Skip to content

Rays advance to postseason with 12th-inning win, Red Sox loss

Sep 29, 2011, 12:14 AM EST

B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez AP

The Rays beat the Yankees 8-7 in the 12th inning on an Evan Longoria walkoff homer Wednesday, while the Red Sox fell to the Orioles 4-3 after Jonathan Papelbon gave up two ninth-inning runs.

Tampa Bay’s win came after a furious six-run eighth and a Dan Johnson homer with two outs in the ninth ruined a 7-0 Yankees lead.  Left with just Scott Proctor — their 11th pitcher of the game — in the bullpen the Yankees lost it in the 12th.  Proctor did an admirable job for someone with an 10.80 ERA, pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings prior to Longoria’s homer.

In Baltimore, Papelbon, who worked 2 1/3 innings on Sunday and had a difficult ninth inning Tuesday, appeared to simply run out of gas.  He gave up two doubles with two outs, tying the game.  Robert Andino then hit a low liner to left that Carl Crawford appeared to have a play on.  Of course, Crawford, as he has all season long, came up just a little short and had no chance of throwing out Nolan Reimold at the plate after playing the one-hopper.

The loss completed a season-ending run that saw the Red Sox go 7-19 and lose a nine-game lead over Tampa Bay.

The story from the Red Sox fan viewpoint will be how the Orioles gave it their all and the Yankees, Mark Teixeira excepted, did anything but. It’s also worth noting how terribly Terry Francona used his bench down the stretch. The Red Sox didn’t send up one pinch-hitter in this game.  Francona allowed J.D. Drew to face a lefty with two men on in the fifth (he flied out to end the inning) and he let Ryan Lavarnway go 0-for-5 (with nine men on base) even though there were lefties to hit for him against right-handers late.

So, it’s the Rays who move on to face the Rangers on Friday, while the Tigers will travel to New York. Stifled for seven innings — they managed just two hits against the dregs of the Yankees pitching staff — the Rays, to their credit, did their battling back under extreme duress against genuine major league pitchers.  Luis Ayala, who was torched in the eighth inning, entered with a 1.64 ERA in 55 innings, and Cory Wade, who gave up the run in the ninth, had a 1.85 ERA.  They were the Yankees’ low-leverage guys this season, but both had been excellent.

For the Red Sox, it it was Papelbon’s last appearance with the team, it was a dreadful one. He and David Ortiz are among the team’s key free agents, and it’s unclear if the Red Sox will want to commit to making Papelbon one of the game’s highest-paid closers for the next three or four years.  Papelbon had just one blown save all season until taking two in his last three chances, both of which resulted in losses.

Francona’s status is also very much in doubt. Letting go of their two-time World Series-winning manager would by a drastic step for the Red Sox, but it’s one that could be considered. Technically, they wouldn’t even have to fire him, since his contract is up anyway.

  1. channingtaintum - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    What a night! Congrats Rays, you definitely earned a spot.

    • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:44 AM

      Are Sox fans now Rays fans? So weird. If they are, within a span of 3 minutes, they went from hating the Rays and rooting for the Yankees, to rooting for the Rays, and hating the Yankees.

      As a Rays fan, I was fully prepared to root for the Sox in the post season when it was 7-0 and 3-2. They now became the underdog, just like my team.

      I ask this truthfully. Any Sox fans out there have a rooting interest, other than “Anybody but the effing Yankees?”

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:48 AM

        I’m fully rooting for the Rays now.

        They’re an epic pain in the butt since 2008, but how can you not respect what Maddon has accomplished?

        I want them steamroll their way through the World Series.

      • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:44 AM

        Aces,

        I have no problem with someone who changes allegiance once or twice in their lifetime. Sometimes people move, sometimes they follow their favorite player.

        But over the last week or so, we have watched as you climb up on the fence and position yourself to jump on a bandwagon.

        You’d trash the Red Sox, then show support for them if things turned back in their favor even slightly, then support the Sox, then not support the Sox and now you declare that you are rooting for the Rays.

