David Freese’s epic World Series walk-off demands a deep rewind | 2011 Cardinals-Rangers Game 6

David Freese’s epic World Series walk-off demands a deep rewind | 2011 Cardinals-Rangers Game 6


(intense electronic music) – It’s October 27th, 2011. We’re in St. Louis, Missouri for Game 6 of the World Series between
the Cardinals and Rangers. Texas is up 3 games to 2, and trying to close things out for their 1st ever championship. The game’s tied at 9 with
David Freese leading off the bottom of the 11th
inning, and the count full. You might recall what happens next, but to truly grasp the
power of this moment, you have to understand
what’s enabled the Cards to reach this point. The 11th inning, the
World Series in general, or even October baseball at all, so let’s rewind. (eerie electronic music) St. Louis is somehow still alive, but just an hour ago, the idea they’d have a pulse right
now would’ve been absurd, a level of absurdity
perhaps only surpassed two months ago with the idea of simply qualifying for the playoffs. (soft electronic music) The early part of 2011 was
not so kind to the Cardinals. After picking up the club option for the final season of
Albert Pujols’ contract, their superstar 1st
baseman gave GM John Mozeliak a deadline of spring training to work out an extension. This was a player coming
off a decade-long run in St. Louis that solidified
his place as arguably the greatest right-handed
bat in baseball history. He won NL MVP 3 times, finished 2nd another 4 times, and helped lead them to a world
championship 5 years ago, so even calling him a superstar
might still sell him short, but the two sides couldn’t
work something out, and it created a dark
cloud over their season as it seemed likely to be
his swan song in St. Louis. Then, over the next few months, the injury bug attacked ‘em pretty hard. Just a few days into spring training, it was discovered that Adam Wainwright, their All-Star pitcher who was coming off back-to-back top-3
Cy Young finishes while posting the 2nd-best
ERA in the majors, would need Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the entire season. The day after he homered
in their season opener, All-Star left fielder Matt Holliday underwent an appendectomy. Pujols broke his wrist
a couple months later in a freak accident, though he returned just 17 days later despite
an initial projection that he’d be sidelined 4-6 weeks. Even manager Tony La Russa
had to step away for 6 games to treat a case of shingles, though they still made it
all the way to this point, the 11th inning of the
World Series’ 6th game, with Freese at the plate trying to help in the Cardinals’ pursuit to deliver another championship to St. Louis, which might mean just a
little extra for Freese, a local product who grew up in a suburb of the city, and was a huge Cardinals fan as a kid. He even wore number 45 in Little League to pay homage to legendary
pitcher Bob Gibson, and attended high school about 26 miles away from Busch Stadium. Freese would be drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2006 before getting traded to his hometown team for longtime center fielder Jim Edmonds in December 2007, then eventually became their everyday 3rd baseman in 2010 until he hurt his ankle in June before an August setback ended his season. Then, this season, while
dealing with issues to huge established names like Holliday, Wainwright, Pujols, La Russa, an injury to the
lesser-known Freese also had a tremendous impact. After an outstanding
1st month of his season, batting .365, the 3rd
baseman broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch
in Atlanta on May 1st. That cost him nearly 2 months, and the Cardinals had a losing
record during his absence, but they still wound up tied with the Brewers atop the NL Central at the All-Star Break thanks to last offseason’s signing of longtime division rival Lance Berkman, who was the league’s best hitter during the 1st half of the season. In early August, about a month after returning from the hand injury, Freese got drilled with another pitch, this time, in the head, again costing him time, but he’d return from all
that to wind up here, and the pitcher he’s facing
right now is Mark Lowe, a Houston native who’s
got his own local ties to his team, having gone to college just a couple miles from
the Rangers’ ballpark. He’s also had his own up and down year in his first full season as a Ranger after a trade that sent him and Cliff Lee to Texas last year. He struggled over the first
few months of this season, even getting optioned to the
minors for a bit in April. Lowe got it together a
little bit down the stretch, though a hamstring injury kept him off the Rangers roster for the first couple
rounds of the playoffs. He obviously made the World Series roster, but has only pitched 1 inning so far, which was during Game 3, 5 days ago, in which he faced Freese
and allowed a hit. Lowe being in such a
high-leverage situation right now might be surprising, but the
Rangers being here is not. They’re the defending AL champs, having made last year’s World Series before falling to the Giants in 5. Although they lost some key pieces from that pennant-winning
squad like Cliff Lee and Vlad Guerrero, they
signed stand out 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre, shifting Mike Young to DH, and also fleeced the Blue Jays in a trade for Mike Napoli. While those two acquisitions
