In a lineup of heralded run producers, including Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and Larry Walker, Reggie Sanders stole the spotlight with a standout RBI performance for the Cardinals in the 2005 National League Division Series.
Sanders, 37, established a NL Division Series record for most total RBI. Doing it in the minimum three games added to the awesomeness of the achievement.
To put the feat into perspective, consider that when Pujols and David Freese each had nine RBI for the Cardinals in the 2011 NL Championship Series against the Brewers, each did so in six games. When Pujols had nine RBI for St. Louis in the 2004 NL Championship Series versus the Astros, he played seven games.
Sanders had missed 54 games during the 2005 regular season after fracturing his right leg.
In five previous NL Division Series, Sanders had produced five total RBI, including one in 14 at-bats for the Cardinals against the Dodgers in four games in 2004.
Here is a breakdown of his 10-RBI effort against the Padres in the 2005 NL Division Series:
Sanders was 2-for-4 with six RBI and a run scored in an 8-5 Cardinals victory on Oct. 4 at St. Louis.
In the third inning, the Cardinals led, 2-0. With the bases loaded and one out, Sanders, facing starter Jake Peavy, singled off the glove of first baseman Mark Sweeney, scoring Edmonds and Pujols.
Two innings later, Sanders again faced Peavy with the bases loaded and one out. With the count 3-and-0, Sanders got the green light to swing and ripped a high pitch for a grand slam over the left field wall, increasing the Cardinals’ lead to 8-0 and knocking Peavy from the game. Video
“You pretty much got to challenge him there and we lost the challenge,” said Padres manager Bruce Bochy to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Boxscore
The grand slam was the third by a Cardinals batter in a postseason game. The others: Ken Boyer in the 1964 World Series against the Yankees and Gary Gaetti in the 1996 NL Championship Series versus the Braves.
“Everything is all about results right now,” Sanders said. “It’s all about getting your ballclub where it needs to be and to continue to go as long as you can.”
Sanders was 1-for-4 with two RBI in the Cardinals’ 6-2 victory on Oct. 6 at St. Louis.
In the seventh, with the Cardinals ahead, 4-1, Sanders doubled off reliever Rudy Seanez, scoring Edmonds and Pujols. Boxscore
“For us, it’s all about timing,” Sanders said afterward. “Manufacture runs when you have to manufacture. Really try to put pressure on the pitcher and the defense, no matter what the circumstances are.”
The Cardinals completed the sweep with a 7-4 victory at San Diego. Sanders was 1-for-4 with two RBI.
With the Cardinals ahead, 3-0, in the second, Sanders batted with the bases loaded against starter Woody Williams, who had been his St. Louis teammate the year before. Sanders drilled a two-run double, knocking Williams out of the game. Boxscore
For the series, Sanders batted .333 (4-for-12) with two doubles, a home run, a single, a walk and a run scored.