The word ‘unbelievable’ does absolutely no justice to what took place last night. Hollywood could not write a better script. Commentators and analysts alike were speechless and could not exactly describe what they had just witnessed but knew immediately that it was a special night in sports. The Boston Red Sox blow a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th inning and the Tampa Rays overcome a 7-0 deficit in extra innings to beat the New York Yankees. It didn’t matter who you were a fan of (other than Sox fans) last night because the stars aligned and something we will probably never see again took place. A rain delay and extra innings caused both games to end almost simultaneously and both in dramatic fashion.
This was beyond the ‘bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, with 2 outs scenario.’ This was playoff spot on the line, a team in the midst of self destructing, and a city that wouldn’t give up. Tampa fans had their eyes glued to the out of town scoreboard with fingers crossed, hoping the Red Sox would somehow blow a lead with their closer, Jonathan Papelbon, on the mound. As I was switching back and forth between games, I watched as the Orioles tied the game on a hit and knew that the Tampa fans were going to go crazy. Sure enough the place erupted. Then, $142 million outfielder Carl Crawford couldn’t make a diving play and the Orioles won the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the 9th inning. I switched right back to the Tampa game waiting for the scoreboard to glow. Sure enough, the fans went so crazy that Evan Longoria had to step out of the batters box to take in what was going on. Tampa had a chance…
Literally 3 minutes later, Longoria made contact with a ball that looked like might only be a double off the wall but somehow landed on the opposite side of the yellow line. He said it himself, that was probably the only place in the park that the ball would’ve gone out. Instant chills. The way everything went down last night was something that is hard to explain unless you are a sports fan and were actually watching. I had no interest in any team playing but I understood the impact of it.
Now this brings up today’s question. Who had a bigger meltdown? The ‘heavily favored to win the World Series’ Boston Red Sox went 7-20 down the stretch and blew any chance they had at the playoffs. This is not even considering the dramatics of last night when they blew a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th inning to the last place Orioles. We also cannot forget the ’04 Yankees who were up 3 games to none over the Red Sox to go to the World Series. A comeback of this magnitude had never been done before in baseball and also ended the 86 year curse in Boston. Who you got?