I don’t even know where to start with this. This might have been the best night of baseball ever. Here’s a nice timeline, for the Cliffs Notes version. And seriously – check that out.
I feel like I can’t even begin to describe how amazing tonight was; it was a night of baseball so wild, and we might not ever see something like this again. But I’ll try.
- The day began with a Miguel Batista two-hit, complete game shutout against the Reds. So you knew it was going to be awfully crazy.
– And there was this.
- Remember when Chris Carpenter started out so poorly in this year, so much so that he had a 4.47 ERA in mid-June? Yeah. Tonight he threw a two-hit complete game shutout with eleven strikeouts. Against the Astros, but really.
– This was big, because…
- Atlanta lost.
– They lost because in the ninth inning, Craig Kimbrel couldn’t hold a one-run lead.
— And then in the thirteenth (!!!), with a Phillies runner on third, Hunter Pence had a bloop infield single to score the eventual winning run.
—- Oh, and right before Dan Uggla had a homer that made it 3-1 Braves in the third, Michael Bourn was caught stealing. Third. With nobody out.
—– It was the wrong call – he was actually safe.
- On August 23, the Braves had a 10.5 lead over the Cardinals. The Cardinals weren’t even second place in the Wild Card, that was the Giants.
– Ten. Point. Five.
— The Braves were up eight games on September 1.
—- All this, and after the Cardinals traded away Colby Rasmus, too.
—– Colby Rasmus is hitting just .177/.206/.323 with the Blue Jays! I mean, he’ll be okay, but wow.
- So. The AL Wild Card race. What is there to say? (A lot, actually.)
- The Red Sox were playing the Orioles. They had seven of their last ten against the Orioles and ended up going (spoiler alert) 2-5 against them.
– They were actually up 3-2 in the top of the ninth, with the bases loaded and one out.
— Ryan Lavarnway, who hit two home runs to lead the Red Sox to victory yesterday, GIDPed to end the threat.
—- Still, the Red Sox were 77-0 after leading after eight innings this year. Papelbon had rebounded from a subpar 2010 to post excellent numbers in 2011.
—– He had two outs, nobody on, when Chris Davis doubled. Nolan Reimold followed with another double to tie the game. And then Robert Andino walked off.
—— On September 20, the Orioles trailed 5-4 in the eighth inning with two outs and the bases loaded at Fenway, against Papelbon. Andino hit a three-run double, and the Orioles won 7-5. On September 26, Andino hit an inside-the-park home run to expand the Orioles’ lead from 3-2 to 6-2. And tonight, well.
——- The 2010 Padres, who collapsed and blew a huge playoff lead finished 90-72, and had Adrian Gonzalez on it. The 2011 Red Sox, who collapsed and blew a huge playoff lead finished 90-72 and had Adrian Gonzalez on it. Clearly, he’s cursed.
- It shouldn’t have mattered, because the Yankees had a 7-0 lead against the Rays, headed into the eighth inning. The eighth!
– This was how the eighth inning went: single, double, hit by pitch, walk (to Sam Fuld) to force in a run, hit by pitch (to Sean Rodriguez) to force in a run, Jennings strikeout, Upton sac fly, Longoria homer. The inning ended after that, but it was 7-6 Rays.
— Then, in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, no one on, and down to their last strike, Dan Johnson homered to tie the game.
—- Dan Johnson. He had been demoted to the minors from basically the end of April until September callups, and was hitting .108/.178/.157. For real. Before tonight, his last hit in the majors was April 27.
—– You may remember Dan Johnson from this homer, in 2008.
—— The game went on scoreless through the twelfth, where the Rays got out of a situation with runners on first and third and no one out.
——- In the bottom of the inning, well, Scott Proctor was in his third inning of work. It’s unpredictable it got that far. Anyway, Evan Longoria hit his second home run of the night, and – baseball is awesome. Rays go to the playoffs.
We’ve seen the two biggest comebacks in baseball history, maybe, in the same year. Or maybe the two biggest collapses. Whatever it was, it was absolutely ridiculous to watch, and I know I was lucky to see tonight’s games, especially considering it was the last night of the season. Baseball is amazing. Only in this sport could my team get swept, hit into a triple play, and blow a 7-0 lead, and I’d be ecstatic. What an incredible sport this is. How can you say, after a night like tonight, that baseball is boring?
- Andino hit his walk-off at 12:02 AM. Evan Longoria hit his walk-off at 12:05 AM. You can’t make it up.
- Hey, Jose Valverde really did go 49-for-49 in save opportunities this year. What the heck.
- Mike Napoli hit six home runs against the Angels this year. You’re so surprised.
- All this, and the Mariners and As played a 2-0 game. You’re really surprised!