Is it me or has this October baseball already given us some of the most wonderful baseball in a long time?
KC vs Oakland – Wild Card game: Royals score in the bottom of the 9th to tie and down by one in the 12th, score two to win. Fans can hardly believe it.
KC vs LAA – First two ALDS games: Royals score one in the 11th and hold on to win the first game away. Then, in the third extra inning game in a row, the Royals score three in the top of the 11th to beat the Angels again, this time 4-1. KC fans believe it it. Angels’ fans stunned. K-C up 2-0.
O’s vs Tigers – Other first two ALDs games: Baltimore scores eight in the 8th, and the power hitting Tigers lose the first one 12-3. Camden goes wild. Then, in the second game, the O’s are down 6-3 in the 8th and score four in that inning to win 7-6. Fans go nuts, again. O’s up 2-0.
Giants vs Pirates – Wild Card game: Giants get a grand slam in the fourth (first ever by a shortstop) and four-hit the Pirates to win surprisingly easily, 8-0.
Dodgers vs Cards – First two NLDS game: Probable 2014 Cy Young & MVP winner Clayton Kershaw gives up eight runs in 6 2/3 innings, and the Cards win it 10-9 in the bottom of the 9th. Second game, Dodgers eke out a 3-2 victory, after some terrific pitching, thanks to a home run by Kemp. Series tied 1-1.
And then Giants vs Nats – Other first two NLDS games. Aging Peavy out pitches the young Strasberg, and the Giants beat the Nats 3-2 in Washington. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, after getting 20 out in a row, Nats’ pitcher Jordan Zimmerman (his previous game a no-hitter) walks a batter and is pulled. The Giants then get two hits off closer Drew Storen (remember him from two years ago not being able to hold a two-run lead in the playoffs?) to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th. Eventually (after nine more innings), the Giants win it with a home run in the 18th inning (longest game, time wise, in playoff history). Giants up 2-0.
Ten games. Seven decided by one run. Four in extra innings. One in the 18th inning. One in the bottom of the 9th. And even the three that were not close we’re surprising victories.
And we’re only part way into the Division Series playoffs.
Maybe it’s just that my beloved Red Sox are not in it, and so I can watch and listen differently.
And another observation: So many good articles about these games, some written within the hour that a game finished.
Check out this morning’s NYTimes‘ Tyler Kepner’s In October: Exceptions Rule, Most of the Time (“Nobody knows anything…”).
Or Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell’s, Washington Nationals Discover How Tough the SF Giants Can Be in October, which begins with “Losing to the San Francisco Giants in October is like being beaten to death with wet noodles.” And it just gets better.
Or how about Boswell’s post this morning, Could Jordan Zimmerman Have Made History in Game 2? We’ll Never Know ?
You’ve probably seen other good ones (pass them on to all of us in the Comment section), but the best ones seem to take what happens and push our thinking further.