ST. LOUIS -- It's not unusual for a National League pitcher to be asked to lay down a bunt. It is unusual to get the call as an emergency pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 10th inning and trailing by two runs in a do-or-die World Series game.
Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse, the Game 3 starter, got just that call. With runners on first and second and no outs, Lohse took ball one from Darren Oliver and then punched a bunt between the pitcher's mound and charging third baseman Adrian Beltre. Shortstop Elvis Andrus had to make a nifty play, picking the ball up and throwing off balance just to get Lohse at first.
But, the deed was done. The Cardinals, behind the eight-ball all night, had runners at second and third and one out.
The bunt ended Oliver's unsuccessful relief effort after three batters. Scott Feldman was next up. Ryan Theriot got one run home to make it a 9-8 Rangers lead and Lance Berkman struck for the tying run, setting up David Freese's game-winning homer for the 10-9 victory in 11 innings.
Lohse won't fondly remember his three-inning start in Game 3 and unless called upon in a relief role in Game 7, he won't pitch again in this World Series.
But he will quite happily recall the sacrifice bunt he put down in the bottom of the 10th inning to keep his team's title chances alive in what will go down as one of the more remarkable World Series games ever played.