MLB Season Ends With Wild Night

By Ben Siebert
The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays
both clinched wild card spots in the playoffs
Wednesday night, after the Boston Red Sox and
Atlanta Braves capped off their monumental
September meltdowns. With the NBA possibly
out of the picture, baseball stole the show,
proving that “Amazing Happens Here” as well.
Down 7-0 to the Yankees entering the eighth
inning, the Rays scored six runs in the eighth
and were down to their final strike in the bottom
of the ninth when Dan Johnson hit only his
second home run of the year, a solo shot to tie
the game. Meanwhile, Jonathan Papelbon, fully
equipped with voices in his head and a monkey
on his back, had the Orioles down to their last strike. Papelbon then gave up a
ground-rule double to tie the game 3-3. A line-drive to left field by Robert Andino
coupled with a lackadaisical sliding attempt at a catch followed by a little league
throw to the plate by Carl Crawford gave the game to the Orioles 4-3. Three minutes
later, Evan Longoria hit his second home run of the game, a walk-off solo shot to beat
the Yankees 8-7 in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Red Sox did it again. Ahead in
the wild card standings by nine games on Sept. 3, Boston went 7-20 down the stretch,
making them the first team to blow a nine-game lead entering September.
In the National League, similar history was made. The Cardinals, who were tied
with the Braves entering Wednesday night, took care of the Houston Astros 8-0
behind Chris Carpenter’s complete game two-hit shutout. Like most of this last
month, the Cardinals had to depend on someone else’s shortcomings to have a shot
at the playoffs. The Braves had a 10.5 game lead on the Cardinals on Aug. 26, and
were up 8.5 games in September. The Braves led the Phillies most of the game and
had to win to force a one-game playoff with St. Louis. But Hunter Pence’s single in
the 13th inning put the Phillies on top of the Braves 4-3. The Braves’ Freddie Freeman
grounded into a double play in the bottom of the inning to end the game. For a
few minutes, the Braves held the record for biggest September collapse, but in an
act of one-upmanship the Red Sox completed their historic choke blowing a nine-
game lead and their lead on the Orioles. After the wildest last night of the season in
baseball history, the playoff picture is finally clear.
AL Predictions:
Rays over Rangers in 4 games
Yankees over Tigers in 4
NL Predictions:
Brewers over Diamondbacks in 5 games
Cardinals over Phillies in 5 games



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