        No offense, but you are the worst kind of fan – a fair weather fan – which is no fan at all. You’re either in or your out. And you are clearly out. So enjoy your ride – but don’t expect the welcoming committee when you try to hop back over the fence.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 5:04 AM

        Well that is pretty unfair. Everybody has a favorite team. However, when postseason comes, only 25% of our favorites make it. Does that mean I can’t hope one team beats another when my team is eliminated, or do I have to suffer baseball nostalgia? If you suffer from baseball nostalgia, I feel sorry for you. I beleive any good baseball fan cares who wins a series, whether it be to satisfy a belief in their gut, enjoying the miscerabless of others, or just a liking of other players.

        After the Rays lost last year, I rooted for the Gianst. I liked Posey, Lincicum, Cain, and for a brief moment, I cheered them on. I am glad I had a rooting interst, because unless the game is amazing, I am not entertained. I have been in your shoes though. Many superbowls I couldn’t give 2 flyin f__ks about who won or lst. The times when I had an obvious favorite were a lot more fun.

        Rooting for another team when your team essentially no longer exists isn’t the same thing as adultery. Covet thy neighbor all you want. Go Rays!!!!

  2. Reggie's Bush - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    So no one will ever have to mention the 2007 Mets collapse anymore, right? RIGHT?

    Today was freaking awesome.

  3. trotnixonisbestnixon - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    Y’know, I obviously can’t speak for all of ‘Red Sox Nation’ (I don’t particularly like the moniker; it makes me feel arrogant as a fan), but I’m alright with it. After watching the Sox stumble and struggle down the stretch I don’t think the playoffs would have been anything more than a disaster and an embarrassment, especially against the elite of the American League. I’ll keep this simple and give credit where credit’s due; congratulations to the Rays on their resilience and persistence down the stretch, and to Joe Maddon for once again keeping Tampa in line with the ‘Beasts of the East.’ Now do us a favor and knock the Yanks out in the ALCS ;)

    • humanexcrement - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:24 AM

      The Red Sox are once again a second-rate team whose fans only joy is delighting in the misfortune of others, hating the Yankees and commiserating together. Thank god, things are back to normal in baseball…for now.

      • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:15 AM

        humanexcrement:

        I think your name really tells us all we need to know.

    • baseballisboring - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

      I’ve been emotionally preparing myself for this for the last week or two, and at this point I’d have to say I agree with you. This September took at least 5 years off my life, with the way things were going for this team I don’t think my blood pressure could’ve handled seeing the Sox in the playoffs. The Rays will be fun to watch.

    • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:22 AM

      Dude, that is my favorite post of the night. You are a true baseball fan, and I respect the hell out of you for it.

      As a Rays fan, I genuinely appreciate your candor and honesty. With the Rays down 7-0 and the Sox up 3-2, I was fully prepared to make a very similiar statement. I respect the Sox, and all they accomplished. Them and the Rays both started 0-6, and came back to be better than every other 0-6 team in MLB history. The impossible happened, both tonight and this month. It has nothing to do with desire, coaching, or baseball gods. Something unexplainable happened to the Sox.

      What is known though, is the same healthy lineup the Sox had in mind for this year, will be deadly next year, provided they don’t foolishly get rid of the cogs that could make this team great.

      Good luck next year

  4. grudenthediva - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    THEY’RE CHOKING UP IN BOSTON

    WHOOOOA-OOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOHHHHH

  5. nesuperfan - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    It pains me to say this, but I am glad the Sox lost. I really did not want to see them fall apart for another three, or maybe more four games. They were just too painful to watch.

    That has to be THE most epic collapse ever in the regular season.

    • nesuperfan - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:21 AM

      And Congratulations to the Rays, and may their fans enjoy a great run in the post season.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

      The Braves might have something to say about that.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:29 AM

      It was epic indeed, but a little perspective here. The ’51 Dodgers, ’64 Phillies, and ’78 Red Sox were no slocuhes at collapsing. Back when there were no Wild Cards.

      • buddaley - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:02 AM

        Not really comparable. In the case of the Dodgers and Red Sox, the story was as much or more the tremendous run by the Giants and Yankees as it was Bkln. and Boston slumping. In fact, the Dodgers were 19-13 in Aug. and 14-13 in Sept. and won the last two games of the season to get a tie with the Giants.

