What an absolutely crazy night of baseball Wednesday night.
Four teams, four different games, all fighting to stay alive for the wild card. Three of those games had dramatic endings, with the last two, involving the Rays and Red Sox, finishing within three minutes of each other.
Truly high drama. First the Cardinals win, putting pressure on the Braves. Then Atlanta finishes its epic September collapse, losing in extra innings to Philadelphia and knocking itself out of the postseason.
Then the Red Sox, who have collapsed even more than Atlanta, take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth at the sad-sack Orioles, only to see the O’s rally for two runs and the win off Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon (didn’t he used to be good and clutch and all that?)
Then, literally less than five minutes later, Tampa Bay, which rallied from a 7-0 deficit in the eighth inning against the Yankees (who had nothing to play for) got a game-winning home run from Evan Longoria (above) in the 12th inning to win and clinch a playoff spot.
Whew. Hell of a final day of the regular season. Now we’ve got Yankees-Tigers and Rays-Rangers in the AL playoffs (I think Detroit and Texas win those series; Yanks are going to have a lot of trouble with Verlander), and Brewers-Diamondbacks and Phillies-Cardinals in the other (Phillies-Brewers looks good to me in the NLCS).
As usual, Tom Verducci of SI has the best take on Wednesday night’s madness.
Final baseball thought: Jose Reyes of the Mets, what a joke. Takes himself out of the game yesterday after his first inning single, to protect his batting average and lead in the batting race. A disgrace, and anathema to what any true competitor would do.
**Wanted to wish all my fellow Tribe members a happy Rosh Hashana, and a happy New Year. I spent Wednesday night celebrating the holiday by eating, drinking, and arguing with an old lady about Israel and the rights of Palestinians to have their own land (don’t ask; at a dinner party, sometimes you find yourselves in these conversations).
For the rest of you who don’t celebrate, let me remind you of the moral of every Jewish holiday: “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”
**I kind of can’t believe this guy actually does this. An insane dive off the balcony of a hotel, into the swimming pool. I’m amazed he didn’t kill himself. But since he was successful, I simply say “Bravo, fine sir.”