We're almost done with our Dazzling Dozen as we hit the final two moments.
No. 2: Top of the ninth in Game 2 of the World Series
The Cardinals took Game 1 by one run at Busch Stadium and went into the ninth inning of Game 2 leading 1-0 and three outs away from a 2-0 lead in the series before things shifted to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for the next three games.
Jason Motte, the Cardinals' closer, came out to face the top of the Rangers order in an effort to save the game. Ian Kinsler led off the inning with a bloop single to center on a 3-2 pitch. With the count 1-1 on Elvis Andrus, Kinsler decided to try to steal second. He raced to the bag as Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina hopped up and threw a bullet to second base. Kinsler barely got his hand on the bag before the tag was applied and he was called safe on a very close play.
"Not many people run on Yadi, and they barely made it," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. "It took guts."
It did. But Kinsler's steal put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Elvis Andrus then singled to center as Kinsler went to third. Andrus, though, kept the aggressive approach on the bases going as he hustled to second base when first baseman Albert Pujols was not able to cut off a throw from Jon Jay in center field.
So with runners at second and third and no outs, the Rangers just needed Josh Hamilton to hit a fly ball to tie the score. Hamilton, fighting a groin injury (maybe even a sports hernia), stepped up to face Arthur Rhodes, summoned from the bullpen by La Russa to get Hamilton out. Hamilton did what he needed to do, sending a fly ball deep enough to score Kinsler and tie the game.
Andrus moved over to third base on the fly ball and Lance Lynn came in to face Michael Young. The Rangers' first baseman in Game 2 hit a fly ball deep enough to score Andrus as the Busch Stadium crowd was stunned and silent.
Rangers closer Neftali Feliz walked Molina to lead off the bottom of the ninth but then got the next three outs.
What it meant: Texas split the first two games of the series and headed home feeling like it was firmly in the series. The win was an example of the kind of team the Rangers were all season. They were a resilient bunch, coming back with three outs left on the road. They have become the last few seasons a versatile offense that can score in a variety of ways. The Rangers didn't have a homer in the ninth and didn't have an RBI hit. They got two sacrifice fly balls to win the game.
The aftermath: The comeback was one of those that rivaled others in the history of the game. It was the first time in World Series history that the tying and go-ahead runs came home on sacrifice flies. They were also just the third team in the Fall Classic to rally from a 1-0 deficit in a game with two runs in the ninth inning or later. The others: The 1911 A's and the 1985 Royals.