From April through September, baseball is considered an old, aging game. The day-in, day-out ground of a marathon 162-game season simply doesn’t contain enough highlights to hold the attention of the average American, quick to rely on bone-rattling games of football and high-flying basketball contests. Moments like Game 6 of the 2011 World Series serve as reminders that, when the stakes are at their highest, baseball’s excitement can’t be matched as the St. Louis Cardinals triumphed 10-9 over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
What happened between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers was legendary. Clutch hitting and terrible fielding combined to create the kind of game that should be accompanied by a dramatic orchestra lacing the soundtrack. David Freese, the Cardinal’s hometown hero, put in a game that will go down as one of the greatest performances in baseball history.
Two times the Texas Rangers were within a strike – a single strike – of capturing their first ever World Series title. And two times, third basemen Freese torched them. Down 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth with one out and two men on, Freese laced a triple into right field, one that, at first glanced, appeared destined for an out. Nelson Cruz, the Texas rightfielder who earlier in the game tied an MLB post-season record with his eighth home run, simply couldn’t reach the ball, watching it careen off the right field wall as Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman tied the game.
Two innings later, Freese finished branding the game his own. His team had rallied to tally two runs in the bottom of the tenth and with the score tied at nine in the bottom of the 11th, he laced a shot to dead-center field, one that cleared the wall by a solid ten-to-fifteen feet. David Freese lived a game that few would even dream of having swinging a metal bat as ten-year-olds, so storybook was it. His Cardinal teammates proceeded to rip the jersey off of his back, strangers in St. Louis hugged in the streets and, nine months from now, a high number of boys named “David” to be born in Missouri.
Projections are out the window. Baseball is great. Tune in at 8 PM for the last game of the 2011 season.