World Series Game 6: David Freese Opens Portal To Alternate Universe, Cardinals Walk Off On Rangers 10-9

The St. Louis Cardinals host the Texas Rangers in Busch Stadium on Thursday night as they hope to force a World Series Game 7.

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World Series Game 6: David Freese Opens Portal To Alternate Universe, Cardinals Walk-Off On Rangers

The St. Louis Cardinals completed the most inexplicable comeback in recent memory Thursday night, overcoming two two-out two-run deficits after the bottom of the ninth inning and winning the game on a walk-off home run from St. Louis native David Freese, who saved the game with a two-out triple back in the ninth. The Cardinals will get Game 7 in St. Louis after all, taking the Texas Rangers on Friday night. 

Things had looked just about over twice already when Freese came to bat in the bottom of the 11th. In the bottom of the ninth he'd tripled in two runs to tie the game and send the Cardinals to an inexplicable 10th inning, at which point Rangers star Josh Hamilton hit a beautiful pitch from Jason Motte into the stands to make it 9-7. In the bottom of the 10th the Cardinals somehow did it again, with Lance Berkman driving in a run on a 2-2 pitch after the Rangers intentionally walked Albert Pujols. In the 11th David Freese led off, worked the count to 3-1, and hit an enormous home run to center field to keep the Cardinals alive.

It had to be quite a relief for Freese, who made one of the Cardinals' ugly early-inning errors to put them behind in the first place. 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score: Josh Hamilton Homers, Cardinals Come Back Again

The St. Louis Cardinals' incredible extra-innings push lasted just three batters in the top of the 10th inning when Josh Hamilton, making his first good swing of the 2011 World Series, hit a home run on a fine Jason Motte pitch to put the Texas Rangers back up by a score of 9-7. Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP, had struggled all series with a groin injury. 

The Cardinals somehow managed to rally again in the bottom of the 10th, with Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay reaching on a pair of singles against left-hander Darren Oliver. With nobody left on the Cardinals bench Kyle Lohse was called in to bunt the runners over to second and third, and when Ryan Theriot grounded out to score Descalso and put Jon Jay at second base Albert Pujols was immediately intentionally walked.

The game came down to Lance Berkman, who had homered and singled earlier in the game. With two strikes and two out Berkman singled into center field, scoring Jay and sending the game to the 11th inning. As Joe Buck said: These Cardinals, "they just won't go away." 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score: David Freese Triples To Tie Game With Two Outs In Ninth

The St. Louis Cardinals staved off elimination for at least one more inning in an incredible postseason run, tying Game 6 of the 2011 World Series on David Freese's two-out triple that scored two to tie the game 7-7 against the Texas Rangers

Both teams were killed by mental errors throughout the game, but the Cardinals' were more numerous and more painful—a two-base error on Matt Holliday, who left a routine fly ball for Rafael Furcal to miss, and a whiffed infield fly ball from NLCS hero David Freese each cost the Cardinals a run they couldn't afford to lose, while the Texas Rangers were able to staunch the bleeding from Michael Young's various miscues much more quickly. 

But with Neftali Feliz on the mound the Cardinals had one more look at Albert Pujols, who hit one of his incredibly routine doubles to left-center to start a rally that continued with Lance Berkman walking. After Allen Craig struck out looking in a tough at-bat that saw him lace a near-double into the stands down the third base line, Freese laced a triple just past Nelson Cruz to drive in Pujols and Berkman, tying the game and setting Busch Stadium on fire.

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Matt Holliday Injury: Cardinals Outfield Injures Finger, Pride In Game 6

The St. Louis Cardinals will be without Matt Holliday for the rest of Game 6 of the World Series, after their star outfielder injured his little finger in the course of getting picked off at third base in a crucial bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning. The Cardinals outfielder has had an incredibly rough game, making a critical error that led to an early run and looking uncomfortable at the plate; his only solid play in the game was a brilliant takeout slide of Ian Kinsler that led to the Cardinals' third run. 

Holliday has been dogged by strange injuries all season—he had an emergency appendectomy after the first game of the season and later found himself pulled from a game when an enormous moth flew into his ear and died. Even by that measure, however, his poor play in Game 6 is a strange aberration. The Cardinals replaced Holliday with Allen Craig, who is likely to start in Game 7 if necessary. 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score Update: Yadier Molina Walks To Tie Game 4-4

The St. Louis Cardinals tied Game 6 of the 2011 World Series again, scoring their fourth run on Yadier Molina’s bases-loaded walk, but not before continuing to frustrate a Busch Stadium crowd that’s seen Matt Holliday make a number of seemingly mental errors in this elimination game. Holliday, taking a big lead off third, was picked off by Mike Napoli after Adrian Beltre blocked his hand as he came back in head-first. The result was a Nick Punto walk that only reloaded the bases instead of scoring a go-ahead run on a wild Alexi Ogando, and Jon Jay left to face left-hander Derek Holland with two outs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning.

It’s been a nail-biter of a game, but it’s not exactly the first game I would show to someone who begged me to help them understand the unparalleled beauty of baseball or the understated grace of its athletes. The Cardinals have kept themselves in this game all along, but it’s never once felt like they’ve been in it.