        The Red Sox are noted for the Boston Massacre in Fenway and then lost 2 of 3 to NY later in Sept., but they also went 19-10 in August and 14-15 in Sept. More impressive, they won 8 straight games at the end of the season to force a tie with NY and overall 12-2 to end the season before the one game playoff.

        The Phillies’ collapse was more comparable as they lost 10 straight to fall out of first place, but even then, they were 12-19 in Sept. The Red Sox record was much worse in the last month of the season, and unlike the Dodgers and Red Sox of 1978 could not finish the season with a win to at least force a playoff.

        TB earned the playoffs by playing well down the stretch, and of course coming back tonight, but they did not play .800 ball (20-5) like the Giants or .733 ball (22-8) like the Yankees or even .724 ball (21-8) like St. Louis in 1964.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:26 AM

        They did play 1.000 ball against the Yankees, the best team in the AL, in their last three games though.

      • buddaley - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:52 AM

        Oh my, in no way was I trying to demean the Rays’ achievement. They did not just sweep the Yankees but took 6 of 7 from Boston down the stretch. The Rays were terrific; they played about .630 ball in Sept., and in this last series and last game they were magnificent.

        I was simply pointing out that it is a mistake to compare the Boston collapse to that of the Dodgers or 1978 Red Sox. Those teams played decently in September and were overcome by teams that played extraordinarily well, better than .700. Had the Red Sox played as well as those two or even as did the Phillies in 1964 they would have run away with the wild card. Had they played .300 ball in September they would have made it to the play-in game.

  6. trbowman - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    lol @ the Red Sox

  7. jhorton83 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:21 AM

    That was an amazing night of baseball.

    • bigharold - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:55 AM

      Absolutely! I was watching at least two games most of the night, at times three. I doubt the RS or Braves fans would call it great but it was, .. just not the desired outcome.

      The next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing. The games tonight is why most of us waste so much time between April and October.

  8. seanx40 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    You don’t think that was deliberate? That the Yankees carried them until the Red Sox blew it?

    • joshftw - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:10 AM

      Joe Maddon definitely owes Joe Girardi a fruit basket or something. Showalter too.

    • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:35 AM

      You guys are either foolish or ignorant. The Yankees played 8 all stars tonight, and started 7 of them. Arod would have made it 9 but he was a late scratch. If anything, Yankees fans should be bitching that their starting 8 for game 1 of the post season played tonight, risking injury for a meaningless game. They also threw every pitcher who was available minus Rivera.

      The O’s played their first meaningful game in a decade.

      If the Situations are reversed, is Youk, Ortiz, Gonzo, Paps, Bard all playing, or taking a day to heal before the playoffs? Why didn’t you complain last week when the Yankees trotted out a AAA club against you, and the O’s played the Rays like it was a playoff series?

      Blinders+Double standards=bitter fans

      • joshftw - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:32 AM

        If the Yankees were eager to win this game, Scott Proctor would not have been pitching the final 2.2 innings.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:12 AM

        Who else would have been. This was a try out for the final 24 man roster heading into the post season. There was a reason 2 starting pitchers were used in a game started by a AAAer. Who else was left on the bench.

        The Rays scored 7 of their runs on 2 guys who had thrown over 50 innings apiece and had an era under 2. I call bullshit on your part. Absolute bullshit. Girardi wanted to get his studs into a 7-0 game in the 8th, not some scrubs. How could he, you, baseball historians, know the Rays would come up with the greatest comeback in baseball history. He threw Proctor because he had to! There was no one else.

        Rivera had been ruled out, and if you think the Sox use Paps, Bard, Beckett or Lester in the same situation you are a liar. That is who the Yankees had left in the pen. Their #1, #2, and closer. None of them Would be unavailable in game 1 of the post season because of a meaningless game in the regualr season.

        Complain. Go ahead. Just know this: The team the Rays beat tonight, 7th inning replacements and all, would crush the Orioles, whom you went 2-5 against in the last 2 weeks of the season.

  9. yankeesgameday - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Curious how the Yanks plan to put their game faces on now for the Tigers. I dont care that the regulars didn’t play, they have to be affected by the way the team rolled over for Tampa.

