This Season Was Just Justified



This has to be one of the greatest last days of regular season baseball in a while. Two teams came back from being behind big to win the wild card all because of four games on game 162 of the season. They always say every game matters but every game REALLY mattered this season.

I’ll talk about the NL situation in a post after this one because I want to dedicate an entire post to the true Orioles Magic that went on tonight.

Pedroia hit an RBI single to take the 1-0 lead in the 3rd but after Chris Davis was walked in the 4th, J.J. Yardy (see what I did there) did what he does best and went yard to make it 2-1. Unfortunately, Scutaro scored from 3rd the next inning to tie it up on Alfredo Simon’s balk (which didn’t look like he moved an inch).

Pedroia again gave the Red Sox the lead with a solo home run off Simon in the 5th. From there, the Orioles couldn’t convert. They got men on base pretty often but just could not get that tying run in. Reynolds got thrown out at home on a ground-out when he tried to score from third on a stupid play that I assume was a hit-on-contact thing.

Then came an hour and a half rain delay and questions of what would happen if it had to be postponed started flying. However, they got started back up.

First, I want to switch over to the Yankees/Rays game that was happening at the same time. The Yankees were up 7-0 by the 5th inning in large part due to Mark Teixeira’s grand slam and a solo homer by him as well. However, after a bases loaded walk and then a hit batter with the bases loaded in the 8th, the Rays were down by 5. Still, 5 runs in 2 innings is no easy feat. B.J. Upton hit a sac fly to pull within 4 and then the man of the team, Evan Longoria, came up and hit a 3-run homer to make it a 7-6 game. At this point, I’m freaking out because I want the Rays to make it to the playoffs over the Red Sox so bad.

Bottom of the 9th in Tampa with 2 outs, Dan Johnson was put in as a pinch-hitter. On a 2-2 count, he smacked the game-tying home run to right field. Amazing! The game went into extra innings.

Back to Baltimore, top of the 8th and Scutaro singled. Carl Crawford came up and hit a deep double to left, which Reimold dived for but missed. Adam Jones grabbed it, threw it to relay-man Hardy, who threw perfectly to Wieters who got Scutaro out at the plate. O’s still down only by one run. Top of the 9th, Ellsbury reaches on an error and stole second. Pedroia singled to right sending Ellsbury to third. So we have men on the corners with no outs and Jim Johnson pitching. Ortiz grounds out and Wieters, instead of taking the sure out at first, got Pedroia at second, which sets up a possible double play. Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked AGAIN to load the bases with 1 out. And wouldn’t you know, JJ gets the 3rd string catcher (who hit 2 home runs in his first MLB start against the Orioles) Lavarnway to ground into the double play.

Bottom 9 and Birdy Papelbon comes in. We have 3 pretty big strike out targets coming up: Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds, and Chris Davis. Uh-oh. Adam Jones strikes out swinging. Mark Reynolds strikes out swinging. Papelbon’s fastball is in rare form tonight. Chris Davis hits a 2-out double! And it’s down to Nolan Reimold. You guys know how much I love this guy. On a 2-2 pitch, he hits a ground-rule double to center to tie the game at 3. Then, one of my other favorites comes to the plate, Mr. Robert Andino. He hits it to left, Crawford charges in, slides, makes the catch…but he doesn’t! Walk-off base hit for Robert Andino!!!

The Orioles win their last game of the season, take any happiness from the Red Sox and their fans that think Camden Yards is their home, and force Boston to rely on who else but their arch rival Yankees.

Back in Florida, we’re in the bottom of the 12th with one out and no one on. Evan Longoria, who hit the 3-run homer in the 8th to pull within one, is at the plate. The count goes to 2-2 and the Rays fans know the Orioles tied it up. They weren’t aware that the Orioles had won at this point but three minutes after the Red Sox lost, Evan Longoria hits a line drive to left field that barely gets out for the walk-off home run to clinch the American League Wild Card.

Can ANYONE believe this?? I sure can’t. The Orioles completely derailed the Red Sox and denied them a wild card. They killed Papelbon in this series and the one in Fenway last week. They come from behind in the bottom of the 9th. The Rays come from a 7-0 deficit in this game. They came back from a 9-game deficit in the wild card race over this month. The Red Sox complete one of the worst collapses in major league history. And all is right in the world.

I love the Orioles.