The Texas Rangers are hoping to brush off their agonizing Game Six capitulation, when they were twice just one strike away from a maiden World Series crown, and return with renewed vigor for Friday's decider.
It's really tough, Rangers reliever Darren Oliver said in a quiet Texas locker room as the team contemplated a crushing 10-9 defeat to the never-say-die St Louis Cardinals in 11 innings.
We'll just go home and get some rest and come back home tomorrow. You can't change what happened.
We lost. Those guys battled to the last out. I've never seen anything like it.
St Louis, who trailed the best-of-seven series 3-2 and were 7-5 down on the night, scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings and two more in the 10th to knot the game once more.
David Freese then belted a home run to straightaway center in the 11th to give the Cardinals a heart-stopping victory and set up Friday's winner-takes-all game at Busch Stadium.
This game was crazy, added Oliver, who failed to close the door on the Cardinals in the 10th. There were so many highs and lows. Definitely tough to watch at times.
Bottom line is that we got beat. Now we have to go to Game Seven and we'll see what happens.
While the Rangers met with reporters, large bottles of champagne sat untouched in an adjacent room, still on ice.
St Louis game-tying hits occurred in the ninth and 10th innings with two outs and two strikes on the batters. Freese led off the 11th with 429-foot shot to end the epic four-hour, 33-minute game.
We're capable of bouncing back, said pitcher Derek Holland, the Game Four winning pitcher who came on in relief Thursday. It's just one of those things. You have to forget about it and get ready for tomorrow. It's a new day.
We know what's on the line.
The Rangers are looking for a first World Series title in their 51-year existence and are well aware of how difficult the task is proving, following last season's loss to the San Francisco Giants and this year's tussle with St Louis.
It's not that easy to win a world championship, as we found out tonight, Texas manager Ron Washington added.
We had the right people in the right spot, and they beat us.
I understand that it's not over until you get the last out, and I was just sitting there praying that we'd get that last out. And we didn't get it.
You have to tip your hat to the Cardinals, the way they fought and took the game from us.
Rangers reliever Scott Feldman said we had them on the ropes a couple of times but we couldn't quite finish it off.
Feldman gave up the game-tying hit in the 10th inning, one of several pitchers unable to close the door on the Cardinals, who recovered from a 10 deficit over the final month of the season just to make the playoffs.
With two strikes, Lance Berkman lined a game-tying single to center off a Feldman cutter.
My situation was something you dream about, Feldman said. One strike away from getting that last out. I just made a pitch where it wasn't quite where I wanted it.
We're both pretty resilient clubs. Both teams are never-say-die teams. Obviously we wanted to win tonight and it didn't happen. We'll be ready to go tomorrow.