    I don’t know if there is a switch to flip big enough to dispel all the bad juju around this team right now. The Tigers were my nightmare scenario for a best of five.

    I wad hoping for the back end of the Angels rotation for the first two games in Yankee stadium.

    This aint heaven, this sucks.

    • daisycutter1 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:44 AM

      What the hell is wrong with you? Man (or woman) up. This is glorious.

      The Yankees scored 5 ER – 6 runs total – in 4 innings against David Price…in a must-win game for the Rays. What happened after that has no bearing on what happens in the postseason.

      The Tigers will be tough, but so will Texas. At least the Yankees playing in October. Unlike Boston. :D

    • joshftw - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:58 AM

      True, Justin Verlander is scary good. But the Yankees have touched him up this year. So it’s not impossible.
      And behind him Doug Fister and Max Scherzer are both good, but not great.

      So as long as the Yankee starters don’t let things get too far out of hand, the Tigers shouldn’t be that much of a threat.

    • yournuts - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:20 AM

      The way the Yankees rested their pitchers is awesome. These last few games meant nothing to the Yankees, they secured Home Field advantage and no one got hurt. Everyone is rested and ready to go. After leading 7-0 the Yankees pulled their starters so they wouldn’t get hurt.
      The Red Sox are responsible for their own position. They shouldn’t count on the Yankees to help them out. By the way I loved the way the Orioles played against the Red Sox the last few days. They show heart and made their year fun. Sorry Red Sox fans your team just couldn’t cut it this year! Better luck next year. Can’t wait to hear the sports shows in Boston tomorrow. Your worst nightmare, losing the playoffs in an epic collapse?

  10. urteamsux52 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    see ya next year boston all time greatiest claspe in mlb history the curse is on you all need a closer couldnt close the O’s out to go to the playoffs you all deserve it ha ahaha

  11. bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    First of all – Congratulations to the Rays fans – your team full earned this and the Red Sox fully unearned it. This will be an end of the season that will go down in infamy.

    I’m not superstitious (unless there is a chalk line in my path, or a trip to the playoffs on the line – in those cases I full subscribe to Karma).

    So FU Dan Shaughnessy!

    As the Rays were loading the bases, NESN Eye Candy Specialist, Heidi Watney, was hosting some fill-time for the rain delay and Shamelessly was the guest. Watney – to her credit – pointed out the Rays had loaded the bases with no outs in the 8th, when Shamelessly emphatically states “one thing we have eliminated is that the Red Sox season won’t end tonight if the Orioles come back and win this game,” and followed that up with “don’t worry, the Rays aren’t coming back from a 7-0 deficit with only an inning and a half to go”.

    Minutes later it’s 7-6 with Damon At Bat with a runner in scoring position. Damon popped out, but 7-6 with the season potentially on the line heading into the bottom of the ninth is a whole lot different then 7-0 heading into the ninth with the season on the line.

    Shamelessly made both statements with a sh*t-eating grin that says everything we need to know about the guy – no matter what he says (and ultimately happens between the Rays and Red Sox) he’ll have a great column to write to tomorrow.

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

      I call it “CURLY’S CURSE”

  12. funkygoorilla - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    The 2011 RedSox, not even boat loads of cash could help em! Ha!

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:28 AM

      The cash jabs run weak.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:53 AM

        Yep. The Rays proved cash isnt necessary, 3 out of 4 years now. As a fan of a small market club, I have convniced myself that extra 2 first rounders is a fair compensation for losing a type A, and no one should complain, big market or small.

      • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:38 AM

        When the Rays win a World Series, not before, they will have proven that they can win a World Series without a big budget.

        Of course their formula is only sustainable as long Friedman keeps hitting Home Runs with picks and pick-ups.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 4:35 AM

        Bigleagues,
        I respect your posts. I really do. But I hate having to defend Friedman as if he gets “Lucky”. Lucky would be if Burrell did in Tampa, what he did in San Fran. Burrell might have been the worst free agent signing in history, and I say that seriously. There have been some really bad signings, like Soriano, Dunn, Lackey….. that costs the team money, but not playoff games. Burrel might have cost the Rays a chance at the World Series. As far as I know, no players individual failure has affected his team’s ability to make a midseason move as much as Burrell did to the Rays. Because Burrel ate up as much payroll as he did (12 mil on a 31 mil team), the Rays couldn’t even trade for a roll filler last year.

