Classic before the Fall Classic
Yadier Molina hit a two-homer in the ninth to help propel the Cardinals into the World Series.
NEW YORK (AP) -- No way anybody was catching Yadier Molina's ninth-inning shot. And by the time it landed beyond the left-field fence, the St. Louis Cardinals were headed to the World Series.
Molina's tie-breaking homer and another Game 7 gem by Jeff Suppan helped St. Louis overcome Endy Chavez's astounding grab, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night for the NL championship.
Adam Wainwright wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth, striking out St. Louis nemesis Carlos Beltran to end it and leaving a stunned crowd in deflated silence just moments after it had Shea Stadium shaking.
And with that, the Cardinals earned their second pennant in three years and a date with the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
Hey Motown, here come the Cards.
Molina, a .216 career hitter with only six home runs during the regular season, drove the first pitch he saw from reliever Aaron Heilman into New York's bullpen for a 3-1 lead in the ninth.
Chavez, who made one of the most memorable postseason catches just three innings earlier, could only stand and watch at the fence as the Mets' World Series hopes were dashed.
Scott Rolen, robbed of a homer by Chavez in the sixth, got the St. Louis rally started with a single.
ST. LOUISNEW YORK
Eckstin ss3010JBRyes ss5000
PrWlsn lf3000L Duca c4000
Spiezio ph1000AHrndz pr0000
Tguchi lf0000Beltran cf4110
Pujols 1b2000CDlgdo 1b1000
JEcrcn rf4000Wright 3b4011
Edmnd cf3110ShGren rf3000
Rolen 3b4110Vlentin 2b3010
YMolna c4122Chavez lf4010
Blliard 2b3011OlPrez p2000
Suppan p2000Brdford p0000
Flors p0000Tucker ph1000
Rdrgez ph1000Heilmn p0000
Wnwrgt p0000CFloyd ph1000
E--Rolen (2), CDelgado (3). DP--New York 2. LOB--St. Louis 6, New York 11. 2B--Eckstein (1), Beltran (1). HR--YMolina (2). S--Belliard, Suppan.
Suppan pitched to 1 batter in the 8th. HBP--by OlPerez (Eckstein), by Suppan (Valentin). Umpires--Home, Tim Welke; First, Jim Joyce; Second, Jerry Layne; Third, Fieldin Culbreth; Left, Jeff Kellogg; Right, Gary Darling. T--3:23. A--56,357.