The Cardinals were, not once but twice, one out from elimination on Thursday night, but both times they rallied for one of the most dramatic endings to a game in World Series history. As a result of their 10-9 victory in the 11th inning over the Rangers, the scene is set for Game 7 tonight at 8:05 PM EDT. Here are some random thoughts about everything playoffs.
This was just the third time in the history of the World Series that a team came back from being one out from elimination. The 1986 Mets accomplished the feat. Some of you will remember that contest. I will venture to guess though that not a single person reading this piece will remember the other time it occurred. It was before the Vietnam War. It predated World War II. My goodness, it was even before World War I. The other time it happened was when the 1911 Giants pulled off the trick.
The Cardinals have won more Game 7′s in the World Series than any other team. They have gone 7-3 in their 10 chances.
Speaking of World Series titles, most know the Yankees lead the way with 27 championships since 1903. How many of you realized that the Cardinals are second on that list with 10? Speaking of championships, the Rangers are one of eight teams that have yet to taste World Series triumph (Rockies, Astros, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, Ray and Nationals). Amongst those clubs, none has been a team longer than the Rangers who are one year older than the Astros.
There were 393 pitches thrown in Game 7.
Neftali Feliz had not blown a save chance in 17 postseason appearances heading into Game 6.
David Freese is just killing it this postseason. Besides hitting .393 with a .448 OBP, he’s also sporting a Bondsian 1.235 OPS. Freese has gone deep five times and hit seven triples in just 17 games as he has plated 19 runners. Oh, and that walk-off homer from last night was just the fifth in a Game 6 or Game 7 in the history of the World Series (the last to pull off the trick was Joe Carter in 1993 for the Blue Jays). You would be hard pressed to find a more productive postseason in the history of the game.
Nelson Cruz has an injured groin, but he’s expected to play in Game 7. He’s tied Barry Bonds (2002) and Carlos Beltran (2004) for most homers in a single postseason with eight. Speaking of a wonderful run in the playoffs, Cruz has those eight homers and 16 RBI in 16 postseason games. He’s only batting .241, but he does have a 1.023 OPS for the Rangers.
Josh Hamilton is all beat up. A 30 homer threat every year, it took him 61 at-bats to hit his first postseason home run in Game 6. Hamilton has been a shell of his powerful self this postseason (.273/.292/.409).
To close… did you actually count out the Cardinals last night? You do remember that they came back from a 10.5 game deficit to overtake the Braves for the NL Wild Card, right?
By Ray Flowers