Holy Game 6!

I was beat last night. I can't remember the last time I was in bed before midnight. It's been weeks. Work. Grad papers. Insomnia.

And by the way, thank you Major League Baseball for postponing Game 6 Wednesday night so I could focus fully on my latest grad paper and enjoy tonight's epic game without a paper deadline hanging over me.

So I started dozing on the couch during last night's World Series Game 6. I missed all of the sixth and seventh innings and awoke at some point in the eighth. The Rangers were still leading, and -- as I'd said when they were the first team to get on the board in the first -- it appeared destined to be their night. The Rangers would finally get the championship.

I kept struggling to keep my eyes open.

The Rangers went quickly in the top of the ninth. Then, it was the Cardinals' turn.

Albert Pujols hit a one-out double. Lance Berkman walked. Now my eyes were wide open. ... The Rangers had the Cardinals on the ropes -- down two runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, down to the last strike. Then, David Freese hit a two-out, two-run triple to tie the game at seven, and I could only smile and shake my head in disbelief.

One of my Facebook friends posted a status update that read, "Damn. I was ready to go to bed." ... I was, too.

On to the 10th inning. Elvis Andrus singled and Josh Hamilton hit a home run to move the Rangers ahead again, 9-7, seemingly as fast as they gave their last lead away. Now the Cardinals were done, right?

Wrong. Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay singled. Kyle Lohse bunted over the runners and a Ryan Theriot groundout brought in one run. Then, the Rangers walked Pujols intentionally. ... The Cardinals were down to their last strike again. But Lance Berkman singled home the tying run. Tied again! Are you kidding me?!

Bring on the 11th inning. The Rangers failed to score in the top half. Then, Freese knocked a home run to right-center to start the bottom of 11th inning, ending the game and forcing a Game 7.

Unbelievable. Again, I could only smile and shake my head in disbelief.

These guys put it more eloquently ...

Matthew Leach, MLB.com ...

From start to finish, this was simply one of the strangest World Series games in memory. Berkman's two-run homer gave St. Louis an early 2-1 lead, but the Rangers tied it in the next half-inning. A Matt Holliday error on an eminently catchable ball in short left field opened the fourth and led to a go-ahead run, but an error by Rangers first baseman Michael Young put St. Louis in position to tie in the bottom of the fourth.
And so it went. Freese dropped a seemingly easy popup at third to open the fifth, and Young doubled in the run that made it 4-3, Texas. The Cards tied it thanks to an infield hit, an error and three straight walks, but could get no more. Holliday was picked off third base for the second out, throwing a major wrench in a potential big inning.

By the late going, though, the earlier follies were all but forgotten. An occasionally comic game had turned into a classic. And an occasionally maddening team had put itself in position to win the World Series.
Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch ...
At 11:39 p.m. on Thursday, leading off the bottom of the 11th inning, Freese squared up on a 3-2 pitch thrown by Rangers reliever Mark Lowe. It was a change up, an opportunity that could not be turned down. Freese got all of it, jolting the World Series in a way that was so shocking, so incredible, that we'll be talking about this classic forever.

Parents and grandparents will grow old, talking about the night they danced in the aisles, jumping into each other's arms and into the embrace of strangers, as they celebrated one of the greatest moments in franchise history. The kids who watched this will grow up, savoring the wonder of it all, and passing the story down through the years. Through these stories, this unbelievable night will live forever.

As I watched the celebration at home plate and the Cardinals players shred Freese's jersey, I thought, That jersey is totally going to the Hall of Fame.

Joe Buck's call of "We will see you tomorrow night!" was perfect. And across Facebook this morning the status updates of Cardinals fans read: "That's a winner!" Another ode to Jack Buck... A couple of my friends were at the game and even posted their videos of the winning moment.

It's already being lauded among the classic Game 6 contests (1975, 1986, 1991, 1993, 2002 ... ), not to mention one of the greatest World Series games ever. And, as much as I hate to say this because I was hardly interested in this matchup when the series started, this World Series is shaping up to be among the most memorable in my lifetime.

Some good reads from the series ...
a Bryan Burwell: What an unbelievable ride
a For DeWitt and Selig, the Game of a Lifetime
a The record Pujols set, and Freese emphatically matched
a Now that's a storybook finish
a Spellbinding Game 6 leaves pundits stunned
a Cruz's unforgiveable defensive gaffe proves costly to Rangers
a One Day After Disaster, Manager Explains Himself
a Baseball’s Game of Telephone
a Dugout Phones: Last Bastion of the Landline
a Fox hits Game 7 jackpot
a From Foe to Friend for Cards’ Berkman
a Texas looking like long-term power
a 25 years later, Buckner is handling things flawlessly and with a firm grip
a An Incubator of Baseball Talent

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