Even though the first few innings were quite ugly and forgettable, things really started to turn around in the middle innings. For me, the game got really interesting when Texas manager Ron Washington declined to pinch hit for pitcher Colby Lewis even though the bases were loaded and he had a well-rested bullpen. Washington tried to psych out Tony LaRussa, who wasn't falling for the ruse. It was fantastic gamesmanship between a Hall of Fame manager and a relative novice.
But later on the Rangers found their pop. Unfortunately, they couldn't also find someone in the bullpen to hold a pair of two-run leads. I wasn't surprised the Cards came back to tie the game in the 9th inning, but when a clearly injured Josh Hamilton slammed a two-run dinger in the 10th inning, I thought for sure the Cardinals were done. But they haven't quit all year and obviously had no intention of quitting last night, with hometown kid David Freese becoming a hometown hero.
Perhaps the Rangers were destined to lose last night so that the world could see a compelling Game 7 sudden-death fight between two evenly matched teams. Last night's game turned into an instant classic. Tonight's game could be even better.
Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the Josh Hamilton photo.