Pictured (left to right) are Fred Merkle, Larry Doyle, Christy Mathewson, manager John McGraw, and Fred Snodgrass. Because Game 2 ended in a controversial tie due to darkness, the 1912 World Series between the Red Sox and Giants went to a decisive Game 8 tied 3-3-1. With Christy Matthewson going the distance at Fenway Park, the Giants broke a 1-1 tie with a run in the top of the 10th to take a 2-1 lead, but center fielder Fred Snodgrass dropped a leadoff flyout by Red Sox pinch-hitter Clyde Engle, who hustled into second. Snodgrass made a great running catch on the next batter, but Engle moved to third, and first baseman Fred Merkle (author of another infamous miscue), catcher Chief Myers, and Matthewson let a subsequent foul pop off the bat of Tris Speaker fall between them. Speaker capitalized on the second chance with a game-tying single. Two batters later, a sac fly won the Series for Boston.
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Another 10th inning, this one at Shea Stadium, saw the Red Sox, up 3-2 in the Series, break a 3-3 tie with a pair of runs. Closer Calvin Schiraldi got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame to put the Red Sox an out away from their first world championship since 1918, but the Mets connected for three straight singles to close to 5-4. Veteran Bob Stanley was called on in relief with the tying run on third and promptly uncorked a wild pitch that tied the game. He then got Mookie Wilson to hit a slow grounder to first base, but the ball dribbled through the legs of creaky-kneed first baseman Bill Buckner, forcing a Game 7, which the Mets won, extending the Boston drought.
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With the decisive seventh game of the 1997 World Series tied 2-2 in the 11th, the Marlins' Bobby Bonilla led off the bottom of the inning against repurposed Indians starter Charles Nagy with a single. After a failed bunt attempt for the first out, Craig Counsell hit a potential inning-ending double-play ball to Tony Fernandez at second base, but Bonilla, on his way to second, screened Fernandez from the ball, resulting in an error that put runners on the corners. Though Bonilla was forced out at home two batters later, the next man up, Edgar Renteria, singled home Counsell to give the Marlins their first world championship and extend the Indians' championship drought, which dates to 1948.
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In the seventh inning of a double-elimination game that went scoreless into the 10th, Braves DH Lonnie Smith led off the eighth with a single but failed to score on Terry Pendelton's double. Smith, known as "Skates" for his frequent stumbling in the outfield, was deeked by Twins second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, who faked receiving a throw as Smith rounded second, causing Smith to stop, then stumble, before proceeding to third. Twins starter Jack Morris, who went the distance, stranded both runners with a pair of grounders, and the Twins won the game and the Series on a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th.
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Mariano Rivera and Scott Brosius
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Diamondbacks got the tying run on base against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera when Mark Grace led off with a single. Catcher Damian Miller then attempted to bunt pinch-runner David Dellucci into scoring position, but Rivera, trying to get the lead runner, threw low to a hobbled Derek Jeter at second, failing to get an out. Jay Bell then attempted to bunt both runners up. This time Rivera succeeded in getting the lead man at third, but Yankee third baseman Scott Brosius failed to throw back across the diamond to try for what looked like an achievable double play. The lack of a second out forced the infield to play in when Luis Gonzalez's floater dropped behind Jeter for the Series-winning hit three batters later.
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With his Yankees trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 against the Cardinals, Babe Ruth worked a two-out walk off fellow Hall of Famer Pete Alexander, putting the tying run on base for Lou Gehrig. But Ruth was promptly thrown out trying to steal second, handing the Series to St. Louis.
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The first runs in a scoreless duel between 1967 World Series MVP Bob Gibson and soon-to-be 1968 World Series MVP Mickey Lolich at Busch Stadium were scored in the top of the seventh when Curt Flood, one of the finest defensive center fielders of his generation, misplayed a two-out Jim Northrup flyout into a two-RBI triple. Northrup's Tigers went on to win the Series, while the misplay convinced Cardinals owner Gussie Busch that the 30-year-old Flood was in decline, starting the chain of events that leads to Flood's Supreme Court case against the reserve clause and ultimately the birth of free agency.
