MLB Playoffs 2011: Randy Wolf and the 12 Biggest Surprise Heroes of the Playoffs

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MLB Playoffs 2011: Randy Wolf and the 12 Biggest Surprise Heroes of the Playoffs
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

That Randy Wolf would shut down the St. Louis Cardinals offense in a key playoff game is scarcely imaginable. The Milwaukee Brewers' lone southpaw starter faced a lineup stacked with men who murder left-handed pitching, men like Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and David Freese.

Holliday homered in the second inning of Thursday's NLCS Game 4 to put St. Louis ahead, and Allen Craig (another right-handed lefty masher) followed an inning later with a blast of his own to make it 2-0 Cardinals. The Brewers looked in danger of falling behind in the series three games to one.

Then, nothing. Wolf suddenly began hitting his spots directly, getting the ball down and generally avoiding the middle of the plate, and Cardinals hitters never caught up to his adjustments. Meanwhile, Milwaukee stormed back with four runs in the fourth through sixth innings and ended up winning to even the set.

Wolf by no means came from nowhere. He has over 2,000 career innings and over 1,600 strikeouts to his credit. He simply caught everyone off guard by holding down the NL's best offense despite the tough match they made for him. Wolf goes into Brewers lore as a sort of savior, restoring their home-field advantage and possibly vaulting them into their first World Series since 1982.

Here are the 12 biggest surprise heroes of this postseason to date.

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