October 20, 2011
Score and situation: Down a run with three outs to go, the Texas Rangers rallied in the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen for a 2-1 victory on Thursday night to even the World Series at one game apiece. Not since Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees, had a team trailing in its last at-bat come back to win.
Leading lads: The keystone combination of Ian Kinsler(notes) and Elvis Andrus(notes) were having a great game on defense for the Rangers, but they set the table for a comeback on offense in the ninth. Both hit singles and ran the bases aggressively to increase Texas' leverage, putting Josh Hamilton(notes) and Michael Young(notes) in position to drive them in.
The game's starting pitchers — Colby Lewis(notes) for the Rangers and Jaime Garcia(notes) for the Cardinals — combined to allow a run, seven hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts over 13 2/3 innings.
Head hangers: Alexi Ogando(notes) got another opportunity against Allen Craig(notes), but the king of pinch hitters got to him again for the second straight night, putting the Cardinals ahead in the seventh with an RBI single right. Cardinals closer Jason Motte(notes) proved himself human with a rough ninth. Albert Pujols(notes) missed a key cut-off throw to worsen the Cardinals' leverage in the ninth.
Key play: Kinsler led off the ninth with a single, stole second and went to third on Andrus' single. An errant throw from the outfield/missed cut off by Pujols allowed Andrus to take second base, completely changing the inning's dynamic.
[Slideshow: Check out photos from World Series Game 2]
Kinsler's like, it ain't nothin':
(Thanks to Baseball Time in Arlington for the anime)
What they'll be talking about: Did Cardinals manager Tony La Russa make one pitching change too many by taking out Motte in the ninth? Will Josh Hamilton's sore groin feel better in the (probably) warmer Texas weather?
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