Game six proves turning point for Texas Rangers’ loss
By Brett Land
Heartbreaking. After 162 games, an exciting postseason run and one of the most historic World Series in the life of baseball, the Texas Rangers could almost feel the weight of the championship trophy in their arms. However, they came home with nothing more than sore muscles and regrets.
Going into the 2011 World Series, the Rangers and their loyal fans were ready to finish the job they left undone at last year’s fall classic when they lost to the San Francisco Giants in six games. It was time for redemption.
“We were so excited last year and didn’t know what we were capable of doing in the Series,” Rangers president and owner Nolan Ryan said in an interview with ESPN. “This year we’re more focused and more determined because we came away a little disappointed.”
The hard-hitting Rangers began the series splitting the opening two games in St. Louis. A slow start left the Rangers with a 3-2 loss in game one. A late rally capped off the 2-1 win in game two and tied the series at one game each.
Texas Ranger fans everywhere will agree that the 16-7 loss in game three is nothing to be discussed. Albert Pujols crushed 3 homeruns and countless hearts that Saturday night.
In both the fourth and fifth games, just four runs proved to be enough for the Rangers to get two victories and take the series lead. One more win and “We are the Champions” would be playing in Arlington. Players and fans alike dreamed of lifting up the trophy and bringing it back to Texas.
Then game six happened. It proved to be the turning point of the World Series. With a combined five errors, the game started off sloppy but ended up being one of the most unbelievable and unfortunately, unforgettable games of all time.
Texas went into the bottom of the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead. With two runners on and two outs and a full count for Cardinals outfielder, David Freese, the Rangers were one strike, one fly ball or one ground ball and throw to first base away from the Championship. One out. That’s all.
David Freese knocked in two RBIs with a triple to right field and tied the game. Extra innings, sports fans.
The Rangers quickly bounced back when Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homerun in the top of the tenth. His first home run in almost 100 at-bats. This was the Rangers story book ending, right? Wrong.
With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the tenth, Lance Berkman hit an RBI single to center field to tie the game and force an 11th inning. One in which the Rangers did not score a single run.
It was then that David Freese, the young hometown boy who was born and raised right there in St. Louis, the same player who tied the game with his triple in the bottom of the ninth and the hero of a “Cinderella season” for the Cardinals, hit a walk-off homerun to center field to win for his team.
Game 6 knocked the air out of the Ranger team, and the momentum change proved to be too much for them in game seven. They lost their second consecutive World Series with a score of 6-2.
Unfortunately, these Rangers players and fans will be plagued with the thought that they were just so close, but didn’t quite make it.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre summed it up in an interview with MLB.com saying, “We were one strike away, but it didn’t happen.”