Just hearing the two words “Game 6” bring back the memories of the greatest game in St. Louis Cardinals history and, arguably, the best World Series game ever. And it happened five years ago tonight, Oct. 27, 2011.
How to commemorate the milestone of this event, when so much has been said and written already throughout the five years here and elsewhere? In pictures that let you relive the experience for yourself and remember how the game unfolded, as it truly spanned the gamut of baseball emotions.
If you do feel like reading more, Jayson Stark’s piece at ESPN from the time remains the classic account — and includes this from Lance Berkman:
“Really and truly, this was an ugly game for about six or seven innings,” said the relentlessly honest Berkman. “But then it got beautiful, right at the end.”
For a more retrospective look, this piece by Anna McDonald at ESPN from earlier this month looks at both the Rangers and Cardinals recollections from Games 6 and 7.
And now, a look back to the entirety of the game, and not just the iconic moments that are still so vivid today.
Jaime Garcia was the starter for the Cardinals in Game 6, and his first inning was rather rough: a walk and two singles that put the Rangers up 1-0 before he even got the first out.
In the bottom of the first, with two outs and Skip Schumaker on first after he singled, Lance Berkman homered to make it 2-1 Cardinals. He was 3 for 5 on the night, with those two first inning RBI and another rather important RBI later on …
Garcia was shaky in the second inning as well, as a walk and two hits allowed the Rangers to tie the game at 2.
In the top of the fourth, with Fernando Salas now pitching, there was the unfortunately memorable play above on a fly ball by Nelson Cruz and he ended up at second base. The next batter, Mike Napoli, singled him home to put the Rangers up 3-2. The Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the fourth as Lance Berkman reached on an error by Michael Young and ultimately scored on a Yadier Molina groundout.
Next inning, the third most-memorable thing David Freese did during the game allowed Josh Hamilton to reach. He then scored on a double by Young, 4-3 Rangers.
Lance Lynn took over in the sixth and had an uneventful inning. In the top of the seventh, though, he gave up back-to-back home runs to Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz. Later in the inning, with Octavio Dotel taking Lynn’s place, the Rangers scored again on an Ian Kinsler single to make is 7-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, Allen Craig — who replaced Matt Holliday in left — homered to make it 7-5.
Then came the bottom of the ninth. After Ryan Theriot struck out, Albert — amid talk of IS THIS HIS LAST AT-BAT AS A CARDINAL???? — doubled, which was followed by a walk to Berkman and a strikeout by Craig. Two outs … down by two … the count went to 1-2 …
And thus it was a tie game. On to extra innings …
The top of the 10th brought this, and a 9-7 Rangers lead. In the bottom of the inning, Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay each singled to start the inning. Next came the pitcher’s spot, with Kyle Lohse bunting — and no photographic evidence of that seems to exist (at least in doing a quick Google Image search). Then …
Ryan Theriot was up. In one of the rare positives of his year-long Cardinals career, he drove in Descalso on an infield groundout. Yes, the photo is small at full-size — but at least it exists.
Next came this
Followed by this
And this .. plus “They. Just. Won’t. Go. Away.”
On to the top of the 11th, tied 9-9.
Jake Westbrook allowed a one-out single, but that was all. Then, to the bottom of the 11th.
“We will see you tomorrow night!”
And then came these.
Then it was on to Game 7.