Let’s get started with the only non-suspense filled game. The Cardinals blanked the Astros last night 8-0 behind ace Chris Carpenter and a five run explosion in the first inning off former Phillie Brett Myers. This game started an hour later than the other three but ended a solid 45 minutes before any of the other three ended. More here.
The Phillies and Braves went at it last night too and they needed a little bit more than nine innings. The Phillies got a quick run in the first but the Braves responded in the bottom half to tie it at 1. Dan Uggla hit a two run homerun in the third inning to give them a 3-1 lead. Tim Hudson looked good until he ran into trouble in the seventh. The Phillies got a run in the seventh then Chase Utley came through with a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the ninth. In the thirteenth, Hunter Pence came through with a huge infield single that brought home Brian Schneider. David Herndon closed the door in the home half and the Braves, thanks to the Cardinals win earlier, were eliminated from playoff contention. More here.
Moving on to the Red Sox-Orioles. The Red Sox and Orioles were playing a back and forth game through the first couple of innings. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia seemed to be the spark that the Sox needed driving in the first run in the third, then hitting the go ahead home run in the fifth. Then came the hour and 26 minute rain delay. The Red Sox came back from the rain delay and weren’t the same. They were getting outs when needed but the pitchers were putting runners on base. Heading into the bottom of the ninth with a 3-2, Jonathan Papelbon came on. He got two quick outs then Chris Davis doubled down the right field line. Nolan Reimold, with two strikes and two outs, doubled into left center to drive in Davis to tie the game. Robert Andino then singled to left that hit Carl Crawford’s glove and that drove home Reimold as the Orioles pull out the 4-3 win. More here.
The Yankees and Rays game was a little different. The Yankees jumped out to a seven nothing lead and had all but shut down the Rays until the eighth inning. Johnny Damon lead off with a single. After another single and two hit batsmen, the Rays were finally on the board. The Rays cut the lead to 7-3 when Evan Longoria stepped up and hit a two out three run home run to cut the Yankee lead to 7-6. In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees got the first two outs then, with two strikes and two outs (notice a theme here) pinch hitter Dan Johnson hit a solo home run down the right field line to tie the game. It would remain that way until, three minutes after the Red Sox lost, with one out in the bottom of the 12th Evan Longoria hit a solo homerun to left field to win it for the Rays and they clinched the AL Wild Card. More here.