Last night was one of the most exciting nights in Major League Baseball history. After 161 games, the playoff fates of 4 MLB teams came down to the last night of the regular season. With one game remaining, the Atlanta Braves were tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the last National League slot in the playoffs. On the American League side, the Boston Red Sox were tied with the Tampa Bay Rays. The situation was simple: if you win and the team you’re tied with loses, you make the playoffs; if both teams win or both loses, the two tied teams square off for a one game playoff to determine who goes on to the postseason.
Weather in Baltimore began to have an effect on the Red Sox-Orioles game and in the 7th inning, the umpires delayed the game with the Red Sox leading 3-2. The Sox had a 9 game lead on the Rays on September 3, losing this game would conclude the biggest collapse in baseball history. When play was resumed, the Orioles bats woke up and in the bottom of the 9th inning, they scored 2 runs to win the game and leave the Red Sox to watch the conclusion of the Rays game to see if they would qualify for the playoffs.
The Rays were losing 7-0 to the Yankees with an inning and a half to go. Commentators around the country were considering the game over and the Rays’ season over. Miraculously, the Rays scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th and another in the 9th to tie the game 7-7. Three minutes after the Sox lost in Baltimore, Rays shortstop Evan Longoria (pictured) stepped up to the plate while the crowd cheered after hearing the final Red Sox score. Longoria, having hit a homer earlier in the game during the 6 run rally in the 8th, had the pressure on his back. He subsequently belted the game winning home run and put the Rays in the playoffs when everybody counted them out. THE RED SOX CHOKED!!!
The NL side of things was dramatic as well. The Cardinals held up their end of the deal rather easily, defeating the lowly Astros 8-0. All the Braves had to do was win in order to force a one-game playoff. They had a 2-1 lead with one out left to win the game against the Philadelphia Phillies but couldn’t hold on to the lead. The Phillies, the best team during the season, came from behind to win the game and eliminate the Braves.
Such an exciting night for baseball. I don’t always watch during the regular season but last night was definitely a special one. If the playoffs even come close to the dramatics of last night, they are definitely going to be must see TV.