have arguably been Texas’s two best bats this season, Young was not pleased
with his shifted role, and demanded a trade,
but nothing materialized, so his disgruntled ass remained while playing excellently
for the 9th year in a row. Combined with 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler, right fielder Nelson Cruz, and
reigning MVP Josh Hamilton, the Rangers have a lethal offense. They were atop the AL West every day for the final 4-and-a-half
months of the season, en route to a franchise record 96 wins, but that wasn’t enough to get homefield
advantage in this series. No amount of wins would’ve been because, in Bud Selig’s world, something as trivial as who
gets an inherent advantage in the World Series
shouldn’t be determined by something like, you know, merit, but rather which league
won the All-Star Game. This year, that was the National League, thanks in no small part to this back-breaking 3-run homer that losing pitcher C.J. Wilson, the ace of those Rangers, surrendered to Prince Fielder. So that’s why we’re here in
St. Louis instead of Arlington, but truth be told, 2 months ago, no one thought there was a chance in hell the Cardinals would’ve crashed
the postseason party at all, let alone advancing all
the way to this point, the 11th inning of Game 6
of the Fall Classic. (soft electronic music) In addition to all the
Cardinals’ injuries, their bullpen was a
mess early in the year. Closer Ryan Franklin blew four saves by mid-April before being demoted out of that role and eventually cut. They cycled through a few other guys that couldn’t get it done
before things steadied once they settled on Fernando Salas, then made a July trade that brought in starting
pitcher Edwin Jackson and relievers Marc
Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel. However, it didn’t look
like any of it would matter. That’s because they woke up on August 28th with a 69-64 record, trailing the Brewers
by 10.5 games in the NL Central and the Braves by 10 games for the Wild Card spot. But they got extremely
hot, made another change at closer, installing Jason Motte after more than 2 months without allowing an earned run, and wound up winning 17
of their next 22 games, including 5 out of
6 against the Brewers. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to take the division from Milwaukee, so for St. Louis, it was Wild Card or bust. Fortunately, the Braves totally forgot how to baseball down the stretch. In that same period,
they lost 14 of 23 games, providing the Cards a glimmer of hope, but Atlanta was working
from such a cushion, they still had a 3-game lead with just 5 games left
on each team’s schedule. The Cards won 3 of their next 4. The Braves lost 4 of their next 4, and they pulled dead
even with 1 game left. The Cardinals sent ace and
former Cy Young-winning pitcher Chris Carpenter to the mound for that one, and he tossed a complete
game 2-hit shutout while fanning 11 in Houston, possibly the greatest game in the 36-year-old’s illustrious career. Then they played the waiting game to see what would happen in Atlanta, where the game reached extra innings before Braves pitcher Scott Linebrink, the very same dude who broke Freese’s hand with an errant fastball
5 months earlier, allowed this little baby
infield single to Hunter Pence, miraculously sending the Cardinals to the playoffs as the NL Wild Card. Entering September, the only way St. Louis could’ve made the playoffs was to be the league’s very
best team that month, combined with Atlanta being
the league’s very worst, and that’s exactly what happened. Their reward was an NLDS
date with the Phillies and a rotation featuring three of the NL’s top-6 pitchers, but the Cardinals ultimately forced a winner-take-all game back in Philly. It was a showdown between Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter, best friends from years spent together in Toronto, guys that have vacation plans together in a couple weeks to go fishing
in the Amazon rainforest. They put on an amazing pitching dual, and Skip Schumaker’s RBI double in the 1st inning was all the Cards could muster against Halladay, but that was enough, with Carpenter tossing his
2nd complete-game shutout in 10 days, and propelling St. Louis to the NLCS with a 1-0 win. There, they faced the Brewers, and led by series MVP David Freese, St. Louis took care of Milwaukee in 6 games to win the pennant and end up here, tied in extras of the World Series, but while the Cardinals’
journey was filled with obstacles that they overcame, Texas had a much smoother
ride to this point. They knocked off Tampa in the ALDS in 4 to advance and face
the Tigers in the ALCS. They rode the historically red hot bat of Nelson Cruz to a 6-game win, setting up a World Series
clash with the Cards. The teams split the first
2 games in St. Louis. In Game 1, Allen Craig drove in what turned out to be the winning run when Cruz couldn’t make this play in right before Texas evened it up when the normally untouchable Motte couldn’t close out the game the next day. The series shifted to
Texas for Game 3, but the Cardinals absolutely
exploded for 16 runs, led by Pujols, who had 5 hits, 3 of which could not be contained by the field dimensions of the Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington. – [Commentator] How
about 3 on the night? – They took a 2-1 series lead behind his World Series
