Thursday, September 29, 2011

Playoff Baseball... Catch It!

If last night’s finish to the MLB regular season is indicative of what’s in store for the playoffs, we, as fans, are in for a real treat!  In playoff baseball, every out is important and teams never quit. Tampa Bay, behind 7-0 to the Yankees in the eighth inning, with their playoff lives hanging by a thread, battled back, scoring six runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull within one, then, with 0.108 hitting Dan Johnson at the plate and down to his last strike in the bottom of the ninth, ties the score at 7 with an improbable pinch-hit homerun. Tampa wins the game in the bottom of the twelfth when Evan Longoria hits his second home run of the game, completing an improbable comeback in the game, and the season as the Boston Red Sox blew a nine game lead after September 3 in the wild card race when they gave up a two run lead in the ninth inning of their last game and lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-3. Meanwhile, in the National League the Braves completed a similar collapse, losing to the Phillies 4-3 in thirteen innings while the St. Louis Cardinals finished off their own hot streak, overcoming Atlanta’s 10.5 game lead in the wild card standings on Aug 25 by winning 23 of their last 31 games.  The Phillies meaningless victory over the Braves guarantees them a series against these same red-hot Cardinals where each game is sure to be fought to the last out. In baseball, unlike other sports, you can never run out of time, until that final out is made you always have a chance. This intensity is ratcheted up in the playoffs where the stakes are so high, the intensity level so strong, that playoff baseball is the most entertaining, nerve-racking, exciting sporting event there is, and I, for one, can’t wait!

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