Like a lot of people, I always claimed the greatest Cardinals moment I saw in person was Ozzie Smith's "Go crazy folks" homer against the Dodgers in the 1985 National League Championship Series.
But that ended on Oct. 21, 2004 when Albert Pujols doubled home the tying run in the eighth inning against Roger Clemens in the seventh game of that season's NLCS. Up to the plate came Scott Rolen with the potential winning run in scoring position against one of the greatest pitchers who ever played the game.
All Rolen needed was a single. But he turned around a Clemens fastball down the third base line and the entire crowd at old Busch stadium held its breath in hopes the ball would stay fair. Not only did it stay fair, it just kept on going, sailing over the left field wall for a two-run homer that carried the Birds to an eventual 5-2 win over the Astros for their first World Series appearance since 1987.
Ironically, those plays weren't even the most dramatic of the game. Earlier in the contest, with the Astros already leading and runners on base, catcher Brad Ausmus lined a ball into the left centerfield gap that seemed like it would be the back breaking blow in Houston's favor.
As soon as the ball was hit I thought the game was over. But Jim Edmonds came out of nowhere and made an incredible diving catch to give the Cardinals new life and allow Pujols and Rolen to eventually win the game off of a worn down Clemens.
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