        You talk about luck as if it is only one player. Kotchmann was signed to a minor league deal. Carlos Pena was signed to a minor league deal. Joaquin Benoit: almost league minimum (signed for over 8 mil per year with tigers) Rafael Soriano: low level trade (signed 10+ mil contract) Joel Peralta plus 2 other bullpenners for Jason Bartlett,

        Kyle Farnesworth: Tean option for 2012 (Obviously picked up)
        James Shields: team option thru 2013 (obviously picked up)
        Ben Zobrist: 4.5 mil per thru 2013
        Wade Davis: 2.5 Mil thru 2017
        James Shiels: team option thru 2013

        Unloaded Kazmir’s enormous salary, and actualyy got respectable players in return (Alex Torres, Sean Rodriguez)

        In a salary dump: Matt Garza for Chris Archer, Hak Ju Lee(all star mvp) Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer, Robinson Chirinos. The latter 3 are on the Rays 40 man roster, and the former 2 will soon be stars.

        Desmond Jennings, Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellikson, John Jaso, Matt Moore: 4th Round or later.

        And finally, in my opinion, literally the greatest contract for a team in history, Evan Longoria: Signed thru 2014 for 3 mil per, 2 additional years of a team option: This year Arod made 32 million dollars. By paying him owed money last year, Longoria made less that 900 thousand this year.

        Like I say to Hellickson haters: He sure seems to get lucky a lot!!!!

      • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        hittfamily,

        Where do I call Friedman’s moves “lucky”? Show me anywhere I have done so. Please don’t cast me among the more reactionary, less cerebral critics.

        Is there some luck involved in some of the moves he has made? Yes. But that can be said to one degree or another about every GM.

        Is making the playoffs 3 times and winning a division title over the last 4 years lucky? No.

        But since you brought it up let’s look at some of the players you mentioned.

        First of all, I completely agree with you on Burrell. I didn’t understand anyone giving him that money.

        I thought the Red Sox dumped on Pena way too soon, but based on his previous production he was a no brainer for the Rays. The thing is, you won’t get 46 or even 36 HR HR too many times out of released FA’s for relatively low salary.

        – Kotchman: started out like a bat out of hell . . . and reverted back closer to the real Kotchman as the season wore on. I believe he can hit .300, but he is no power guy.

        – Farnsworth – there is a reason why Maddon has yet to name him his Closer. The guy is a head case and has ultimately imploded everywhere he’s been. He’s a 50/50 proposition (13th year and had about 6-7 solid seasons) and the Rays I’m sure feel fortunate to have had 1 of them.

        – Shields: I love him. Wish he were a Red Sox. Not drafted by Friedman. signing him for 4 years plus options – no brainer that every other good GM in the league does.

        – Zobrist: what can I say? One of the great finds in recent memory, if only for his versatility. Big kudos are due to AF, but somehow I doubt he saw two 20+ HR seasons from him.

        – Davis: Drafted in 3rd Round (not 4th) and just ahead of Josh Johnson, btw. Finding good or great players in the 4th is hardly unheard of. He’s been good, and his ceiling remains high but he’ll be 27 next year, we’ll see if he finally lives up to hype.

        – Chris Archer: everything I’ve read about him hails his raw stuff . . . but his numbers are scarey – as in potential disaster scarey: in 584 minor league Innings his career BB/9 is 5.3 – including this years 5.4 BB/9 to go along with a 4.43 ERA/4.53 FIP/1.61 WHIP – not gonna fly in ML’s.

        – Hak Ju Lee: OK prospect with Cubs – suddenly Keith Law has him in mid-season Top 10 Prospects in baseball. Something doesn’t add up. He may have a plus glove, but we’ll have to wait and see if his bat translates to the Majors.

        – Jaso: He’s 27, can’t hit and is nothing special defensively. Am I missing something?

