Five Years Ago Today: The Walk-Off Wild Pitch

Ah, September 2011 … how we miss you. And 2011 Cubs, how we miss you as well.

Before this afternoon’s Cardinals-Cubs contest gets underway, let’s take a trip back to a happier time. Sure, it tense and crazy as the Cards were battling for a wild-card spot five years ago — but it was so different than today, in so many ways. (Better in some ways too … like the standings.)

The come-from-behind walk-off-wild-pitch win is one of those memorable moments from the magical September run of the 2011 Cardinals. And, five years later, Carlos Marmol remains the Cardinals star of that game.

Here’s the AMF post from five years ago. (Check out the link at the very end too.)

Whatever It Takes To Win

star of gameThe bottom of the ninth inning in today’s game was every baseball cliche imaginable. It literally was a must-win, do-or-die game to keep alive the Cardinals hopes of catching the Braves in the wild card race. They honestly were down to their last strike — not once, not twice, but three times.

And they did it. They won, 2-1 … in the most unconventional way imaginable.

The game until that point was a frustration. The Cubs had scored their run in the first inning on three singles, half of the hits that Kyle Lohse allowed during his seven innings of work. He struck out eight, walked none and, at one point, retired 10 Cubs in a row. Meanwhile, the Cardinals only had four hits off Rodrigo Lopez through his six innings and had been retired in order by Andrew Cashner and Sean Marshall.

The Cardinals bullpen settled down from its challenges the past two games — Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski and Jason Motte retired all six batters they faced in the eighth and ninth. Continue reading

The Cardinals Last Walk-Off Homer Was When?

As yesterday’s game went into extra innings (and perhaps the less said about the game, the better — another frustrating loss in a season filled with them), the thoughts of Cardinals fans turned to walk-off wins. The 2014 Cardinals have had two so far, both within the past two weeks and both decided in odd ways: the walk-off hit-by-pitch against the Cubs on May 13 and last week’s walk-off throwing error by the Diamondbacks in extra innings.

In the end, wins are wins and however they are achieved works. But when was the last time we experienced the joy and thrill of a walk-off home run, that unbelievable feeling like in Game Six of the 2011 World Series?

Uh … then.


Wow. And nearly three years now since the last regular season walk-off homer.

Of course, hitting a walk-off homer requires actually hitting a homer — something the 2014 Cardinals are definitely not doing very often. They have 26 home runs as a team this season, which is last in the National League. It will take a bit to catch up with the 14th place team too, as the Mets have 34. Overall in MLB, the Cards rank 29th — the Royals trail then with only 20 homers. (Fun fact: the major’s current home run leader, Nelson Cruz, has 16.) Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Two Walk-Off Wins From 2005

Continuing our stroll back in recent Cardinals history from last Thursday, the 2005 St. Louis Cardinals followed up their 105-win-National-League-pennant-winning season by winning 100 games, the NL Central and making it to Game Six of the NLCS against the Houston Astros.


That’s a walk-off winner on Aug. 19, 2005 – thanks to Jim Edmonds.

There were new faces: Mark Grudzielanek at second, David Eckstein at shortstop, Abraham Nunez at third, Mark Mulder on the mound. (Speaking of the latter, did you see he’s making a comeback attempt?)

It was the year the Yankees came to town, and Mariano Rivera and his bullpen pals had some fun. It also was the final year of Busch Stadium II.

And it was the year of a couple of very cool August walk-off wins.

Continue reading