In Wednesday night’s 15-inning marathon 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols finished 3-for-7 with a walk-off RBI single.
With the help of Tom Orf, let’s put that walk-off into Cardinals historical context.
While the walk-off is the most exciting of game-ending hits, it is just one of three related flavors of last at-bat winning hits. As the table below indicates, a road club can also collect a game-winning hit in their last at-bat in the top of the final inning. Finally, a home team can score in their last at-bat in the bottom of the eighth to secure a win.
No matter which of the game-enders interest you, the data is below. The subset of each kind of game-ending hits which were home runs are broken out separately.
When considering the long franchise history of the Cardinals, it is not surprising that Stan Musial leads in two of the three types of last at-bat winning hits. However, Pujols is rapidly moving up the ranks, already leading the Cardinals in eighth-inning last at-bat winning hits.
Last at-bat game-winning hits – Cardinals history