World Series: David Freese and 4 Players Most Likely to Provide Game 7 Heroics
At the eleventh hour last night (11th inning, I mean), David Freese provided one of the most electrifying moments in World Series history. And with his Game 6 walk-off home run, Freese forced a deciding Game 7 tonight.
Freese has been an unlikely hero thus far. He's hit clutch home runs throughout the postseason, and last night he tied the game with a two-run, two-out, two-strike triple in the bottom of the ninth, two innings before his home run to win it.
Of course David Freese could make history and add to his impressive list of postseason exploits with a second consecutive walk-off, so he's certainly a candidate to be a Game 7 hero.
Here are four other players, two from each team, who I think are the most likely to provide offensive heroics in tonight's series-deciding Game 7.
4. Lance Berkman
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Lance Berkman, who almost decided to retire last offseason, has been a feel-good story all season long. An old veteran returning for another year, hoping for another shot at glory.
Although he's struggled with injury at times in 2011, Berkman has performed better than anyone could have expected.
And the perfect storybook ending to his year would be Berkman going long in Game 7 of the Fall Classic, giving his team a world championship and securing him a place in baseball's halls of immortality.
3. Nelson Cruz
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It would be great to see Cruz redeem himself for his Game 6 gaffe in the ninth inning, in which he misplayed David Freese's fly ball and allowed the tying runs to score.
What better way to make up for that mistake than by reprising his incredible ALCS performance (in which Cruz hit six home runs) and going long in the deciding game of the World Series, giving the Texas Rangers the first championship in the history of the franchise?
2. Albert Pujols
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Imagine this: Albert Pujols, swinging the bat for perhaps the last time in a Cardinals uniform, does it once more.
The ball is struck squarely and rises through the air, landing on the other side of the fence. Pujols is mobbed at the plate in celebration of his walk-off homer giving the Cardinals their 11th world championship in franchise history. In the ecstasy of victory, he pledges to remain a Cardinal to the end of his career.
Could anything be better for Cardinals fans?
Perhaps not. Provided, that is, that Prince Albert isn't any older than he says he is and lives up to the massive contract he will no doubt receive instead of the money Theo Epstein and the Cubs will offer to send his way.
But none of those concerns would matter in the euphoria of the moment.
1. Mike Napoli
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I know, Mike Napoli rolled his ankle and may not be at 100 percent for tonight's game.
But he's been huge in this series, and I have a gut feeling he has one more big moment in him.
What could be better than a hobbling player, possibly coming off the bench, socking a game-winning World Series home run, a-la-Kirk Gibson in 1988?
A gutsy performance like that would be the perfect ending to this crazy and wildly entertaining World Series.