PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer
After Allan Craig caught David Murphy’s fly ball for the last out of the World Series, the playoffs finally brought to an end one of the best postseasons a sports fan will ever see.
These baseball playoffs brought a new appreciation to the sport. Each team brought different types of momentum and carried it until they couldn’t anymore.
After their first World Series Game 7 in nine years, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers gave us everything. We saw good pitching performances, good defense, better hitting performances and even some scenarios fans rarely ever see.
In Game 5, for example, we saw Cardinals manager Tony La Russa have some miscommunication in the bullpen, causing the wrong pitcher to come into the game—something that would eventually cost them the game.
Then came the game that put this series over the top: Game 6, one of the greatest World Series games that I have ever seen.
The Cards never backed down, even after trailing 7-4 in the seventh inning and being down to their last strike two different times.
Third baseman David Freese then hit the game-winning solo home run to straight-away center field in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Cardinals forced a game seven with the 10-9 win.
Chris Carpenter then got run support during his third start of the series, as the Cardinals won their 11th championship and pulled off the second great comeback of the season. They won the National League Wild Card on the last day of the regular season after being down 10 games with 30 remaining.
Once the Cardinals were introduced to the rally squirrel, there was no stopping them. Freese should have locked up the MVP after that hit, and his two-run triple to tie the game in the ninth inning alone.
I have to agree with La Russa’s retirement, and riding off into the sunset. How many times can a determined team go on a run like this? I can’t argue with going out as a champion. He is undoubtedly one of the best managers in the history of the game.
The Rangers lost their second consecutive World Series, and pulled off some type of collapse. They no doubt had all of the momentum after taking the 3-2 series lead heading back to St. Louis. After a comfortable lead twice in Game 6, that was their moments to shine.
One of the biggest thrills of that series was when FOX announcer Joe Buck made his call – “We will see you tomorrow night.” This was almost an identical call to his father, Jack, the longtime broadcaster for the Cardinals, in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series after Kirby Puckett’s home run forced a game seven. This call helped signify just another example of how special this series was and what dramatics these playoffs brought to the world of baseball.