Sep 29, 2011, 5:55 AM EDT
Orioles 4, Red Sox 3: Congratulations to Robert F***ing Andino on the creation of his new middle name.
Cardinals 8, Astros 0: No doubt about it. Brilliant performance by Chris Carpenter. A two-hit shutout. 11Ks. Yes, the Braves collapsed, but don’t undersell the Cardinals’ surge. It takes both, and it does a disservice to the Cardinals to make this all about the Braves gack-job.
Phillies 4, Braves 3: And it was a gack-job, but let’s not be content to call this some episode of mass choking. There were real people responsible here. The blown save by Craig Kimbrel in the 9th? The broken-bat single by Hunter Pence in the 13th? Both are on Fredi Gonzalez in my view. Kimbrel was murdered this year. Pence should have been walked. I can think of a half dozen games that Fredi’s small-ball, small-brain approach cost the Braves in 2011. And sure, any fan can say the same of his team, and I could say that of any Bobby Cox-led team of the previous 20 years. But Cox wouldn’t have let his team be as tight as these Braves have been the past three or four weeks. Just don’t see that ever happening. It’s been real, Atlanta, but you didn’t belong in the playoffs in 2011. It’s pretty easy to see that now.
Brewers 7, Pirates 3: Milwaukee wins its 96th game, which is a franchise best. Zack Greinke finishes with an 11-0 home record this year. Which is pretty neat. 0 for 4 night for Braun, so I guess the fact that Jose Reyes left the game early didn’t matter.
Rockies 6, Giants 3: The Giants world title defense is over. Can they all shave now?
Nationals 3, Marlins 1: Stephen Strasburg‘s late season return is like that episode where Q sends the Enterprise to another quadrant to see the Borg, just as a tease of what they’ll have to face in the future. Everyone in the NL East is gonna hate that dude for the next decade.
Tigers 5, Indians 4: Nice, but the Rangers win means that Detroit has to go to New York to start the ALDS.
Mets 3, Reds 0: No one cared at all about this game outside of Jose Reyes taking himself out of it to guarantee his batting title. How very game-162.
Athletics 2, Mariners 0: Gio Gonzalez starts the season the way he began it in spring training: dominantly. Of course on this night he could have thrown a 27-strikeout perfect game and it may not have led any of the highlights shows. Thems the breaks.
And another season ends. The day-by-day ho-hum of this feature is no longer operative as we head into the Everything Friggin’ Matters postseason.
I always have mixed feelings about this. The playoffs are great, sure. And last night — which was basically playoff baseball — was fantastic. Maybe the best night of regular season baseball I can ever remember.
But to me at least the beauty of baseball is all about those lazy Tuesday nights in June when nothing really matters. Baseball as a constant. As something we enjoy all evening but then let go when we go to bed because, hey, there are 15 more games tomorrow, and they’ll help us to forget our worries.
But that all happened already. It will happen again next year. Now it is over, and it’s time for the edge-of-your-seat stuff.
It’s been great seeing you all here each morning for our usual nonsense. Thanks for all of the fun folks.
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