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And That Happened: Wednesday’s playoff highlights

Oct 11, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Division Series - Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees - Game Three Getty Images

I turned on the Cardinals-Nats game just before 1PM. I had baseball on my television and did not leave the house — heck, didn’t leave my little den here — for the next 12 hours and change. Two walkoffs. It was absolutely glorious. I’m half-tempted to petition Major League Baseball to expand the playoffs even further so we can have even more games packing our October afternoons and evenings.

OK, maybe not. But as the man sang, it was a good day.

Yankees 3, Orioles 2: Raul. Ibanez. What else can you say? All you can do is to grab the New York papers and see which miserable misanthrope columnists decides to turn this into a story about A-Rod sucking instead of a story about a two improbable bombs from an improbable hero. That’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Athletics, Tigers 3: The Tigers took the 3-1 lead into the ninth and faced Jose Valverde. Who had absolutely nothing, and Coco Crisp hit the walkoff single. Mercy, mercy me. Detroit may be bumming at the moment, but they do have Justin Verlander, so it’s not time to jump out of a window yet, Tigers fans.

Cardinals 8, Nationals 0: Like I said yesterday, don’t blame the Strasburg shutdown. The Nats being down 2-1 has been a total team effort.

Giants 8, Reds 3: If I would have told you beforehand that Barry Zito was going to walk three dudes in the first inning and be pulled before the end of three, you would not have predicted a Giants victory. But as everything else that happened yesterday shows us, baseball is freakin’ ridiculous.  A deciding Game 5 today.

  1. uyf1950 - Oct 11, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    There just aren’t the words to describe the Yankees win but especially Ibanez’s performance AND the guts it took for Girardi to PH for A-Rod in the 9th inning. This is what October baseball is all about, expect the unexpected. BTW, great game by both teams.

    • Old Gator - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:40 AM

      What do you mean, there aren’t words? Of course there are. How about Aaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhhh!

      • protius - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        Ahahahahaha, suck it.

      • Old Gator - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Still struggling with that mild case of Tourettes, I see.

      • protius - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:57 AM

        Still struggling with sobriety, I see.

      • Old Gator - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:01 AM

        It’s not that. I just have this motto: “Dare to Ridicule the Wretched.”

      • protius - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        My motto is: Smug, overrated hacks are a dime a dozen.

        BTW: Do you know a man named William Luhr?

    • southofheaven81 - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:40 AM

      Ibanez just walks into the highest-pressure situations imaginable and crushes the ball like it’s not even a thing.

      And he hasn’t even been THAT great this year! Apparently he just needs the entire season to depend on his at-bats, all the time.

      • leerosenthall - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:30 AM

        Rauuuuul is the streakiest player I’ve ever seen. When he’s hot, he’s HOT, and after watching him for three years in Philly, I was pretty sure he’d hit a bomb in the 9th last night, but the one in the 12th just blew my mind. It’s hard to root against the Yankees for me because I love the guy. 40 years old!

        Still pulling for the O’s, but that was some GREAT baseball. Maybe Jim Thome will be the next hero in the series!

        Kicking myself that I finally gave in and went to bed before the A’s game was over after listening/watching all four games. Sucks getting old!

  2. kiwicricket - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    An awful lot of poop in the bed after yesterdays games. Some crushing losses, but fun to watch though

    • Old Gator - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:44 AM

      That’s not poop. It’s my bowl of chocolate rocky road – I dropped it when the As rallied and forgot it was there. It was just coincidence that the dog lay down in it after it melted and was stuck to the sheets this morning.

  3. tbk201 - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:40 AM

    Kudos to MLB for scheduling a Game 5 at 10 AM/1PM on a weekday. Heaven forbid a game 4 be moved to that time slot.

    • southofheaven81 - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:41 AM

      I’m a die-hard Yankees fan, and I agree with this.

    • Old Gator - Oct 11, 2012 at 6:42 AM

      Bud Light has a clause in his contract whereby Heaven waives its right of forbiddance.

    • foreverchipper10 - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Think it will be available for streaming? I will be at work til 5 like most of the country and the game will, or at least should, be over by the time I get out.

  4. warriorking1112 - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    oh god more mob baseball would be horrid!! it says a lot if the lowest rated nfl season game still gains higher ratings than a lmao exciting world series game. baseball is a dying sport and rightfully so bc soccer is even more entertaining!! that saying cmon Nats make a come back!!!