record 14 total bases, but the Cardinals apparently only packed enough offense for 1 game, and combined for just 2 runs across Games 4 and 5, dropping both to head back to Missouri, down 3-2 and on
the brink of elimination. After MLB decided to
push Game 6 back a day due to the mere threat of rain, when it was finally time to play, La Russa gave the ball to Jaime Garcia while Colby Lewis got the nod
for Ron Washinton’s Rangers. With Freese standing here now after 10.5 thrilling
back-and-forth innings with a chance to do something heroic, it was actually a crucial mistake of his that helped set this table. With the score tied at three, Josh Hamilton popped up the 1st pitch of the 5th inning, a routine play that big-leaguers make in their sleep, but Mr. Freese did not, and as a result of his error allowing
Hamilton to reach base, the Rangers took the lead when he got a ride home from Young. St. Louis pulled even
when Yadier Molida drew a bases-loaded walk in the 6th, but then things started slipping
away from the Cardinals. Instead of scoring
again to seize the lead, as one might expect with the bases juiced and less than 2 out, Napoli instead caught
Holliday sleeping at 3rd and picked him off, letting Texas off the hook, and knocking Holliday out
of the game in the process when he hurt his pinky
against Beltre’s cleat trying to get back. Then Beltre and Cruz
led off the next inning by taking rookie Lance Lynn deep as part of a 3-run inning that left St. Louis
trailing 7-4 late. Yet here we are with the score
all tied up in extra innings. How’d we get here? Well, in the bottom of the 8th, Allen Craig, on his
first swing of the game, got back one of those runs, which he only had the chance to do because he took over for Holliday after his mishap at 3rd base. Jason Motte kept the Rangers scoreless in the top half of the ninth, keeping the deficit at 2. The Cards were now down
to their last chance at the dish against the
Rangers’ outstanding, young, flame-throwing
closer Neftali Feliz, who’s allowed just 1 run in more than 10 innings this post season. It didn’t get off to a good start when second baseman
Ryan Theriot struck out, but then came Pujols, who clobbered the first pitch he saw to left-center for a double, bringing Berkman, representing
the tying run, to the plate. He drew a 4-pitch walk, and then Craig went down on strikes for the 2nd out. Up came Freese, 1 out away from elimination, and pretty soon, just 1
strike away from elimination. With the Cardinals’ season hanging by the very thinnest possible thread back in the 9th, the
Rangers’ primary goal was simply to not allow an extra-base hit. – [Commentator] And the Rangers in their no-doubles defense. It’s similar to football’s
prevent defense. – [Narrator] But on the
next pitch, Freese was able to launch this fastball to right, where Cruz wasn’t stationed deep enough, then misread the ball as
it soared over his head for a game-tying triple when the Cards were down to their absolute last gasp, so that’s how we hit extras where La Russa sent Motte out to pitch a 2nd inning, and even after Elvis
Andrus singled off him, Motte remained to face Josh Hamilton. Though Motte has mostly been a rock in the back end of the Cardinals’ pen, it’s a curious choice. That’s because La Russa had
at his disposal this guy, Arthur Rhodes, a man who
turned 42 years young a few days ago, and who
was actually a Ranger earlier this season,
guaranteeing him a ring one way or another. He’s a left-handed specialist who’s only been called
upon twice this series, each time to retire just one batter, and each time, that
batter was Josh Hamilton. But not this time, and that was a 406-foot mistake. – [Commentator] At the wall,
Hamilton has gone deep. – [Narrator] So again, the Cardinals had to overcome a 2-run deficit
to keep their season alive, but they led off the bottom of the 10th with back-to-back singles, and a bunt moved the tying
run to scoring position. Theriot drove in one
with this groundball, but that was also the inning’s 2nd out, and after Pujols got a free pass, that brought up Berkman, their final hope. Rangers pitcher Scott
Feldman got a 2nd strike off this foul ball, again
bringing the Cardinals a single strike away from heartbreak, but again, they refused to die when Berkman slapped
this single to center, keeping a season alive
that should have died so many different times. After the Rangers couldn’t do much against Cards pitcher Jake Westbrook, that brings us here, to
the bottom of the 11th with the hometown kid Freese leading off with Mark Lowe on the mound, trying to cap an up-and-down evening to force a Game 7 the next day for all the marbles about 46 minutes after
already rescuing them from certain defeat. Lose this game, and it
would be a crushing end to the 2-month fairytale
that got them to this point while possibly marking the end of an era with their 1st baseman, who’s been such a monumental figure and face of the franchise for 11 years. But win, and we will
see you tomorrow night. Welcome to a moment in history. – [Commentator] Freese hits
it in the air to center. We will see you tomorrow night. (TV clicks) – [Narrator] The Cardinals
went on to win Game 7 the next day to become world champs, then saw Pujols sign a $240 million contract with the Angels. Anyway, thanks so much for watching, and don’t forget to like, subscribe, and click to watch more of our stuff.

