The Pub Sports Radio Baseball Show: Game 162
On September 28, 2011, one of the best days in the history of sports, especially baseball took place. The sport went into the final day of the season with not one playoff matchup yet to have been aligned. Some teams clinched a postseason berth but the matchup was still in the air. With the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox both giving away large leads in the wild card race it allowed for the opportunity for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Rays to try and steal playoff bids. The Braves matched up with the best team in baseball at the time the 102 win Phillies while the Cardinals were pared up with the worst team in baseball the Houston Astros. The Rays lined up with the best team in the AL the 97 win Yankees while the Red Sox went toe to toe with the worst team in the AL the Baltimore Orioles.
The Braves started an hour earlier before the Cardinals allowing St. Louis to have an idea of what was going on. After the Phillies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead the Braves responded with three unanswered to take a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning. The Cardinals on the other hand was already feeling the advantage of playing the worst team in baseball putting up a 5-0 lead in the first inning to start the ballgame. Braves must have been feeling to pressure a little bit as with that 3-1 lead shortstop Jack Wilson commits an error on a routine groundball allowing the Phillies to draw within one. The Phillies would then tie the ball game at 3-3 in the ninth off of saves leader Craig Kimbrel. In the meantime, Chris Carpenter was lights out striking out 11 Astros and cruising to a St. Louis 11-0 lead while the Phillies and Braves head to the 12th inning. With the Braves having a chance to walk off Chipper Jones crushes one to the gap but Michael Martinez was able to chase it down. In the 13th Hunter Pence hits a bloop single that Jose calls Freddie Freeman out for not getting to the ball, allowing the eventual winning run to score. Freeman would ground into a double play to end the game and the Braves Season.
Red Sox had a commanding lead in the wildcard race before they fell into their September slump allowing the Rays to climb back into the mix. Rays were taking on the Yankees while the Red Sox had the Orioles. Yankees took a commanding 7-0 lead over the Rays while the Red Sox took a 2-1 advantage and everything was looking good for Boston until mother nature strike. Right before the game went into a rain delay the Orioles would even the score at 2-2 forcing the Red Sox ace out of the game. Meanwhile over in Tampa Bay, the Rays were starting an epic comeback for the ages. Evan Longoria would crush a home run bringing the Rays within one. With the Red Sox still in a rain delay, Rays pinch hitter Dan Johnson would even the score at seven just sneaking it inside the foul pole down the right-field line. With that happening, the Red Sox were set to take the field again. After going ahead 3-2 into the ninth Red Sox looking in good shape to at least force a game 163 but things took a quick turn. Jonathan Papelbon would come in and blow the save and the game as Carl Crawford misread the line drive to left allowing two runs to score and Baltimore 4-3 win. Red Sox had to have a Rays loss now. In a 7-7 game in extra innings, though Longoria did the job once more with a screaming shot down left-field line sneaking it inside the foul pole. (Listen for the reaction and why the fence is to blame)
Listen to the entire episode, as Jose lived bad memories from 2011, on Pub Sports Radio’s website. The Baseball Show will be back Saturday afternoon diving into some past history on some top old-time players. Saturday will feature Babe Ruth. Stay Tuned!