8:05 p.m. ET on Fox. Our baseball-loving readers decided to “occupy” the Quote of the Day thread last night and hold a running commentary on Game Six, so rather than repeat that, here’s your own little Zuccotti Park for the big one. We haven’t seen a Game Seven in the World Series since 2002, the longest drought in winner-take-all contests since the period between 1912 and 1924. Only once since 2003 have we even seen a Game Six, in fact. After last night’s nuclear exchange, tonight’s game is basically just a psychological experiment to see how humans cope with extreme trauma. Do the Rangers end up in the fetal position like St. Louis in 1985 or, a la the ’75 Big Red Machine, rally after one of the most crushing losses of all time? Only one thing is certain, my friends: Using Derek Holland, who owned the Cards in Game Four, for two innings yesterday instead of saving him for today was … not so smart.
Question for baseball history buffs: Apart from the Red Sox in 1986, has any team come within one strike, or even one out, of winning the Series and then gone on to lose? A few teams have come within two outs — the Giants in 1912, the Indians in 1997, the Yankees in 2001 — but unless I’m blanking on something big, no one except Boston has reached the point of being one batter away and then collapsed. (Had Willie McCovey’s line drive gone over Bobby Richardson’s head in 1962, the Yankees would have qualified.) If the Rangers lose tonight they’ll be the second team to have done it, and unlike the Sox, they were one strike away in two separate innings. For that reason alone, I’m debating whether this would be the most heartbreaking loss in Series history. I think ’86 is marginally worse because of the way it went down, with horrible errors amid the pressure of ending “the curse.” That was a true collapse; Texas simply got beat by a team that was preternaturally clutch. But even so: One strike away — twice.
Prediction: The Rangers take an 11-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth before losing a heartbreaker, 12-11.