That’s Baseball, Susan…

…as Yankee radio announcer John Sterling is fond of saying to his broadcast partner.  Live, unpredictable, unscripted drama, which is what makes sports the best kind of reality TV.

Last night, the Red Sox and Braves completed the two worst September collapses in baseball history (9-game and 8 1/2-game leads, respectively).  In less than five minutes of actual time, the Red Sox blew a ninth-inning lead to the Orioles and the Rays improbably overcame a 7-0 deficit to the Yankees to gain the AL Wild Card.

A few “fun facts” from last night:

  • The Yankees had not blown a lead that big, that late in any game since…1953!!
  • This season, the Red Sox were 76-0 when leading entering the ninth inning…until Game 162.
  • Evan Longoria became just the second player in baseball history to hit a walkoff HR in the last game of the season to put his team into the postseason.  The first?  Bobby Thompson and The Shot Heard Round The World in 1951.
  • The Red Sox started the season 2-10 and finished it 7-20; that’s 9-30 if you’re keeping score.  It also means in the 4 1/2 months in between, they were 81-42, nearly 40 games over .500, and now they’re going home.   Sweet Caroline, indeed.

Nights like last night can only happen in baseball.   As Redford said so simply yet dramatically to Glenn Close in The Natural: “God I love baseball.”

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