Cards Battle Back For Wild, Walk-Off Winner

Last night’s 14-inning marathon between division rivals was everything you hope for in baseball … and everything you hope you never see again. It was messy. It was complicated. There were more “What in the world?” moments than “That was awesome!” moments. There were misses, followed by extra chances.

Also, there was a final inning lineup that included Sam Freeman, Adron Chambers, Pete Kozma, Rob Johnson, and Daniel Descalso. So, yeah …

Cardinals beat writer Jenifer Langosch condensed it nicely:

The ace pitcher the Cardinals had pushed back to set the tone in a key division matchup sunk his club into a hole early. A routine catch not made gave St. Louis an extra breath late. The Pirates stalled rallies by moving an infielder to the outfield and later adding an outfielder to the infield. And a Cardinals middle reliever would twice find himself batting with the winning run 90 feet from home.

In all, the Cardinals used 20 of their 25 players, threw 227 pitches, stranded 17 on base and finished 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Roughly eight hours later, and the baseball world is still trying to make sense of it all.

Cards win in walk-off style, 5-4 over the Pirates in 14 innings!

Cards win in walk-off style, 4-3 over the Pirates in 14 innings!

One thing everyone can agree on — this win was big. Dare I say, huge. The Cardinals played with more heart, with more “never say die” intensity than we’ve seen this year. Dubbed the “Comeback Cardinals” the last two seasons, they seemed to have lost that edge. I guess winning so many games in the first half with relative ease buried the killer instinct a little deeper than anyone realized. But, if there was a time for it to return, it was last night. Continue reading