Pivotal World Series Plays
Cards Come Back Twice
2011 World Series Game Six: Texas Rangers @ St. Louis Cardinals
Leading the Series three games to two, the Rangers broke a 4-4 tie with three runs in the top of the 7th. The Cardinals got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 8th on Allen Craig's homer off starter Derek Holland. The Cards knocked out Holland as they loaded the bases on three singles. But reliever Mike Adams got Rafael Furcal to ground out to end the threat. Jason Motte set the Rangers down in the 9th to set up the do-or-die bottom of the 9th.
Workmen began covering the lockers in the visitors' clubhouse in plastic and wheeling in the champagne for the Rangers' victory celebration.
Texas manager Ron Washington (a New Orleans native) summoned Neftali Feliz, who had 32 saves during the season, to protect the 7-5 lead and wrap up the Series. Ryan Theriot struck out, but Albert Pujols, who had torched the Rangers with three homers in Game 3, lined a double to CF. Lance Berkman walked on four pitches. Craig took a called third strike to change the fans' cheers to groans.
The Cards were down to their last out. David Freese had struck out, grounded out, and walked in his previous at-bats. The native of Corpus Christi TX who grew up in the St. Louis suburbs as a Cardinal fan had alternated at 3B with Daniel Descalso, appearing in 97 games. He supplied some power to all fields with 16 doubles, a triple, and 10 homers, including five in the postseason. When the count went to 1-2, St. Louis was down to its last strike. Then David got his barrel on a low fast ball and rocketed a liner over the head of leaping RF Nelson Cruz. The ball bounced off the wall and shot back toward the infield. Running with two out, Pujols easily scored from second and Berkman, no speed mer­chant, followed him across the plate to tie the score. A faster, more nimble outfielder than Cruz might have caught the ball, although it would have been a difficult play. Video of Freese's triple ...
With the winning run on third, C Yadier Molina lined out to Cruz to send the game into extra innings.
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa admitted after the game that it looked bad for his club. "I thought, when you're down two runs to their closer in the ninth ... I mean, this guy is a legitimate one-two-three, they're shaking hands. But what you try to do is get something started."
But the Cardinals were used to having their backs to the wall. They were 10 1/2 games behind in late August before finishing 21-8 down the stretch to grab the wild card spot in the NL playoffs. They defeated the Phillies in five games before taking out the Brewers in six.

L-R: Allen Craig admires his HR; Neftali Feliz; Nelson Cruz misses Freese's triple
The Cardinal euphoria didn't last long. The Rangers jumped on Motte in the 10th to regain a two-run lead when Elvis Andrus singled and Josh Hamilton hit a home into the RCF bleachers.
Washington chose southpaw Darren Oliver to save the game in the bottom of the 10th, but he ran into trouble right away. Descalso, playing SS, grounded a single into RF. CF John Jay poked a single into short LF, and just like that the Cards had the tying runs on base. P Kyle Lohse pinch hit and sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd.
Righthander Scott Feldman replaced Oliver. Theriot grounded out 5-3, Descalso scoring to make it 9-8. With the tying run on 3rd and two outs, Washington ordered an intentional walk to Pujols.
A switch hitter, Berkman hit lefthanded against Feldman. After four pitches, the count was 2-2 and the Cards were again down to their last strike. But Berkman served a fastball into short CF to tie and score and send Pujols to 3rd. Video of Berkman's hit ...
As in the 9th, the Cards had a chance to win the game, but Craig grounded out to 3rd.
Freese on the triple: "Initially I was like, 'Are you kidding me? My first AB off Feliz in this situation ever.' I just beared down, got a pitch to hit. Initially I thought I hit it pretty good. I thought he was going to grab it. So just a lot of emotions on that one."
Jake Westbrook gave a one-out single to Mike Napoli before retiring the side.
Freese led off the bottom of the 11th against Mark Lowe. He wasted no time, driving a fastball nearly identical to the one he hit the triple off of onto the berm in dead CF. Joe Buck told the viewers on Fox Sports, "We will see you tomorrow night!" The Cardinals tore Freese's shirt off him after he touched home plate. Video of winning HR ...
Freese said that he thought of Jim Edmonds' walkoff homer in Game 6 of the 2004 NL Championship Series as he rounded the bases. Berkman, who played for the losing Astros in that series, said he remembered it too.

Cardinals race to home plate as Freese rounds the bases after hitting winning homer
The Cardinals became the first team in history to score runs in the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th innings of a postseason game.
Freese said, "Man, that was incredible. But we fought back. We made some mistakes early on, but the way the Cardinals have all been playing lately, you expect to come back like this. This is just a good feeling, and I'm pumped we're playing tomorrow. Just an incredible feeling, seeing all my teammates at the dish waiting for me."
The next night, the Cardinals won the anticlimactic Game 7, the first in nine years. 6-2.