100 thoughts on “David Freese’s epic World Series walk-off demands a deep rewind | 2011 Cardinals-Rangers Game 6

  1. Game 6 2011 World Series. The game that made me a fan of baseball. Before that, I was one of those ignorant people who thought baseball was boring but in watching game 6…The most fun I ever had watching any game in any sport. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I can remember seemingly everyone in St. Louis was on social media going through an emotional rollercoaster the whole game. And when Freese hit the walk off, I nearly lost my voice from yelling at the top of my lungs. Lol I will always appreciate this game for showing me how great baseball is

  2. I bet 10 dollars with my step dad that the cards would win the world series and throughout he was talking so much shit in game 6. Then he got a little quieter and a little bit more each inning. Freese's triple was the oh fuck lets go boys moment and when he hit that homer I knew it was over. Here I am 10 dollars richer and albert pujols had his last great moment. It kinda ended my childhood but I will never forget the rag tag group with a hof'er stealing a world series

  3. I was working at Anheuser Busch on the midnight shift on the night of Game 6, pulling into my parking spot listening to the game on KMOX 1120 AM… Busch Stadium was a couple of miles down the road.. You could actually see the stadium lights from the roof of the brewery…. I thought "Well, it was a helluva season, but all good things must end".. It didn't look like there were any rabbits left to pull out of a hat.. I'm listening to David Freese's at bat, and it seemed like it would never end.. Then, he connected. The stadium was fairly quiet, and the announcers weren't talking, so I could really hear the bat hit the ball, and it was LOUD!.. I immediately thought, "That SOB hit a home run".. The stadium went nuts, Mike Shannon on KMOX went nuts, people were honking their horns in the streets around the brewery by the HUNDREDS!… I will never ever forget that night as long as I live!

  4. You forgot to mention the reason Cruz didn’t make the catch in game 6 is because he wanted to be closer for the celebration

  5. Great game. Would’ve been better if we won because that was probably our only shot for a long while. Plus they already have a bunch of wins.

  6. Had been a Cardinal fan since 1960. Was at my cottage in Northern Ontario, Canada, and was able to pull in a weak radio signal. With the lights out, and through the static, I listened as the Cards somehow managed to stay alive, down to their last strike twice, and then David Freese came to the plate. Just incredible. The greatest game ever. Great post.

  7. I was 28 and on a paper delivery route listening to the 2002 All-Star game. The way it ended was such an embarrassing moment. Bud HAD to do something to make it a competitive game. MLB has the best All-Star game of any of the American pro sports leagues.

  8. Please rewind Joe Morgan's 7th inning 3-run home run on the final day of 1982 regular season to help knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs, Kirby Puckett's walk-off piece in Game 6 and Gene Larkin's championship-winning hit in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Jason Donald's "infield single" off of Armando Galarraga in 2010, and Evan Longoria home run in Tampa Bay's comeback to knock Boston out in 2011.

