. Freese would lead off the bottom of the 11th. On a full count offering from Mark Lowe…
Now for some clinchers…
2008 – With the Philadelphia Phillies on the verge of another championship, Game 5 of the 2008 World Series would start, but doesn’t end. With a 3-1 Series lead, the Phillies own a 2 – 1 lead entering the 5th. The Tampa Bay Rays tie the game in the top of the 6th on a Carlos Pena single off of Cole Hamels.
Then the heavy rains came, causing the game to be suspended. It wouldn’t be continued until two days later.
2002 – In their 42nd season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as they’re known now, win a World Series #1 by defeating the San Francisco Giants, 4 – 1, in the decisive Game 7. Garret Anderson pops a three-run double to provide all the offense for John Lackey needed. Lackey becomes the first rookie to win a seventh game since 1909 (Babe Adams for the Pirates).
1999 – The New York Yankees win Game 4 for their second straight World Series sweep. Roger Clemens shuts down the Atlanta Braves, 4 – 1, as Clemens gains that elusive ring. The Yankees win their then-record 25th championship and third in four years.
Atlanta joins the New York Giants (1910-1919) as the only teams to drop four World Series in a decade.
1991 – A Game 7 for the ages. The Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins cannot score in the regulation nine innings. One reason is Lonnie Smith was duped into pausing at second base, preventing him from scoring the winner for Braves in the 8th. In the bottom of the 10th, Gene Larkin singles to score the winning run. This was the first extra-inning Game 7 in 67 years. Jack Morris, who arguably pitches the game of his life in the 10-inning, 1 – 0 shutout, is named Series MVP.
Side note: Both Atlanta and Minnesota had finished last in their respective divisions in 1990.
1986 – The New York Mets win Game 7 of the World Series with an 8 – 5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. The Mets rallied to overcome a 3 – 0 deficit. Home runs by Ray Knight and Darryl Strawberry spark the comeback. Knight is named Series MVP.
1985 – The Kansas City Royals become only the sixth team in MLB history to rally from a three-games-to-one deficit to win the World Series. Bret Saberhagen pitches a five-hit, 11 – 0 shutout over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 in the I-70 Series.