    • ajcardsfan - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      To quote the late, great Caroll O’Connor, “Look at this: Rip Van Meathead.”

      • Old Gator - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Thanks for remembering Caroll. Late, great indeed. I can’t even begin to imagine my attitude without having studied at the feet of Archie Bunker in my youth.

  5. indaburg - Oct 11, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    I sadly fell asleep before the end of the A’s game. Damn this stupid circadian cycle. I would have loved to see another walk-off to erase the memory of the O’s uncharacteristic failings, blowing a save and then not winning an extra-inning game. The only satisfying part was seeing a member of my fading Generation X, Mr. Ibanez, make good. How old is that guy?

    • indaburg - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      Come to think of it, half the Yankees line-up is my generation. Nevermind.

      Craig, I’ll sign your petition.

  6. legacybroken - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    Verlander is the one thing giving me hope.

  7. Gardenhire's Cat - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    The A’s scored 4 last night, not sure why it isn’t showing up.

  8. kiwicricket - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Pretty poor effort by Jones on the fly ball. Totally misplayed it. Blowing a bubble while tracking it in the air probably doesn’t look all that great if you miss it by a step.

    What the hell is with the jingly car-key noise on the TBS broadcast?

    • kopy - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Super annoying and won’t go away. I remember dealing with it during the Twins-Yankees series 2 years ago, and it’s still here. No one else knew what I was talking about, and I thought it was like a dog whistle.

      TBS is all like, “Look how super cutting-edge and high tech our scoreboard screen overlay is! WHOOOOOOSSHHH-SSSCRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!”

    • moogro - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      I thought it was just my system. There’s a someone hitting a cowbell at the A’s-Tigers game that was coming through super loud and clear on my rear right speaker that I had to lower the volume on it. Strange audio for that broadcast.

  9. Francisco (FC) - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I turned on the Cardinals-Nats game just before 1PM. I had baseball on my television and did not leave the house — heck, didn’t leave my little den here Lair —

    FTFY

  10. badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 11, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    What a fabulous day/night of baseball!

    Difficult as it is to root for anything Yankees-related, I’m so happy for Ibanez — great guy, still bringing it @ 40.

  11. Alex K - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    “…and see which miserable misanthrope columnists decides to turn this into a story about A-Rod sucking instead of a story about a two improbable bombs from an improbable hero.”

    You mean like HBT own Matthew Pouliot?

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/10/so-will-alex-rodriguez-hit-third-again-on-thursday/

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      Well, we did have a couple of posts about the homers before that. It’s a legit secondary story. Just not the lede.

      • Old Gator - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        Lead. How did you make it into law school without passing Englisht?

  12. paperlions - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    The Nats being down 2-1 has been a complete team effort….but the effort has come from a Cardinal team that has easily the best offense in the NL and a very deep pitching staff with a ton of power arms. The Cardinals have been the best NL team on paper all year.

  13. randygnyc - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    I didn’t have time earlier to explain how the events last night unfolded for me. I’ve never had such a baseball “experience” like this before. Very,”trippy”.

    The backstory here is that I watched the Yankee game until the start of the ninth, alone. It was at that time, my 11 year old daughter asked me to help her study for a test. AT TEN O’CLOCK AT NIGHT!?!?!? Anyway, I went into her bedroom and turned on the Yankee game, with no sound. Top of the ninth passes with not much happening and I suppose as there’s no volume, my concentration had shifted more to my daughters math preparation. Bottom 9 comes and Raul Ibanez comes up. I knew he was pinch hitting, but didn’t realize it was for Arod. They then show what I think is a replay home run from recently when ibanez hit a ninth inning shot against Oakland. Thought they were setting up his at bat. It took me until after he circled the bases to realize, OMG, this si live!!!! My daughter takes a 5 minute break so we can rewind the DVR and rematch with sound. Outstanding. Fast forward to the 12th inning. Were almost done studying. It’s after 11. Way past her bedtime. Raul comes up again. I’m not paying attention, that closely. My attention is divided. I look up to see them show a replay of his 9th inning shot. What a great moment. It’ll be remembered forever I thought to myself, if the Yankees win. So I see him round first. He pumps his fist. Hey, wait a minute. He didn’t do that in the 9th. The Yankees didn’t rush the filed from the dugout, either. Holy shit!! That was live?!?!? I missed another Ibanez blast, thinking it was a replay. (I’ve done it before, seeing a home run and thinking it was a replay from sometime previously. But never twice, in consecutive at bats, in extras, during the playoffs, etc).

