Last night's final games of the regular season saw some matchups for a playoff spot that had all the drama of a major action-thriller. It was what movie scripts are made of. Reminiscent of "The Natural," "The Rookie," "Major League" and similar thrillers.
I don't normally watch baseball anymore - since the big strike whenever that was - but happened to have the TV tuned to a sports channel where this unfolded.
The St. Louis Cardinals won their game 8-0. No drama there. The Atlanta Braves needed to beat the Philadelphia Phillies to force a one-game playoff today in St. Louis, with the winner to advance as the Wild Card entry. It took 13 innings before Atlanta came up short 4-3. St. Louis advances.
In another extra-inning thriller, Tampa Bay hosted the New York Yankees and was trailing the Yankees 7-0 heading into the bottom of the 8th inning. Not only did the Rays tie-up the game on what was their last available strike in the bottom of the 9th, they went on to win with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th. This is only the 3rd time in the history of the Yankees that they have squandered a lead of 7 or more runs going into the 8th inning.
In Baltimore after a rain delay, Boston was defeated in the bottom of the 9th by a team with a much weaker record. Had Tampa Bay not won their game, they would have faced a playoff today with Boston.
Congratulations to all the winning teams and fans. Too bad for those who came up short. Only one World Series winner anyway. Great drama no matter how you look at it - and to think that it came down to this on the 162nd and last game of the regular season.
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