For most baseball fans, the 2012 World Series -- a sweep of the Detroit Tigers by the San Francisco Giants -- provided an anticlimactic end to an otherwise exciting postseason. So here's a look back at the five most memorable moments of the 2012 Major League Baseball playoffs.
Outfield Fly (Oct. 5, 2012) -- In the most controversial game of the year, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves, 6-3, with the aid of a disputed infield fly ruling. With one out In the eighth inning and the score 6-3, Andrelton Simmons' fly ball dropped in short left field to load the bases -- or did it? Umpire Sam Holbrook invoked the infield fly rule and chaos ensued. Atlanta never scored.
Bird Bash (Oct. 10, 2012) -- in Game 3 of the ALDS, Raul Ibanez nailed a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter for the slumping Alex Rodriguez. Then, he cracked the game-winning homer in the 12th, as the New York Yankees stunned the Baltimore Orioles, 3-2. Baltimore had been 76-0 in games it led after seven innings before Ibanez's pair of unfathomable home runs.
Money's Werth (Oct. 11, 2012) -- Jayson Werth's epic, 13-pitch at-bat in Game 4 of the NLDS culminated in a walk-off home run, as the Washington National defeated the Cardinals, 2-1, to tie the best-of-five series. The Nationals, who became the first Washington-based hardball team to make the playoffs in 79 years, lost Game 5 to the Cards, 9-7, but Werth's blast was momentous.
Comeback Cards (Oct. 12, 2012) -- The Cardinals, who at one time trailed the Nationals 6-0 in Game 5 of the NLDS, rallied for four runs in the ninth inning for a stunning, 9-7 victory. St. Louis' Daniel Descalso, who led off the eighth inning with a home run, delivered a two-RBI single with two outs in the ninth to tie the game at 9-9. Pete Kozma added a two-RBI single to plate the winning runs.
Kung Fu Panda III (Oct. 24, 2012) -- The World Series may have been anticlimactic, but Pablo Sandoval's three home runs in Game 1 of the Fall Classic were historic. He joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to collect three homers in one World Series game, as the Giants defeated the Tigers, 8-3. Detroit never recovered and San Francisco went on to capture its second championship in three years. Sandoval was named the Series MVP.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who roots for the New York Mets (and any team that is playing the New York Yankees). An avid fantasy baseball player and fan of Major League Baseball, his games of choice growing up were Strat-O-Matic and MicroLeague Baseball.