Greatest Cardinal Moment Tournament: First Round, Branch Rickey Regional, 6-11 Matchup

We kicked off the second week of the Greatest Cardinal Moment Tournament this morning, so if you missed out on that one, be sure to check it out for a great battle of huge postseason home runs.  This afternoon, we’re going with a pivotal postseason at bat against a legendary regular season moment.

#6 Matt Carpenter battles Clayton Kershaw in NLCS (2013)

vs

#11 Glenn Brummer steals home (1982)

Technology is a great thing.  Even though my 20th high school reunion was going on, watching the current football squad as part of the festivities, I could continue to refresh my phone as the Cardinals and the Dodgers matched up in Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS.  Kershaw was what he is now, one of if not the best pitcher in the game.  It was before all those ideas that St. Louis could beat him in the playoffs.  Indeed, this game is when it all started.

You can read a good description of the whole at bat over here, as Joe Schwarz recapped it the next February.  With one out in the third, Carpenter came to the plate, apparently determined that no pitches were going to get past him.

Games can turn on small things.  I kept refreshing my phone, trying to figure out when this at bat would end.  Carpenter kept battling and battling, the pitch count kept growing and growing, and finally Kershaw made his mistake.

That opened the floodgates.  Whether Kershaw was a bit worn or everyone wearing red was just so fired up or they’d been able to see some of everything the Dodger ace had, the hits just kept coming in that inning and the Cardinals wound up with four runs.  While it was still early, that seemed to be the knockout blow that Los Angeles never recovered from.  St. Louis would win 9-0 and move on to face the Red Sox in the World Series.

While that at bat was amazing and dramatic, it was right in line with the player that Matt Carpenter was.  That’s not the case with this other highlight, one that can just be summed up in three words.

Brummer Stole Home.

It was August 22, 1982.  The Cardinals were 70-52 and playing a Giants team that was sitting right around .500.  Even with their success, the Cards were just a couple of games up in the NL East (which is what happens when there are only two divisions).  The Cardinals got out to an early 3-0 lead, but future Cardinal Jack Clark drove in two with a double off of Joaquin Andujar, then Darrell Evans tied it up and, after a pitching change, Milt May gave the Giants the 4-3 lead.

The ’82 team wasn’t a quitting team though, and they put together a Whiteyball run in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up.  David Green was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a Tom Herr groundout, and scored on a Ken Oberkfell double.

The score stayed 4-4 until the 12th.  Gary Lavelle got George Hendrick to fly out but then Brummer singled and so did Willie McGee.  After a foulout by Julio Gonzalez, Ozzie Smith singled to load the bases.  With two outs, David Greene was up, but Brummer, with a lefty on the mound, got another idea.

For some reason, I can’t embed the video of this amazing moment, complete with call from Mike Shannon, so you’ll have to check it out here to see it in all its glory.  It was a full 20% of the career stolen bases of Brummer, but it made him a legend in St. Louis for all time.

So it’s your turn.  Cast your vote below!

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