The Redbirds and Rangers are rocking, rolling and ready to carry their momentum into Game 7.
Which team will emerge from the epic events of this Fall Classic as well-deserved MLB champions? The baseball world will be watching to find out.
If you stopped watching after the back-to-back home runs by Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, then too bad. You missed one of the most exciting live finishes in World Series history.
Trailing 7-5, the lively and never say die St. Louisans were down to their final strike in the ninth inning with Freese at bat.
The St. Louis area native cracked a sinking fastball from ace closer Nefi Feliz off the left field wall to drive in two runs. Extra innings were going to roll deep into the night, except Josh Hamilton had different ideas.
Hambone smashed a two-run homer to put the Rangers ahead, 9-7, in the 10th inning.
The Cardinals proceeded to put the first two men on and bunt them over in the 10th. Texas native Lance Berkman came to the plate with two out.
Playoff-style bearded Berkman was batting over .400 in the World Series after he put the Cards ahead, 2-0. His first inning home run had given the Cardinals early momentum.
He was down to his last strike in the bottom of the 10th inning with Jon Jay at second and Albert Pujols at first. Sir Lance-a-Lot laced one to right center to tie the game, 9-9.
Pujols raced to third base as pandemonium erupted in the stands at Busch Stadium. The Redbirds, however, couldn’t win it in 10, so World Series Game 6 ventured into the electrifying 11th inning.
The Rangers went down almost in order against Jake Westbrook. They hadn’t seen much of the Cards’ fifth starter. Maybe he caught them by surprise.
David Freese likewise caught the baseball world by surprise. He started the bottom of the 11th with a walk-off homer for the home town hero.
Freese was one of the Cardinals who made mistakes early in the game. The Redbirds made three errors in the game.
Freese’s error to start the fifth allowed the Rangers to eventually take the lead right back, 4-3. FOX flashed a graphic and Joe Buck announced it was the most errors by St. Louis in a World Series game since 1943.
Another inexplicable error by Michael Young opened the door for the Cardinals in the very next inning. They again victimized tough reliever Alexi Ogando. He came in and issued a walk to Yadier Molina to tie the game.
With the bases loaded and one out, Mike Napoli picked Holliday off third base. The air went out of the stadium even though the game was tied, 4-4.
Once again the bullpen blew it. Adrian Beltre went deep on the second pitch of the seventh inning. Nelson Cruz made it back-to-back home runs against Lance Lynn. It was 6-4 with nobody out in the seventh.
It was a wrap for the Rangers, right? Wrong.
It was appropriate that the Redbirds won Game 6 in 11 innings. It kept my prognostication for the franchise’s 11th title alive in 2011.
St. Louis won despite another blown effort from a dying bullpen. The team was also suffering from a 4-for-37 performance in the top two lineup spots coming into this game.
The world learned to never put the cardiac Cards in the graveyard until the final out. I doubt anyone else will. The Cards were down to their final out in the game twice. None of the negatives mattered, though.
Game 6 will go down in World Series lore as one of the best ever, and St. Louis came out on top. They will likewise close out the Rangers at Busch Stadium next game. Freese will be part of the icing on the cake.
I’ll be here to provide you some of the most entertaining coverage you can find. Be sure to catch my next column: Lake’s 11 in ’11 Report.
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