Thursday, September 29, 2011
A wild night of baseball ended moments ago when Robert Andino doubled off of Jonathan Papelbon with two outs in the 9th to give the Orioles a come from behind 4-3 win over Boston. Just minutes later, Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria lined a home run off the Yankees' Scott Proctor in the 12th inning to give the Rays an 8-7 victory and the AL wild card berth. Not only did the Rays come from 9.5 games back to overtake the Red Sox, but they overcame a 7-0 deficit to the Yankees Wednesday night to do it. Dan Johnson homered off Cory Wade in the 9th to tie the game at 7-7.
The Red Sox were one out and one strike away from victory when Papelbon gave up an RBI double to Nolan Reimold to tie the game. Then Andino continued to be the Red Sox nemesis - he had a three run double off Papelbon in Boston and a three run inside-the-park home run the other night - with the game winner.
In the NL, St. Louis jumped all over Houston's Brett Myers in the first inning and went on to an easy 8-0 win. They then captured the NL wild card when Atlanta blew a 3-2 lead in the 9th and lost in 13 innings.
Back to the AL, the Tigers defeated the Indians, but the Rangers did the same to the Angels to capture the #2 seed. Former Angel Mike Napoli hit two home runs against his former teammates for the second straight night.
So Friday night it is CC Sabathia against Justin Verlander at 8:37 EDT. Game 2 follows on Saturday with Ivan Nova facing Doug Fister. Game 3 will be one of the triumverate of Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, and Bartolo Colon going against Max Scherzer, and if a Game 4 is necessary, the Yankees will likely bring back Sabathia on three days rest against Rick Porcello. If the series goes five, Nova will match up with Verlander to decide it all.
Let the games begin.