Thursday, October 27, 2011

An instant classic -- 2011 World Series Game 6

Tonight's Game 6 of the World Series at first looked like it would be a forgettable one: a sloppy game with multiple errors, a letdown for the National League. Instead, by the end of the night it turned into one of the all-time classic baseball games.

Four hours and 33 minutes is a long time for a baseball game, but the tension, the back-and-forth reversals and the thrill of seeing a "goat" redeem himself Thursday night made every moment exciting.

The Texas Rangers would have won the series with a victory Thursday, and if you weren't watching, the St. Louis Cardinals not once, but twice, were down to their last strike.

In the bottom of the ninth, David Freese (right) -- who had a committed a costly error earlier which the Rangers took advantage of to take the lead -- tripled to score two and tie the game. An inning later, Texas took the lead again in the top of the 10th and got one strike away from victory in the bottom of the frame, but Lance Berkman drove in the tying run. An inning after that, Freese struck again with a walkoff home run to win the game for the Cardinals and force a seventh game on Friday.

Tonight's game joined a number of famous World Series Game 6s: 1975 (Fisk's blast at Fenway off the foul pole), 1986 (Bill Buckner's error), 1993 (Joe Carter's walk-off to win the series) and 2002 (the Angels rally to beat the Giants). Of course, none of those games had Twitter through which far-off fans could commiserate. To wit:

As Texas pulled ahead and the game went into the ninth, I posted the following:

Dang, what an entertaining baseball game this has been. #WorldSeries#Postseason
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

(Times and dates shown on these Tweets are GMT.)

A few moments later, the Cards were down to their last strike when Freese tripled to right just past the reach of outfielder Nelson Cruz, scoring two to tie the game and make up for an earlier error. That hit brought the following reactions online:

When Freese made that error earlier, I thought "what if he redeems himself later with a walk-off homer?" Here we are
Oct 28 via UberSocial for BlackBerryFavoriteRetweetReply

best fucking sport on the planet.
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Heck, even I got a little excited:

Man, I'm gonna retweet myself here, with emphasis: DAMN, what an entertaining baseball game this has been! #WorldSeries#Postseason
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Outspoken Florida Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen and Braves Pitcher Peter Moylan (writing from his native Australia) were also impressed:

Wuaoooooo crazy game
Oct 28 via txtFavoriteRetweetReply

What a game, what a series!
Oct 28 via Tweetbot for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

The game now tied, it went into the tenth. Reining AL MVP Josh Hamilton then blasted a monster shot into the bleachers to once again put the Rangers on the brink of their first world title:

1er hr des Séries d,après-saison de Hamilton et bon pour 2 points et contre Motte! Ah la la, Texas sont trop dûs, 9-7 Texas en 10e
Oct 28 via FacebookFavoriteRetweetReply

Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Cardinals fans looked forlorn, with good reason. They had the bottom of the lineup coming up, including the pitcher with no pinch hitters left on the bench:

I hate baseball. Not only does it break your heart, it takes five hours to do it.
Oct 28 via twiccaFavoriteRetweetReply

If Cardinals find a way to tie game with the hitters they've got coming up, Spielberg should be filming.
Oct 28 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

But, whaddya know? Rally time! St. Louis gets two runs with a ground out and -- after a fan-infuriating intentional walk to superstar Albert Pujols -- an RBI single to right from Lance Berkman:

I haven't followed the Rangers but I find it hard to believe that Darren Oliver was the best option to get the last 3 outs to win the WS
Oct 28 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

People saw this game was becoming a classic:

All fans of other sports will now bow down before their intergalactic overlord
Oct 28 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Well, most people did:

WHAT'S HAPPENING?! Do I need to be watching this World Series?!
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

As the game moved past midnight (Eastern Time), this became a game not to go to bed during -- even if you start work at 4 a.m.:

Looks like KTVU gets a slightly tired Sal Castaneda tomorrow.
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Told u before we were excited now u see why
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Of course, politics gets into everything:

9-9, someone alert Herman Cain
Oct 28 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Then Freese strikes again ... home run to straightaway center and we're off to game 7! The reaction, by now, is predictable:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Oct 28 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Amazing! Game 7 here we go!
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Freese's story will be the headlines tomorrow, if Twitter's any indication:

The night of Freese! From goat to redemption to hero. Wow #WorldSeries
Oct 28 via UberSocial for BlackBerryFavoriteRetweetReply

Personally, I had to give a shout out to the sports editor at Santa Clara University's student newspaper. He called it:

Posted 47 mins before it happened MT @nicko229 Freese made that error, I thought "what if he redeems himself later with a walk-off homer?"
Oct 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Dang that rain that postponed game six until tonight instead of last night. Now Game 7 will be Friday night, when I have to cover a football game for the San Mateo Times. At least I'm not the only one who'll miss out:

As much as I love covering HS football... I wish I had tomorrow night off...
Oct 28 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Well, time to DVR the game, hope the PA announcer at Terra Nova High says nothing and keep the radio off on my way home!

(Go Cards!)

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