What a great finish to the season. I needed a reminder that I loved baseball and there it was. Also needed a reminder why I buy MLB.tv. but watching four games on the computer at once was great.
Quick thoughts on the games:
St. Louis 8 Houston 0
The Astros are an awful team, but still a great start for Chris Carpenter. 9 innings of 2 hit ball is pretty good, even against a bad team, add in just 1 walk and 11 strikeouts, you have a great start when your team needed one. Glad that he, Scrabble and Dotel get to go to the playoffs.
Philadelphia 4 Atlanta 3 (13 innings)
I'll admit I really don't like the Braves. Between the idiot 'tomahawk chop', the number of times I was instructed on what a lousy guy Yunel Escobar was (even though I didn't ask) and Chipper Jones being, well, Chipper Jones, I feel I have enough reasons not to like the team.
All that said, I think the Braves season has been an instructional video on how not to use a bullpen. In O'Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel, the Braves had 3 excellent arms, but they pitched 78, 85 and 79 games, respectively. If you use anybody that much you have to figure they will wear down by the end of the year.
I do applaud the Phillies for playing the game like it mattered to them. Going 13 innings just before the start of the playoffs is a lot to ask of a team but they played hard right to the end.
Boston 3 Baltimore 4
Just wow. What an epic collapse for the Red Sox this month. I do feel a bit bad for Marco Scutaro, I really like the guy. He had a great September, batting .387/.438/.581. And that double play he started, in the 6th inning, was one of the best plays I've seen all year long. I thought he saved the game for the Sox. Course then he was thrown out at the plate in the 8th inning. It took a perfect relay to get him but I thought he could have read the play better.
The Orioles couldn't have picked a better pitcher to beat. I hope this ends any thought to us wanting to sign Papelbon in the off-season. I so much don't want him on my team. Add in that many relievers never recover from a loss like that and with all the money he'd want, there is no way I'd sign him. He did get to 2 out and 2 strikes on Nolan Reimold before giving up the 2 hits to lose the game. And really, Carl Crawford should have caught Andino's game winning single. But still, you could not hang a loss on a better guy.
New York 7 Tampa Bay 8 (12 innings)
Two walkoffs, less than 5 minutes apart to put the Rays into the playoffs? Between that triple play, they turn yesterday and coming back from down 7-0, I might start believing this 'team of destiny' stuff.
Evan Longoria hitting two home runs. This guy is why getting top 3 draft picks is such a big deal, you'd never be able to trade for a guy like that. And if you did, say you did, you have to give up a lot to do it. To get Brett Lawrie we had to trade away Shawn Marcum. If we had 10 years of top 5 draft picks we don't have to trade anything of value to get a terrific player.
How amazing was that Dan Johnson at bat. The guy is hitting .119 in 84 at bats this year and you put him in to pinch hit for Sam Fuld, the early season superhero. When they put him in, I'm thinking 'wow they are going all out for the 1 in 100 chance of a home run. And he hits it. That guy should never buy a drink again in Florida in his life. But then, since he had a similar homer against Jonathan Papelbon in 2008, his money already shouldn't be good in any bar in the area.
When the Yankees were up by 7, I was still holding out hold because I knew they didn't want to use their 3 good relievers, Soriano, Robertson and Rivera. Since their starter only went 2 innings, I thought 7 innings was a lot to ask of a bunch of lessor pitchers. And then, when they were in extra innings, I knew the Yankees had to leave Scott Proctor out there until the game ended, no matter how long it lasted.
The title comes from an old Traveling Wilburys song, Last Night, that I am sure I used as a title before. Anyway, use the thread for any thoughts you have about the games last night.