Last night, at Camden Yards, the Boston Red Sox watched their hopes for a postseason wild card bid slip away. The Red Sox, that had a nine-game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept.4, lost 20 of 27 games in September.
The night began nicely for the Bo Sox, the Yankees (who were playing the Rays last night) jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead when Mark Tixeira hit a grand slam in the second inning. Once Boston fans saw that, cheers were heard all around Baltimore.
Given that all New York needed to do was close out the game, the Red Sox only needed to beat the last-place Orioles. The Sox were one out away from a 3-2 victory (and a journey to the postseason) with Jonathan Papelbon closing the ninth. Papelbon gave up three straight hits and the Sox fell to the Orioles 4-3. With that, the Sox still had hope for Tampa Bay to lose.
All eyes in Boston turned to Tampa. Things got worse for Tampa Bay by giving up two more runs, and in the bottom of the eighth it was 7-0. However, the Rays scored six quick runs in that inning. Evan Longoria was responsible for three of those runs with a three-run shot off reliver Luis Ayala. The Rays were still trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth with one out left. Reliver Cody Wade had merely to get Dan Johnson, the pinch hitter, out to seal the game. Johnson, who only had one home run to his name, knocked a 2-2 pitch out of the park to tie the game. Next, minutes after learning that Boston had lost, Longoria stepped up to the plate. Longoria blasted a 2-2 pitch from Scott Proctor in the bottom of the 12th to catapult the Rays to an 8-7 victory.
The Rays are going to the AL Wild Card, Boston is going home.
Along with the Red Sox, the Atlanta Braves lost their postseason hopes as well. The hunt for October is always an exciting series of games toward the end of the season. Last night was one of the most exciting ends to a baseball season that I have ever seen in my lifetime.
Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com a site that helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.