St. Louis Cardinals‘ pinch hitter Daniel Descalso was in position to score the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning last night in Game 1, and that was no surprise to Redbird fans.
Descalso is a utility infielder who came up to the major leagues in September 2010. Since then, he has done whatever his team and manager have asked him to do, anything to help. He has pinch hit, played second, third and shortstop, and been a cheerleader when he wasn’t playing. If they asked him to play the outfield or help the grounds crew, he’d probably do that too. He has been the emergency back-up catcher.
Not being an everyday player can be tough, but Descalso has never let it get him down. He has embraced his role and come through for the Cardinals countless times. During the 2011 season, then-manager Tony LaRussa dubbed him “D-Money.”
In Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, Descalso pinch hit in the bottom of the eighth inning (single, stranded), and replaced Rafael Furcal at shortstop in the top of the ninth. With the Cardinals down two runs in the 10th, Descalso singled and scored one of the runs that tied the game and sent it to David Freese.
When the Cardinals were down 6-0 early in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS, Descalso, playing second base, helped his team chip away and eventually win. He had a lead-off home run in the eighth, then singled and scored in the ninth.
Last night, he was on the bench, trying to stay loose and focused during an almost five-hour game, so he could be ready. His time came in the bottom of the 13th, and he delivered with a bloop single. He was on second base for Carlos Beltran to hit in for a huge win.
LaRussa, if he was still awake for the end, probably shook his head and thought, “He’s still D-Money.”
Sara Lefebvre is a St. Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.