Though Game 7s should be, by definition, the most dramatic games in sports, Game 6s have a better reputation for classic World Series games. The ball dribbled through Bill Buckner’s legs in a Game 6. Carlton Fisk waved his home run fair in a Game 6. Kirby Puckett hit his walk-off home run in a Game 6. Last night, St. Louis Cardinal David Freese, who hit only 10 home runs during the season, saved his team’s season with a two-strike, two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the score and then hit a solo home run in the 11th to win the game and force a deciding Game 7. It was the kind of game that every little kid dreams of having, especially since the 28-year-old third baseman grew up in Missouri.
Game 6 was a thrilling heart-stopper, with the home team rallying from three runs down to force extra innings. But even then, fate seemed to turn against them, as Texas’ injured star Josh Hamilton conjured up visions of Kirk Gibson with a two-run home run in the 10th that seemed destined to be the series-clincher. Somehow, the Cardinals rallied again in the bottom of the inning: with two outs and two strikes, Lance Berkman tied the game again with a run-scoring single, settling the table for Freese’s 11th-inning heroics. Four hours and 33 minutes after the game’s first pitch, all of St. Louis was bedlam. The Cards literally ripped Freese’s jersey off his back! “Not much to say but thanks everybody,” Freese tweeted after the victory. “Like I said though… unfinished business. One more.”
So just like that, we’re looking at a winner-take-all Game 7 of the World Series! On a Friday night! (Bartenders rejoice!) Baseball hasn’t had a Game 7 since 2002, and if tonight’s game has even half of the excitement of last night’s classic, even Fringe fans might take breaks from updating the Faux-livia Wikipedia page to check the game’s score. St. Louis media is reporting that the Cardinals’ ace pitcher, Chris Carpenter, who pitched well in Game 1 and 4, will take the mound tonight to face the Rangers’ Matt Harrison, who was roughed up in Game 3. That bodes well for the Cardinals, who might not be the underdog anymore after playing that role for the last three months: In the last eight World Series Game 7s (dating back to 1982), the home team has won every time.
Will you be watching tonight? Have you even recovered from last night’s drama? Did you wear a baseball cap to work today?