  9. Dear Angels, How'd that money paid for Pujols work out for ya? Think maybe better spent on the team than a single player? Yeah, maybe.

  10. Freese has always been a weird player. He is a mediocre baseball player but really turns it up in the big games. He killed my Brewers in the 2011 NLCS.

  11. As a St. Louis native and Cardinals fan, I'm so glad I saw this game live. Can only imagine how awesome and magical it was seeing it at Busch stadium in person..

  12. I remember watching this when I was 12 as a Cardinals fan. This so such an emotional rollercoaster, especially because I got to meet various players multiple times thanks to family connections. It was incredibly guy wrenching but so amazing at the same time. Not even the same scenario in a game 7 would be as dramatic.

  13. This is a great call by Joe Buck and no one can change my mind. Sometimes it's better not to scream and just let the crowd do the work for you.

  14. He's Shane Spencer 2.0. A below average player who just so happened to get very hot at the most important time. Some guys get hot, some guys get cold. Look at some of the greats that have horrible postseason stats. You just never know.

    Incidentally, Mike Napoli also had an amazing second half of the season into the postseason. I mean this guy was a .230 hitter at best and he went on an unbelievable tear.

  15. Whoever bet money on the Cardinals winning the world series at the beginning of the year is probably a millionaire now

  16. I’m binging all the Rewinder episodes but man…as a Rangers fan I don’t know if I can make it through this one. Even the Romo botched field goal hold didn’t sting this bad 💔

  17. This game was one of the greatest I've ever seen in any sport. As a Cardinals fan it was epic to see live. I still get chills when I watch or think about that World Series

  18. As a Cardinals fan this was the most nerve shredding game ever. Sure it's fun to watch now but at the time.. good Lord.

  19. The cardinals need to give Allen Craig a cushy job for life. He legit gave everything he had to this org.. sacrificed his career for them. Never been the same after playing through such a serious injury in 2013 WS.

  20. So glad I'm on the right side of this one. I was like 21 yrs old and sober so remember it like it was yesterday. Idk if I'd be able to fully appreciate the greatness if I was a rangers fan, even so long after.

  21. im watching this for the 12th time. david freese just retired today, and all i could think about all day was david hitting that walk off at busch. i was at nlcs game 2, and they showed that clip at least 5 times on the big screen to try and get something going. it didn’t work, and it never will, because no moment will ever be as great as that.

  22. Good summary! Love a good game 6 vid. Only thing is Holliday didn’t get pulled because he got picked off. He actually sprained his thumb.

  23. Great video. This is probly the best baseball game I ever watched. Talk abt clutch huh
    How bout a Rewind to the Cubs winning the world series… n all this coming from a Pirates fan. Can ya do any video Pittsburgh Pirate related? (OR…The WORST: PITTSBURGH PIRATES CONSECUTIVE LOSING SEASONS STREAK)

  24. As a St. Louis fan. This video is just awesome. You forget just how much we had to overcome that season. I’ll never forget what that team did that year for the rest of my life.

  25. Rangers reach WS Back to Back And choke
    Dodgers Dodge Titles Back to Back and Wont appear in the Fall Classic for the third time

  26. I don't really watch baseball all that much, but I can't deny that this is one of the greatest sports moments ever! Freese made a mistake and he redeemed himself in incredible fashion! ⚾💯

  27. baseball is such a beautiful sport and creates such amazing storylines and narratives sometimes it literally feels like it’s scripted or sum, not saying that it is because its not

  28. I remember beating 10 bucks against my step dad that the Cardinals would win this world series, and I have never been so emotionally involved in a game. I still remember every big play and after Freese walked off I said this is over no way Texas comes back from this heartbreaker

  29. 14:28 Lance Berkman's two-out game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 10th is the most underrated hit in World Series history.

  30. I still hate the fact that the Pence won that unnecessary 102nd game for the Phils on that dinky hit only to allow the Cardinals into the playoffs and also allow them to beat us… We couldve won that year 😑

  31. Everybody goes crazy for the Internet's Jon Bois, but I feel Alex is severely underrated as a narrator and as a video host.

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