Blake Sabol's walk-off bomb
The season had gotten off to a shaky start for the Cardinals, as they were 9-14 beginning play on April 25 against the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals were looking to get a strong start out of Jake Woodford to see if his strong Spring Training was for real, while the Giants opted for a bullpen game.
The Cardinals trailed 2-1 entering the top of the eighth inning, but after Tyler O'Neill and Paul Goldschmidt drove in a combined three runs, the script flipped in the Cardinals' favor as they led 4-2. Giovanny Gallegos held the Giants scoreless in the eighth inning, but the Cardinals failed to notch any insurance runs. But most fans weren't worried; 2022 All-Star Ryan Helsley, he of the 1.25 ERA, was coming in to slam the door.
The Giants greeted Helsley rudely, as a single by Joc Pederson and a double by Mike Yastrzemski cut the Giants' deficit to one. But the fireballer settled down, getting Thairo Estrada to pop out and Brandon Crawford to strike out on a foul tip. All that stood between the Cardinals and their 10th victory was backup catcher and Rule 5 addition Blake Sabol.
After getting ahead in a 1-2 count, Helsley spun a breaking ball to Sabol that the rookie deposited over the center field fence, giving the Giants a dramatic 5-4 victory. It was Helsley’s third blown save on the young season, and it was an early suggestion that he might not be the stud closer he was in 2022 and that the pitching at large might have been in trouble.