St. Louis Cardinals: Five Moments That Preserved the Narrative of David Freese’s Game 6 Heroics


Down to their final strike of the 2011 season, the St. Louis Cardinals needed a hero to take charge in preserving one of the most improbable postseason runs in franchise history.

That hero was none other than hometown product David Freese.  Freese remains a St. Louis Cardinals hero to this day and lives in the lore and hearts of the best fans in baseball.

Five years ago today, the third baseman provided the two most valuable at-bats of his career en route to an extra inning 10-9 victory over the Texas Rangers.

The first resulting in a game-tying triple in the ninth inning. The second a walk-off blast in the eleventh inning that evened the World Series with Texas before taking the championship the next night.

It’s hard to forget Freese’s rise that ultimately resulted in World Series MVP honors. His triple marked the second time an eventual World Series champion came one strike from the brink of elimination. His blast remains the only walk-off home run in Cardinals World Seires history.

However, the most intriguing part of the comeback was how much certain instances in Game 6 led up to another before Freese solidified the victory. Without five critical moments from as many years ago, the comeback narrative of Game 6 might not exist or offer the same amount of satisfaction it holds today.

1. Game 6 was originally postponed from Wednesday to Thursday due to inclement weather. It might be difficult to measure how much stock this factor had on the game, but the Cardinals had won all three of their previous postseason games on Wednesdays, and lost their only Thursday matchup of the 2011 postseason the week before during World Series Game two.

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2. Texas scored at least one run in four of the first five innings before adding three insurance runs in the seventh inning. This knocked Jaime Garcia out of the game after three frames for St. Louis’ shortest start of the 2011 World Series. The Cardinals used six relief pitchers in the effort, combining for five earned runs across nine innings.

3. Freese committed an error in the fifth inning of the game that could have prevented one of Texas’s scoring opportunities. A misjudged pop fly from Josh Hamilton tipped off Freese’s glove, and the former MVP Hamilton would eventually score to give Texas a 4-3 lead after five innings. The game featured five errors in total, three coming on behalf of St. Louis.

4. Five home runs took place in the game aside from that of Freese. Among the most significant were an eighth inning shot from Allen Craig who took over for Matt Holliday due to an in-game injury and a Hamilton home run that drove in a pair of runs for Texas in the tenth inning.

5. Lance Berkman found himself in a similar situation as Freese in the tenth inning. With two runners on and down to his final strike, the veteran delivered in the situation once again. A line-drive single scored Jon Jay to tie the game, giving Berkman his fifth RBI of the series.

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Freese played two more seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals after his Game 6 heroics, compiling a .286 batting average with 44 home runs and an 2012 All-Star Game selection. While the remaining crop of Cardinals players from the Game 6 roster shrinks year after year, the team will be remembered for preserving the narrative of Freese’s historic game from five years ago.