It’s difficult to describe last night in the world of baseball without resorting to hyperbole. Perhaps it wasn’t the greatest day in baseball history, but it was without question the craziest few moments the game has ever seen.
In a span of less than ten minutes, Jonathan Papelbon had blown just his third save of the season (and second in the Red Sox’ final home stand) and the Red Sox suddenly needed the hated Yankees to take care of the Rays in Tampa. Seconds after the score of the Red Sox game was posted in Tampa, Evan Longoria struck a home run to shallow left and the Rays had completed one of the most improbably comebacks in MLB history.
The Red Sox entered September with a nine-game lead for the American League Wild Card and they blew it. They entered the ninth inning of last night’s game with a one-run lead and they blew it.
The Rays accomplished the opposite. Trailing the Yankees 7-0 at the beginning of the eighth inning, they rallied. Down to their last strike of the game (and of the season), Dan Johnson struck a game-tying solo home run to force extra innings. Then, Longoria pulled off his magic.
ESPN has a full timeline of the remarkable events.