08/08/2005: "Once in a while, you get a miracle."
Personally, I don't believe in miracles (because I don't believe in God, and even if I did believe in Her I know she'd have better things to do than intervene in sports events, even ones as Earth Shakingly Important as an Atlanta Braves-St. Louis Cardinals matchup), but as a figure of speech I can understand it. Via Billy Ball, his own self we get this comment on David Eckstein's walk off home run which won both the game and the series for the Cardinals yesterday afternoon:
BIG & SMALL - THE CARDS HAVE IT ALLHowever, in retrospect, the walk off salami isn't quite as surprising.
You canít say enough wonderful things about the Cardinals - they simply do it all. I mean you expect that Albert Pujols will hit his 31st homer, but you have to admit some degree of surprise when the diminutive shortstop for the Cardinals, David Eckstein, hits a walk-off grand slam homer over the left-field wall that enabled the Cardinals to defeat the Atlanta Braves and take two of three in a series matching NL division leaders and the teams with the two best records in the league. Chris Carpenter, didnít pick up the win, but he still pitched brilliantly allowing two runs and four hits in eight innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
But the story was Eckstein, the little shortstop who nobody wanted, who won two games for the Cards with squeeze bunts in July and hit the second walk-off grand slam of his career. The winning grand slam was the Cardinals' first since Tommy Herr beat the New York Mets on April 18, 1987, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Eckstein previously won a game in that fashion in 2002 with the Angels. Only two other players have hit game-ending grand slams in both the American and National leagues. Ralph Kiner did it for the 1951 Pirates and 1955 Indians; Bobby Bonds did it for the 1973 Giants and 1979 Indians.
Four of Eckstein's 22 career homers have been grand slams. His career average of one home run every 11 at-bats with the bases loaded is better than the career bases-loaded home run rates for 16 of the 21 active (or disabled) players with at least 300 homers.
As Cardinals manager Tony La Russa so aptly pointed out, "Once in a while, you get a miracle."
Way to go, Eck!
Len on 08.08.05 @ 09:56 AM CST