5. Chris Burke‘s 18th inning walkoff
The Astros were holding a 2-1 lead in the 2005 NLDS over their longtime postseason foe, the Atlanta Braves. Game Four wasn’t a must-win, but the team surely did not want to return to Atlanta for a winner-take-all Game Five.
The Astros fell behind 6-1 in the top of the eighth inning. Starter Brandon Backe had given up five runs in 4.1 innings, and reliever Wandy Rodriguez surrendered a solo homer to future Astros catcher Brian McCann in the eighth. Then came the comeback.
Lance Berkman lined a grand slam into the Crawford Boxes in the bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run game. Then with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the unlikely Brad Ausmus homered off Kyle Farnsworth to tie the game at six apiece. Then came the long stalemate as the teams basically played a second full game. Luke Scott nearly ended it at one point, but the ball just went foul.
After manager Phil Garner exhausted his bullpen, he turned to Roger Clemens, who’d lost his start in Game Two. The Rocket entered the game in the 16th inning and continued to keep the Braves off the board for the next three innings. Then came Chris Burke.
With one out in the bottom of the 18th inning, Burke homered to the Crawford Boxes off Braves reliever Joey Devine, sending the Astros to their second consecutive NLCS matchup against the Cardinals. This time, they would go on to defeat the Redbirds and play in their first ever World Series.