OMG – what a GREAT night for baseball fans. Could there have been any more excitement on the last day of the regular season? UNBELIEVABLE! I am still exhausted and need to get some sleep tonight. The Cardinals and the Rays – who would have believed it?
Let’s set the stage. Here are the standings on September 1 and at the end of the regular season. The final chapter, played out last night and resulted in the shuffling of the final 4 teams.
Last night was one on the most exciting 5 hours of regular season baseball that I can remember. I spent the night flipping channels between the Red Sox & Orioles on NESN, the Braves and Phillies on ESPN, the Cardinals and Astros on ESPN 2 and the Yankees and Rays on YES while following Ryan Braun and the Brewers on Gameday at MLB.com. My fingers are sore too.
Just think about it:
- OK, there was one game without drama. The Cardinals/Astros had about as much excitement as you could expect from an Astros’ game this year.
- The Rays were down 7-0 early and that deficit remained until late into the game.
- The Phillies overcame a 3-1 deficit, tying the game with 2 outs in the 9th and breaking through with the winning run with 2 outs in the 13th.
- The Red Sox carried a 3-2 lead through a rain delay into the 9th where with 2 outs and no one on base, the Orioles rallied to score the tying and wining runs.
- The Rays rallied with 6 runs in the 8th, had a 2 out, 2 strike homerun to tie the game in the 9th. They won it on a walk-off solo homerun in the 12th just about 4 minutes after the Red Sox completed their historic collapse.
How much more excitement could you ask for than to have the two playoff spots come down to game 162, depending on four games: one that was decided in the 9th inning and two that had late inning comebacks and were decided in extra innings.
At the risk of putting a little damper on this baseball love fest, we have something else to be grateful for. Under the new Wild Card format, last night would have lost all of its glitter as all four of the teams in question would have already have punched their tickets to the post-season. Although, today, there are two teams would have loved to have played under that format this season.
The bar has been set pretty high for this year’s post-season. Let’s hope that it can live up to the night of the 162s.
God I love baseball!!!