7. Game 6, 1993 World Series (Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6)
The Phillies fought tooth and nail with the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series, attempting to prevent them from winning their second straight title. The Phils staved off elimination in Game 5 with a 2-0 win, sending the series back to Canada for the sixth game. The Jays looked poised for an easy home win to finish things off, knocking pitcher Terry Mulholland around the park in the first inning for three runs. Mulholland remained in the game, but would end up leaving his team with a 5-1 deficit after five innings.
The score remained that way until Philly blew up for a five-run rally in the seventh. Lenny Dykstra cut into the lead with a three-run homer with no outs, then the rest of the lineup scratched out another couple runs to take a 6-5 lead. The Jays loaded up the bases in the eighth, but couldn’t score, leaving them in need of a ninth inning run if they wanted to avoid a Game 7. Mitch Williams was brought on to close the game, but Rickey Henderson and Paul Molitor each reached base safely, giving Joe Carter a great RBI opportunity with one out. After working the count to 2-2, Carter smashed a three-run homer to end the series. Carter’s shot remains one of only two walk-off home runs to end a World Series – the other hit by the Pirates’ Bill Mazeroski.
8. Game 7, 1997 World Series (Marlins 3, Indians 2 in 11 inn.)
The Florida Marlins, a franchise no more than a few years old at the time, defied all logic by reaching the World Series against the stacked Cleveland Indians. The Marlins couldn’t have asked for anything more, getting a Game 7 opportunity at home to decide the championship.
Some top-notch pitching from Cleveland starter Jaret Wright kept the Marlins off the scoreboard through six innings, while the Indians took a 2-0 lead off a clutch single by Tony Fernandez in the third. A home run by the Marlins’ Bobby Bonilla to start the bottom of the seventh finally got them on the board and helped to chase Wright off the mound, but it was still 2-1 Indians heading into the bottom of the ninth. There, Cleveland sent in their closer, Jose Mesa, to get the last three outs, but he wasn’t able to get the job done. Singles by Moises Alou and Charles Johnson put runners at first and third with one out, then a sac fly from Craig Counsell scored Alou to send the game to extra innings. Indians second baseman Fernandez joined Mesa as the second goat of the game, botching a potential inning-ending double play grounder off the bat of Counsell. The error put Marlins at first and third with one out, paving the way for Edgar Renteria to win the game on a single up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs.
It was the second World Series loss in three years for the Indians, who haven’t been back to the Series since. The Indians’ World Series drought dates back to 1948.