The Phillies ran through the gamut in this 4 hour and 53 minute marathon.
It was a game in which the Phillies went from committing a comedy of errors early, to staging an impressive comeback late, to finally seeing things slip away in the 12th inning.
"Offensively the guys fought back and fought to end," Sandberg said.
That was another story, with the biggest miscues coming in the middle of the game.
As for the ending, Daniel Descalso drew a pinch-hit walk off Ken Giles to open the Cardinals' 12th inning. He was sacrificed to second by Jon Jay. Peter Bourjos then reached base on an infield single, putting runners at the corners.
Matt Carpenter drilled a sacrifice fly to deep left field, scoring Descalso, with Bourjos advancing to second. After Kolten Wong walked, lefthander Cesar Jiminez replaced Giles and ended the inning by getting Matt Holliday to line out to right.
In the bottom of the inning, Holliday robbed Ben Revere with a running catch at the wall in left for the first out. Closer Trevor Rosenthal then barehanded a grounder by Jimmy Rollins, but the throw pulled first baseman Matt Adams off the bag.
Chase Utley was called out on strikes for the second out. That brought up Freddy Galvis, recalled from Lehigh Valley earlier in the day, who ended the game by popping up to third.
"It was a tough game," said Galvis, who entered as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and also played second and third base. "We have to keep trying to be better."
With the score tied at 5, Jonathan Papelbon allowed a leadoff ground-rule double to center in the ninth inning to Wong. The ball deflected off the wall and then Revere's leg, and went over the wall.
Papelbon then hit Holliday with a pitch. He struck out the next two batters, but Wong and Holliday executed a double steal. Galvis made a backhand play on a grounder to second and threw out A.J. Pierzynski for the final out.
Trailing by 5-3, the Phillies tied the score on Marlon Byrd's two-run bloop single in the eighth.
Jhonny Peralta opened the second inning with a solo home run, belting a 2-0 David Buchanan fastball deep to left field for his 18th home run.
It was the 10th home run allowed by Buchanan.
The Phillies took the lead on Carlos Ruiz's two-run double in the fourth off starter Shelby Miller.
St. Louis tied the score on Holliday's RBI groundout in the fifth.
Buchanan lasted just five innings and was fortunate to have allowed just two runs. He gave up eight hits and threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes.
"It caught me off guard honestly," Buchanan said about getting lifted. "I expect that and wasn’t too happy about that."
Lefthander Mario Hollands came on in the sixth to face three lefthanded batters, and all three reached base.
Pierzynski started things with a double to left. Oscar Taveras then hit a blooper to left that Domonic Brown allowed to drop in front of him for a single after he hesitated.
"It definitely wasn’t a ball I think I could have gotten to," Brown said. "I should have charged it better than that."
He said with the wet ground, he didn’t know if the ball would shoot to the right or left of him.
Compounding the mistake, Brown had a chance to nail Pierzynski at third because the Cardinals catcher got a late jump. Instead, Brown's errant throw past third baseman Cody Asche allowed the slow-footed Pierzynski to score, with Taveras going to all the way to third.
"I was trying to keep the ball in front and he took the extra base on me and I short-hopped to Cody and they ended up scoring a run and it was a big play for sure," Brown said.
Many in the crowd of 30,352 let Brown know their displeasure.
The third of the lefthanded hitters, Jon Jay, walked. Miller attempted to sacrifice Jay to second and ended up scoring two runs.
Even though it wasn't a squeeze play, Taveras made a correct read on the bunt down the third-base line and darted for home. Cody Asche charged the ball, but it appeared as if it would have rolled foul if he hadn't fielded it.
In the best scenario that ball probably foul and they can bunt it again," Sandberg said.
Asche realized he had no play at home but threw wide to first. The wild throw allowed Jay to score all the way from first.
In the top of the seventh, Brown was out of the game in a double switch, with Grady Sizemore going to left field and Antonio Bastardo pitching.
Brown said he didn’t talk to Sandberg about the move, but felt it was due to the play in left field.
"Usually if a play like that happens I am going to be taken out, but that is part of the game," Brown said. "Ryno is doing the best job he can with the outfielders, just trying to get us all playing time."
Ryan Howard cut the lead to 5-3 with his 19th homer of the season and 19th in his career against the Cardinals in the sixth inning.