World Series. Extra innings. One strike from elimination.
Every kid who's grown up playing wiffle ball in the backyard has imagined himself batting in that situation. And he always comes through.
St. Louis' David Freese got to do it for real on Thursday. And he delivered a two-out, two-strike, two-run triple in the ninth before winning the game with a leadoff home run in the 11th inning of Game 6, giving the Cardinals a 10-9 victory over the Texas Rangers and forcing a decisive seventh game Friday.
"Yeah, you imagine that scenario," Freese said. "It's all about knowing that this is the same game as when you're 6 years old. It's just elevated on a stage and everyone is watching.
"But you've just got to keep reminding yourself it really is the same game and you have a job to do and you try to execute. Sometimes you don't and sometimes you do."
Either way you have to answer for your actions afterward teammate Lance Berkman reminded Freese.
"When you're a little kid and you're out there, you don't have a bunch of reporters and fans that are ready to call you a choking dog if you don't come through," he said. "So when you're a kid you don't realize what a big moment that is. I'm just going to caution all little kids out there: Be careful what you wish for."
-- Kevin Baxter in St. Louis
Photo: Dave Freese is mobbed by his teammates. Credit: Whitney Curtis / European Press Agency.