We should be used to this by now, no? The late comebacks, the weird baseball happenings. Baseball got weird in the top of the ninth when Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal attempted to close out a 4-3 win for the Cardinals in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants.
Rosenthal was quickly in hot water. After striking out Brandon Crawford to begin the frame, pinch-hitter Andrew Susac and Juan Perez hit back-to-back singles. Following Susac’s single, he was pinch-run for by Matt Duffy. This is an important detail. Rosenthal got Gregor Blanco on a hard line drive to shortstop Jhonny Peralta, allowing the closer to see light at the end of the tunnel. It could have been an inning-ending double play, but the speedy Duffy was able to get back to second base; Peralta didn’t even bother attempting to double him off.
Rosenthal got ahead of Joe Panik 0-2, but the rookie worked the count full. With two outs and a full count, Duffy and Perez were running on the pitch. Rosenthal spiked a fastball in the dirt, which got away from catcher Tony Cruz (who replaced Yadier Molina following an oblique injury in the sixth inning). Duffy never stopped running. He wheeled around third, barreling towards home plate to score ahead of Cruz’s throw to Rosenthal covering the plate. Rosenthal then walked Buster Posey to load the bases before departing in favor of Seth Maness. Maness got Sandoval on a 1-3 ground out to end the inning.
NLCS Game 2 is headed into the bottom of the ninth with a 4-4 tie.