        – Hellickson and Moore are both studs and will extend the Rays run as they blossum

        – Longoria: clearly one of the best young players in the game – and the best 3B in the game at only 25. But, uh, here’s the rub . . . unless Sternberg changes the way he conducts business – Longoria’s departure clock from Tampa is ticking louder and louder. EL hadn’t even played a month in the majors when he signed this deal. Of course he’d commit to a 6-9 year deal that guarantees him $44 million – that’s security almost no young players ever get the chance to earn. For example, who could have known that Baldelli would come down with a mitochondrial disorder?! That guy looked to be on his way to super stardom. But like I said, Longoria’s the best at a very thin position – and if that continues, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t – he will be vastly underpaid by year 6 of this deal (even at $11 mil per for years 8 & 9). If, come the end of 2013, the Rays don’t rip up the remaining 3 years and offer him something approaching what he’s worth things could get ugly real quick.

        In summary – here is the perspective that is needed on Friedman and how he goes about his job. Because Sternburg is cheap, pocketing revenue sharing money as profit (that teams like the Red Sox and Yankees earn for them) instead of spending it on payroll and player development, Friedman is forced to forgo elite college talents and target HS School Seniors or 1-year JuCo players with good to high upsides earlier (who would normally be drafted in the teens by other teams).

        AF and his scouting staff have done an exceptional job at identifying these diamonds in the rough, drafting them and developing them. The trade-off is they have to wait longer for the pay-off because unlike college players who are far more polished (but also more expensive to sign). HS & JuCo players essentially have to start at the ground floor.

  13. schlom - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    It really turned quickly on Papelbon, he threw fastballs by the first two batters but the next two teed off on it.

    Also, how about the backup play by Adam Jones on the Crawford double? Maybe every other CF makes that play but Jones was there very quickly it seemed.

    • bigharold - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:03 AM

      “It really turned quickly on Papelbon,…”

      He did throw 25-30 pitches last night. Ironically, he had the type of year that should get him another contract with the RS but after blowing the game tonight and blow the games in last year’s playoff he might be headed for the door. Epstein better have a plan B if they let Papelbon walk because there is nobody in house to replace him.

      • yournuts - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:24 AM

        Daniel Bard is supposed to be his replacement. He doesn’t look good at all down the stretch.

  14. hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    That is the most incredible thing I have ever seen. 7-0 in the 8th. Down by 1 with 2 outs, 2 strikes in the 9th to a late call up, currently hitting .108 and he hits one off the foul pole.

    Walk off homer in extras to put them in the playoffs, moments after the Sox lose on a walk off.

    Amazing. I can not believe what I just witnessed.

    9 down with 27 games to go to two teams with 5 times their payroll. Forget Moneyball, make this movie. Oh my god, I am stunned.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM

      That is the most incredible thing I have ever seen. 7-0 in the 8th. Down by 1 with 2 outs, 2 strikes in the 9th to a late call up, currently hitting .108 and he hits one off the foul pole.

      SABR-nerds, eat your heart out. 9 times out of 10 this kid strikes out and ends the game. But this one time….

      • jimbo1949 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:58 AM

        But this one time….
        Dan Johnson killed the Yanks last September with 2 – 2 run homers to win a game.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:01 AM

        Dan Johnson is a killer in clutch situations. Ask 08 Papelbon and ‘Atchison of the Sox. If clutch is measurable, Dan Johnson is the most clutch hitter of all time. Horrible player, with 6 walk offs against division rivals.

      • clydeserra - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:02 AM

        dan Johnson is a SABR guy. HRs and walks.

        Probably a beter choice than fuld right there.

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:11 AM

      You guys obviously missed games 4-7 of the 2004 ALCS.

      The Rays own the Greatest Comeback to Make the Playoffs. But the “most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in baseball?” I mean your excited, but I’m just sayin’ a little perspective is in order. In the end, you haven’t won anything but a chance to win the big prize.

      You mean to tell me this is better than beating the Red Sox in the 2008 ALCS to win the first pennant in franchise history?

      No way.

      • hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        I remember that series. Wasn’t that back when the Sox used to make the playoffs?

