I was watching the games last night and all I could think about was what a way to end the baseball season. In today’s society, baseball seems like a chore to follow because unlike football there are ten times the games. But baseball was able to deliver drama that the NFL cannot deliver. For the last three weeks, we watched as the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves were falling with disbelief, joy, laughter, horror. All football can do is give you drama once a week but for five hours yesterday, baseball showed you why it is king.
It’s amazing that in five hours last night, we were given a whole summary of the baseball season. St. Louis came out swinging and ended the game within five minutes and cruised to victory but the other three games provided nail biting wonder why you put yourself through this every year feeling. I watched as Tampa Bay came out flat and everybody figured same old story for Tampa Bay. It was the same story as early on in the season, nobody hitting, can’t pitch and getting blown out at home. The Red Sox came out to win the game and they were rolling along just like they did all season long until the stretch run. That was when the gods opened up the sky and let the rain pour down in Baltimore. And maybe in hindsight that was the best thing that could have ever happened to the Tampa Bay Rays and the worst thing to ever happen to the Red Sox.
Meanwhile, Atlanta was cruising to what seemed like a Game 163 showdown in St. Louis. They got timely hitting with a Dan Uggla home run and the return of Tim Hudson to pitch and put the Braves in position to win. However, the bullpen reared its nasty head again when the Craig Kimbrel gave up the lead. Then the game went on for four more extra innings until a bloop, fluky single by Hunter Pence when Freddie Freeman was inexplicably holding the runner on with two outs. Talk about drama, Desperate Housewives couldn’t have this much drama even if Teri Hatcher professed her love for Eva Longoria.
Speaking of Longoria, Evan Longoria capped a near heroic comeback for the Tampa Bay Rays in the 8th inning with his three run home run to bring the Rays within 1 run. This was the worst thing for the Red Sox because there was nothing to do in their clubhouse except watch the game. They came into the rain delay with a 1 run lead and a 7 run cushion and very loose. By the time the rain delay was over, they had watched the Rays crawl and slug their way back into a 1 run game. The Red Sox were going to play tight and now they were worried about the Rays instead of themselves, they almost threw the lead away in the 7th when Alfredo Aceves hit two batters, the Red Sox had the survived and everything looked good until Dan Johnson hit a home run with the Rays down to their last strike. I mean how many lives do the Rays actually have? And then the Red Sox ol’ reliable broke down again ironically with one strike to go, he gave up the lead. The kicker in it all is that Carl Crawford, the guy the Red Sox signed from the Rays failed to make the catch to save the game as the Red Sox saw all of September lived all over again in the matter of five minutes. They experienced the highs from sensing a win to the sheer agony of defeat. It was only fitting that the Rays end the Red Sox hopes as soon as the game was over and it came off the bat of a late MVP candidate in Evan Longoria.
Last night showed you what baseball is all about. The crack of the bat, smell of the leather and sheer drama of the unknown. The amazing thing is that the Red Sox had the biggest cushion last night with the Rays down by 7 and the Red Sox cruising and then in a matter of five minutes it all changed. It’s funny but we didn’t even need game 163 this year because we had enough drama last night for several seasons. Maybe baseball didn’t want to spoil us and wear us out before the postseason; we can only hope that the postseason is as good as last night was.