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Hoping to knot the Series at two games a piece, the Dodgers held a 4-3 lead over the Yankees with two outs in the ninth when Hugh Casey struck out Tommy Henrich swinging on a sharp curve for what should have been the final out of the game. But the ball got past catcher Mickey Owen, allowing Henrich to reach base and Joe DiMaggio to come to the plate. DiMaggio singled, Charlie Keller doubled both runners home, and the Yankees won the game to take a 3-1 lead in the Series, which they wrapped up the next day.
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The Cubs held a 3-2 lead on the Padres in the decisive game of the 1984 ALCS when Cubs starter Rick Sutcliffe walked Carmelo Martinez to start the seventh inning. After Martinez was bunted to second, Tim Flannery hit a sharp grounder that shot right through the wickets of first baseman Leon Durham (inset), allowing Martinez to score the tying run. The Padres went on to take the lead, the game and the series.
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Alex S. Gonzalez
The closest the Cubs have gotten to the World Series since their last appearance in 1945 came in the 2003 NLCS when they held a 3-2 lead in the series and a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 6. That inning is best remembered for fan Steve Bartman interfering with a catchable foul ball down the left-field line, but the more significant play came later in the inning, with one out and men on first and second, when Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez (inset) booted a potential double-play ball off the bat of the Marlins Miguel Cabrera that instead loaded the bases. Derrek Lee followed with a game-tying double off winded starter Mark Prior as the Marlins rallied to win the game and, the next day, the series.
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In a Series in which the Tigers pitchers made five errors (one in every game), Verlander's second was the most significant. With his team trailing 3-1 in the Series, but leading 2-1 in Game 5, Verlander gave up a pair of one-out singles in the fourth. Opposing pitcher Jeff Weaver then attempted to bunt the runners up, but Verlander, trying to get the lead runner at third, threw the ball away, allowing the tying run to score. His failure to get an out let the go-ahead run score on Series MVP David Eckstein's subsequent grounder. From there, the Cardinals cruised to the championship.
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Game One of the 2000 Subway Series was scoreless when the Mets' Timo Perez led off the top of the sixth with a single off Andy Pettitte. After a pair of outs, Todd Zeile hit a bomb to left field that hit off the top corner of Yankee Stadium's padded outfield wall and bounded back onto the playing field. The ball was a fraction of an inch shy of being a home run, but stayed in play. Perez thought the ball was a home run and slowed down enough on his way around second that he was throw him out at home on what proved to be a double for Zeile. The Yankees ultimately won the game by one run in 12 innings and went on to take the Series in five games.
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The Rangers won the first game of the 1996 ALDS and took an early lead in Game 2, but the Yankees rallied to tie the latter contest, forcing extra innings. Facing future Yankee Mike Stanton, rookie Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the 12th with a single and moved to second on a walk to Tim Raines. After a pitching change, Charley Hayes attempted to bunt the runners up, but Rangers' third baseman Dean Palmer (inset) threw wild to first base, allowing Jeter to score the winning run. It was the first postseason win of Joe Torre's career. The Rangers never won another game against the Yankees in that or two subsequent playoff series.
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Hoping to tie the series at 1-1, the Cardinals had a 2-1 lead with two outs in the ninth when Dodgers first baseman James Loney hit a line drive right at Matt Holliday in left field for the apparent last out. Holliday lost the ball, which hit him in the gut and trickled away, putting Loney on second. Two batters later the Dodgers had tied the game. Three batters after that Mark Loretta delivered a walk-off single. Two days later, the Cardinals were swept.
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The Yankees had a 2-1 lead in the second inning of the decisive game of the 2005 ALDS in Anaheim when, with two outs and two on, Adam Kennedy lifted a fly ball to the warning track in right-center off Mike Mussina. Speedy center fielder Bubba Crosby settled under the ball, but Gary Sheffield, tracing the ball while looking over his shoulder and away from Crosby, who didn't appear to call for the ball, made a leaping attempt for the catch. Sheffield landed on Crosby and the ball fell for a two-RBI triple, giving the Angels a lead they never gave back.
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