The 25 most decisive plays in World Series history

Oct 24, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and right fielder Brett Phillips (14) celebrate Phillips hitting the game winning two run walk off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game four of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; The Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) and right fielder Brett Phillips (14) celebrate Phillips hitting the game winning two run walk off single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning in game four of the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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World Series MVP David Freese. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
World Series MVP David Freese. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

22.  Game 6, October 27, 2011, Texas Rangers at St. Louis Cardinals

David Freese vs. Neftali Feliz. Change in Championship Probability, +29.08

The Texas Rangers were as close as the franchise would ever come to a World Series win. With two out in the ninth inning of the sixth game of the 2011 World Series the Rangers led the Series three games to two and led the game 7-5. Then David Freese took over.

Freese was a career minor leaguer completing his first full major league season. It was one in which he had finally proven his major league credentials: a .297 average in 97 games as the Cardinal third baseman.

This game, which the Cardinals had to have to extend their chances, had been a frustrating one for both Freese and his team. He had struck out in the first inning, grounded out in the fourth and grounded out again in the eighth, his only “success” — if you could call it that – being a sixth inning base on balls.

Meanwhile the Cardinals had left eight runners on base.

Now Freese faced the ultimate combination of that misery. Rangers closer Neftali Feliz had fanned Ryan Theriot, allowed a double to Albert Pujols and walked Lance Berkman, then caught Allen Craig looking. With the tying runs on base, Freese was the last St. Louis hope.

As Freese stood in, the likelihood of a Rangers Series clinching win were an imposing 92 percent. Feliz got him into a 1-2 count before the improbable occurred. Freese got a low-outside pitch he could extend on and sent it rocketing toward the wall in right field.

Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, never one known for his glove, tried to retreat but could only flail helplessly as the ball sailed over his outstretched glove and struck the base of the wall. By the time Cruz recovered and got it in, both Pujols and Berkman had scored and Freese was safely in at third.

Having saved his team from defeat, Freese proceeded two innings later to win the game with an 11th inning home run. One night later, his two-run first inning double would key a 6-2 Series clinching win for the team that had been one pitch away from defeat.