Improbable. Unbelievable. Impossible. Ridiculous.
For as ugly as it was, Game 6 of the 2011 World Series will be remembered as a classic. Five home runs. Three lead changes. Five ties. A two-strike, two-out, bases clearing triple to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. A two-run home run in the tenth to give Texas the lead. An RBI ground out and broken bat single to tie it again. The first time a team has trailed in the ninth and extra innings in a World Series game and come back to tie. All the defensive miscues that marred the early stages of the game have been forgotten thanks to the late-game drama.
Why do I love baseball? Because Kyle Lohse, pinch hitting in the bottom of the tenth inning, down two, almost bunted for a base hit (he sacrificed the runners into scoring position). Because the Rangers have thrown knockout punch after knockout punch at the Cardinals, and the Cardinals keep getting up. Because Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Mike Adams, David Freese, Lance Berkman, and Jake Westbrook have all been the hero at different points during the game. Because games can’t end because the clock runs out. You have to retire 27 men, and if the game is tied you have to retire 3 while holding the lead.
Bad managerial decisions get trumped by clutch hitting and pitchers making pitches. Tension rises and falls with every hit, every out, every pitch. Fans yell until they’re hoarse. Beer flows until it’s gone. Children wonder why their fathers, mothers, siblings, and relatives shout at the TV on each play.
And then, channeling a Game 6 seven years ago, replicating a feat pulled off by the man St Louis traded to San Diego to get him, David Freese launches a home run deep into the batter’s eye in dead center. 10-9 Cardinals.
Unbelievable. Improbable. Impossible. Ridiculous.
I have no more words. I’m thankful I got to see this one and can’t wait to watch tomorrow.