    So it was like the twighlight zone for me. Deja-Deja Vus. Great baseball moment that will be remembered in Yankee lore, forever.

  14. sophiethegreatdane - Oct 11, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    This O’s fan tips his hat to Mr. Ibanez. Well played, sir.

    Still, I have to wonder why everyone else is so surprised that Ibanez pinch-hit for ARod? It seemed obvious to me — was Girardi really going to send Mr. Slumptober up there to hack away? The only players in bigger post-season slumps are Jones and Weiters, and in Buck’s first major failing this year he couldn’t figure out how to get Ibanez into *his* lineup for one of them. Oh well.

    Were I Buck — and I grant you that I am neither that calm, wise, or educated on baseball matters — I think I would have left Miguel Gonzales in the game until he showed signs of weakening. The young man was throwing bb’s out there last night.

    Yankee stadium seemed…..quiet. Right up until Ibanez’s first homer. I guess Yankee fans are bored when the hated Red Sox aren’t in town.

    I find it hard to place blame or point fingers at anyone outside my own home. This loss falls squarely upon my shoulders, and for that I issue a sincere apology to the Orioles and my fellow fans. Something told me to wear my orange Ripken jersey last evening, but it’s a gut feeling that I ignored. That jersey is 2-0 this postseason, and hasn’t given up a single ninth-inning home run. I’ll be starting Orange Ripken Jersey on short rest this evening.

    Still, there is at least one more October baseball game for me and the Baltimore Orioles, and that my friends is always a good thing. Orioles Magic. Feel it happen.

  15. deathmonkey41 - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Ibanez has really benefitted from leaving bad influences like Chooch behind and going to a place where he can share a clubhouse with team-first guys like A-Rod.

  16. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Two truly horrible things happened last night, which made a Yankers hater like myself just plain miserable.

    First, one of my favorite players over the last 3 years in Philly bails out those bumbs with not one but two bombs to win game 3, and for all intents and purposes, the ALDS, for the stinking Yankers. (As a quick aside, if you remember the Phillies/Cardinals game 5, which most Phillies fans have probably erased from their memories, the ONLY GUY who came close to putting runs on the board was Rauuul in the bottom of the 4th when he hit it to the wall in right field. It was the only time I stood up that entire travesty of a game)

    Then, the stinking Tigers blow the game 4 lead so they won’t get Verlander for Game 1 against the stinking Yankers in the ALCS.

    Worst case scenario…A’s vs Yankers. Might as well just hand them the trophy if that happens. Ugh.

  17. deathmonkey41 - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    “the ONLY GUY who came close to putting runs on the board was Rauuul in the bottom of the 4th when he hit it to the wall in right field.”

    Was that the shot that completely fooled the cameraman and he panned up like it was going to be an upperdeck shot- making everyone that was watching think it was going to be a 3 run blast, but then wound up being caught before the warning track?

  18. APBA Guy - Oct 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    A few weeks ago I mentioned that an A’s comeback of 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th was the best A’s win since 2006.

    Erase that.

    Some players are saying that the Mausoleum is the loudest, rocking-est crowd in MLB. Probably because it’s been so long since it was, truly, a Raiders game in green and gold. But for the past two weeks, since the A’s came home intact from the Road Trip of Death, the crowd has been fabulous. The only way they could improve is by chanting “Suck it, Wolff” after every win. But that’s just me.

    I’m a little fuzzy this morning, had a tough time getting to sleep after this one. But I’m smiling. At least until I see Verlander this evening.

    Today, every game is a potential elimination game. Hopefully each one will be exciting, close, and well-played. I may have the flu starting around 1:00pm ET.

    And may Jarrod “The Real Deal” Parker have the game of his young life.

  19. moogro - Oct 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Ibanez should have been pitched low and away, especially in the 12th. Walk, fly ball or base hit. You just knew it was going to get crushed when the ball was halfway to the plate.

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