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• Some follow-ups to the Cardinals' extraordinary come-from-behind victory in Game 5 of the NLCS on Monday night ... Let's start with this: Since the 2000 season, there were 1,443 instances in regular-season play of a team trailing by two runs in the ninth inning with two outs and the bases empty. Only 11 teams rallied from that situation to win.
Of those 11 winning teams, only three rallied to win after their two-out, none-on batter reached a two-strike count (as David Eckstein did Monday night). Only one of the 11 won the game in nine innings; the others needed extra innings.
• Batters facing Brad Lidge were 14-for-205 (.068) with 133 strikeouts over the last two regular seasons after falling behind 1-2 in the count. Only five of the 14 hits came on a 1-2 pitch.
But Eckstein, whose single on a 1-2 pitch started the Cardinals' ninth-inning rally, led the majors with 87 two-strike hits during the 2005 season. His .279 batting average with two strikes ranked second in the National League by one point to Todd Helton (minimum: 100 at-bats).
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