        That was very improbable. However, if you gave me one dollar, and I had to bet one team would win team would win 4 in a row, or 1 team would win a game down 7-0 in the 8th , I’d bet the 4 in a row every time.

      • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        Hahaha! The Rays were up 3-1 in 2008, btw.

        Last night was exciting from a baseball perspective no matter the results. But dramatically overcoming the Red Sox aside, the Rays are one of 8 teams in the post-season. No doubt I’d rather have my team in the playoffs each season, and its a wonderful accomplishment.

        But getting to the playoffs and competing for the WS trophy is what the season is all about. What the Rays accomplished in September means almost nothing now. Everything is reset to zero.

        No baseball fan will forget this last day of the season for the rest of their lives – especially Rays and Red Sox fans. Ultimately, however, it means very little unless your team wins the World Series (just ask the 2001 Mariners), which by all means, if things break right, the Rays can do.

        But no way would I ever place a regular season team accomplishment like winning the Wild Card, over a post-season accomplishment like winning the AL Pennant or World Series.

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:51 AM

      You don’t think Friedman is using ‘Moneyball’ principles as the basis of his system?

  15. joshftw - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    God, the Red Sox can’t even buy a title right!

    “You’re welcome, Tampa Bay!”
    -Joe Girardi

    All kidding aside, congrats to the Rays! As a Yankee fan, I couldn’t be happier about the Red Sox collapsing as they did.

  16. craggt - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    By far the craziest day of baseball I’ve ever seen.
    Rays come back from 7 down to walk off in extra innings.
    Red Sox lose in the bottom of the ninth in a game they had been winning.
    Phillies beat the Braves in extras to end their season.
    Tigers take the lead on a go ahead homer in the 8th after being 3 down to keep hope alive for home field advantage.
    Rangers score break a 1-1 tie in the 9th inning to clinch home field advantage.

    Bravo MLB Bravo.

  17. ny82jy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    To red sux nation and all of their fans. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    U guys are a joke!!!! What happened to world series favorites lol. That was one of the most enjoyable moments i have had since ive been a fan of baseball. Red sux will never never come close to being what the yanks are. In closing have fun watching the yanks in the playoffs again this year. Hahahahahahahaha. Boston Red Chokes!!

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:42 AM

      5 years of being a baseball fan isn’t a very big sample size.

  18. natstowngreg - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    In the immortal words of the late, great Jack Buck, I can’t believe what I just saw.

    • fearlessleader - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:46 AM

      Hope Jack HAS been watching the Cards this past month. He’d be proud.

  19. granted42 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    What an amazing night of baseball!! Congrats to the Rays!!

  20. cur68 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    My friends. I have returned. Filled to the brim with good food, gin and baseball. The carcasses of the Braves and The Red Sox, strew the field. Soon the bald vultures of fate will descend and gorge their gizzards full of the tasty, aged flesh of one L. Jones, one J. Lester. The tender young sinews of boys known as Kimbrel, Uggla, Scutaro & Pedroia, ah, yes.

    No Thursday playoffs, alas, alas. Only the bare bones of two mighty teams, who fought through much to even be here at all, to pick over. I shall miss the madness. The sheer lunacy. The hand wringing and the illiterate posts of the trolls.

    Now we have only the post season to look forward to.

    Bring it on.

  21. bmoreballers - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Let’s go o’s!!

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:00 AM

      They gone

  22. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    So I forget how these unwritten rules work. Now that Ellsbury doesn’t play for a postseason team, does that mean Dan Johnson is the MVP? WAIT, don’t give me the ol’ ‘thumbs down.’ I’m only kidding, everyone knows it is Longoria.

  23. dailyrev - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    I wonder if this will add fuel to the Yanx-Sawx rivalry. Yanx refused to use Robertson, Soriano, or Rivera. Now granted: Francona is already on record (Tuesday) as having said that the Yanx had earned the right to make whatever decisions they make in the last game at TB. But still, it has to stick in their craw that the Yanx couldn’t get one inning out of any of those 3, before it went to extras. It could be one of those things that’s remembered when they play again next year.

    Meantime, Yanx have their own problems. Next pitcher they see is JV.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:49 AM

      Now why would the Yankees tank the game?