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World Series 2011 Game 6: David Freese Has Latest Error To Dog St. Louis Cardinals [Animated]

Erstwhile postseason hero David Freese was the latest St. Louis Cardinals star to make a brutal error in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, allowing the Texas Rangers yet another one-run lead an inning after the Cardinals had recovered from Matt Holliday's error. Freese dropped a routine pop-up to start the fifth inning, and the run scored almost immediately afterward on a Michael Young hit. That left the score at 4-3, the Cardinals unable once again to capitalize on another chance to staunch the bleeding of their increasingly shaky pitching staff.

The Cardinals' defense is just one of a number of pieces that will have to recover from its early slumber if the team is to stave off elimination for another day. For now, they aren't playing like a postseason team, let alone a World Series contender—let alone the team that won 16-7 in the Ballpark in Arlington. 

They've got half their innings left to go, but they'll need to start now. 

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Cardinals Vs. Rangers Score Update: Matt Holliday's Takeout Slide Helps Tie Game

Matt Holliday giveth heartburn, and Matt Holliday taketh it away: An inning after Holliday made an awful error that led to the Texas Rangers taking a 3-2 lead in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series he helped the St. Louis Cardinals get that run out, executing a perfect takeout slide on Ian Kinsler to break up a double play and give the Cardinals the chance to score on a Yadier Molina ground out, tying the game at 3-3 through four innings.

Holliday reached base on four balls a moment after Lance Berkman reached on error, bowled Ian Kinsler over on a theoretically legal takeout slide after David Freese slapped a routine double play ball to second. The result was runners on first and third with just one out—which proved crucial when Yadier Molina hit a hard ground ball to third base, driving in a run on the groundout. 

The canonically bad baseball would continue, but at least for the moment Matt Holliday appeared to have evened up his own score. 

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World Series 2011 Game 6: Jaime Garcia's Short Leash

The St. Louis Cardinals have redefined the words "short leash" so far in their improbable 2011 World Series run, and in spite of their bullpen's recent fallibility Jaime Garcia, their Game 6 starter, is likely to get even less slack in a potential elimination game, with Tony La Russa's favorite situational relievers rested twice over by Wednesday's rainout. Through three innings Garcia has struggled relative to his brilliant Game 2 start, allowing two earned runs and proving unable to command the breaking pitches that confounded the Texas Rangers in those seven scoreless innings. 

Garcia, for all the worries about his command that emerged in midseason after a string of five-inning starts, had an outstanding regular season in 2011, walking just 2.3 batters per nine innings. At his best his breaking pitches are still out of the zone—they're just thrown while he's ahead of the count and cause swinging strikes in the dirt. That's the Garcia the Cardinals will need to see—and the only one that will keep them from pulling him before even five innings are out tonight. 

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World Series 2011 Game 6: St. Louis Cardinals' Lineup Has Lance Berkman Batting Cleanup

The St. Louis Cardinals have released their lineup for the much-anticipated Game 6 of the 2011 World Series:

1. Rafael Furcal (S) SS
2. Skip Schumaker (L) CF
3. Albert Pujols (R) 1B
4. Lance Berkman (S) RF
5. Matt Holliday (R) LF
6. David Freese (R) 3B
7. Yadier Molina (R) C
8. Nick Punto (S) 2B
9. Jaime Garcia (L) P

As Rob Neyer notes, much ado will wrongfully be made about the placement of Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday. The Cardinals, who trail in the World Series 3-2, typically roll with Holliday batting 4th and Berkman batting 5th. But with today's lineup flipped, it would appear as though Tony La Russa feels Holliday can no longer protect Berkman.

Well, such may be the case, but in all fairness, Lance Berkman hit 4th in over 50 games during the regular season and Holliday's cold playoffs (.570 OPS during the World Series) have not been nearly as cold as Rafael Furcal's cold season (.646 OPS in 2011), yet he is still batting lead-off.

Cardinals fans should not be surprised if Holliday -- who is well due at this point -- makes the five-hole look easy tonight.

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World Series 2011: Game 6 Postponed Due To Weather, Set For Thursday

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers agreed to postpone Game 6 of the 2011 World Series according to a tweet just released from MLB Public Relations, moving the game to Thursday night at 7:05 following concerns about a possible storm rolling over St. Louis at gametime. Both sides met earlier this afternoon to discuss the possibilities and agreed that it would be better to play the possible deciding game of the series in the better conditions expected over the rest of the week; the game was canceled earlier than expected to allow fans whose travel plans revolved around World Series tickets as much time as possible to figure out their next move.

Game 7, if necessary, has been moved to Friday night, which means the Cardinals might have the chance to throw ace Chris Carpenter out for one more go-around after his Game 1 and Game 5 starts. 

For more on the World Series postponement check out our Cardinals and Rangers team blogs, Viva El Birdos and Lone Star Ball

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2011 World Series Game 6: Jaime Garcia's Postseason Performances

The St. Louis Cardinals will count on Jaime Garcia ahead of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series vs. the Texas Rangers.

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