And That’s Why they Play 9…
By Stephen Duell aka spuds1961
September 28th was a monumental night for professional baseball.Never in the history of MLB were 2 wildcard slots decided in extra innings on the last day of the season.With the Yankees already slotted as the top seed in the American League they really didn’t need to do anything but show up, but a 7-0 lead over Tampa Bay after 7 innings had to have Red Sox nation feeling giddy. I already conceded this game to the Bronx Bombers as I went to walk my dogs at the start of the bottom of the 8th.I came back to see the 7-0 lead had been all but erased,now it was 7-6 after 8 innings,still ahead and with Mo available still thought they would win.I wasn’t all that surprised to see Cory Wade out there to pitch the 9th but I still think it wasn’t the Yankees’ best option.
Okay 2 quick outs later I still think this one’s gonna go in the win column,especially with a guy batting .108 on the season coming up in Dan Johnson, well here’s where things get weird on a 2-2 pitch Cory Wade actually gave Johnson a pitch he could handle, something Mo never would’ve done. A sharp line drive down the right field line turned into the game tying home run,sorry Red Sox nation, but there’s still extra innings and you guys are beating Baltimore 3-2 in the 9th so at least you’ll win and get to play 1 more game at the very least.
Let’s head out to Baltimore for the 9th and watch Papelbon close it out, he proceeded to strike out the first 2 batters so things were looking good for Sox fans, but Chris Davis kept Baltimore’s hopes alive with a double, still not the worst scenario as Papelbon will get the last out. What happened next is why even though they have won titles in 2004 and 2007 I still believe that the Red Sox are a cursed franchise. Nolan Reimold, he of the.244 batting average hits a ground rule double to tie it at 3, well surely Papelbon will get Robert Andino out to send it into extras, not so fast a line drive to left wound up just out of reach of the Red Sox top off season acquisition, who really did nothing to help this team; Carl Crawford. The O’s just completed a 2 out comeback against the best closer this side of Mariano Rivera, 4-3 final, but the Yankees game is still in extras, let me flip back to that one.
In the top of the 12th the Yankees proceeded to have 1st and 3rd with no outs, surely they will score at least one run, nope Greg Golson needs to go back to spring training to learn you don’t stray off of 3rd that far when a ground ball is hit that way. Evan Longoria fields the ball and tags him out, still 1st and 2nd with 1 out isn’t that bad, well no runs scored as the last 2 outs of the 12th were pretty easy a pop out and Gardner’s ground out to end the inning.Up come the Rays,Proctor gets the 1st out but up comes the face of Tampa Bays franchise Evan Longoria. Let’s put it this way,i f Boston fans didn’t hate New York bad enough they hate them just a little more this morning, Longoria ends it on a line drive homer over the left field wall 8-7 Rays,wildcard series here they come, sorry Red Sox nation.
Let’s go to the National league shall we, the Cardinals put up a 5 spot in the first against the Astros, so this one wasn’t gonna be a contest. The Phillies are playing the Braves and they really don’t need this game, but somehow they manage to stay close going into the 9th, down 3-2 looks like the Braves will at least get to a 1 game playoff against the Cardinals. Guess what? the Phillies actually tie it in their at bat in the 9th, extras are needed again to decide the final wildcard slot. Both teams had slim chances, but the Phillies pushed one across in the top of the 13th on a broken bat infield single by Hunter Pence.
I still thought the Braves had a chance in their half of the inning, as some good batters were coming up, and one blast could tie it again.With one out and a man on first here was the Braves chance; Freddie Freeman,this years probable rookie of the year coming up,a homer wins it, but alas a grounder to first leads to a game ending double play and sends the Cardinals to the playoffs against the Phillies.
This was one epic night of baseball that I can say I was happy to witness, and remember fans 27 outs means 27 outs,enjoy the playoffs and World Series as I feel this is just the start of more memorable moments!
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