      I’ve heard people saying that all night.

      To “stick it” to the Sox? ARE YOU KIDDING?

      They’re professionals…they’re not immature dick-waving morons like the bulk of their respective fanbases.

      They play to win every game.

      And another point: who would the Yankees, logically, rather face? An enfeebled Sox or a young, hungry TB?

      I thought so.

      So, the “tanking” conspiracy theory, while interesting, doesn’t stand up upon closer inspection.

    • daisycutter1 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:50 AM

      Why should the Yankees use relievers that will likely pitch Friday in game 1 of the ALDS against a tough Tigers team? Because the Sox may get angry next year? That’s absurd.

      • joshftw - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:06 AM

        It makes total sense for the Yankees to tank the game as they did. The Rays have momentum right now. But the Red Sox are still overall the more talented team. They may be (or were, now) in a terrible slump, but slumps can turn around on a dime. Momentum is a lot easier to stop than talent. The Yankees decided to let these games go based on that idea.

        And the “conspiracy theory” totally holds up.
        A Bullpen game
        The AAA lineup playing.
        Mariano being nowhere in sight
        Scott Proctor pitching the last few innings.

        If that’s not throwing a game, I don’t know what is. I just can’t believe it took Tampa so freaking long to win it.

    • jimbo1949 - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:05 AM

      More likely to stick in the craw of the Red Sox was their epic failure. Their fate was within their own grasp, and they dropped it.

    • yournuts - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:30 AM

      Who cares what the Boston Red Chokes think! They made their bed let them sleep in it this post season.

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:44 AM

      The only issue I have with Girardi is the way he used the bullpen. Other than that, I don’t fault him for anything else he did. Rays didn’t cave and kept fighting.

      The only thing that would add more fire to the rivalry is if the Yankees somehow manage to win the big one.

  24. aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    That was an amazing, if heartbreaking, five minutes of baseball.

    Honestly, the entire time I was watching, I just had a bitter smirk on my face…no swearing, no fist-pounding…just a knowing, cynical smirk…

    Because it HAD to happen. The meltdown needed to be completed…and they completed it in epic fashion.

    Congratulations to the Rays, the far better, grittier, gutsier team. I hope they win it all now.

    The Red Sox are now a worldwide laughingstock and they deserve every bit of it.

    • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:47 AM

      Wait, am I missing something? Aren’t you a Red Sox fan? Have some modicum of dignity man.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:55 AM

        Of course I’m a fan…I’m a big one, but I’m also realistic, and I have no desire to mince words or to give Yankee fans the opportunity to gloat and revel in the pain of a Sox fan’s feelings right now.

        The Rays are just plain gutsier than we were. We were given EVERY chance imaginable to seal this damned up, and we blew EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

        I don’t think it’s undignified to acknowledge that they got outclassed this year.

      • bigleagues - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:57 AM

        Uhhh, yeah, but it is undignified to suddenly start acting like a Rays fanboy and trashing the Sox. I expect some Rays and Yankees fans to tease and ignore the many factors that went into this teams epic fail. I don’t expect that Red Sox fans to declare their full support for a division rival.

        Be a baseball fan, enjoy the playoffs, but to state that you are now fully supporting the Rays – I mean what else does that mean other than you are openly a fair-weather fan?

        Enjoy your bandwagon, but I for one will take your Red Sox support with a grain of salt moving forward.

  25. Dug - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    I, uh, well, don’t want to rain on the Yankee parade, but now you get the Tigers. The pitching rich Tigers. You have no chance with your staff. Y’all should have been hoping and praying not to get the Tigers. You got ‘em by the tail now. I am going to enjoy this beat down. Tigers in 4.

    • yournuts - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:31 AM

      At least the Yankees are playing someone. Bring them on.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Kang (2734)
  2. W. Myers (2489)
  3. D. Ross (2103)
  4. C. McGehee (2093)
  5. W. Middlebrooks (1939)
  1. J. Shields (1835)
  2. T. Tulowitzki (1816)
  3. J. Upton (1805)
  4. D. Haren (1788)
  5. M. Scutaro (1720)