The Wild Card races felt a lot like March Madness. Crazy comebacks, buzzer beater-like endings and wild scenes of jubilation!
It was a night like no other in MLB history–and one we won’t soon forget–having witnessed the completion of two of the biggest September collapses ever!
What’s more, the Yankees, Red Sox and Braves were all within one out of victory, but lost.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay rallied from seven runs down. Baltimore touched up Jonathan Papelbon for just his third blown save of the season, and the Cardinals advanced behind Chris Carpenter’s complete game gem.
The last was my only disappointment of the evening. Watching a shirtless Ryan Theriot celebrate with his Cardinal teammates, fully knowing the Cubs should have eliminated St. Louis this past weekend, was somewhat irritating. But otherwise, what a terrific night for MLB and its fans.
As for the Cubs…they were anything but exciting in the season’s final game, being throttled by the punchless Padres 9-2.
San Diego hit the fewest home runs in the majors this season (91) but knocked two out on Wednesday, including a grand slam in the fourth inning against Ryan Dempster (10-14).
As usual, the lone highlight for Chicago was Starlin Castro. His 1-for-3 night extended his hitting streak to 10-games pushing his consecutive games streak of reaching base safely to 40-straight.
Castro, at age 21 years, 188 days, becomes the youngest player ever to lead the NL in hits with 207.
However, at (71-91) the Cubs end the season in fifth place in the Central, behind the lowly Pirates (72-90), and tied for the fifth worst record in baseball.
But a critical offseason awaits us on the North Side, one full of excitement as we stir with great anticipation over a new GM, and likely a new manager.
A ton of money is coming off the books that potentially could lure a much needed clutch bat, or insure the return of Aramis Ramirez, or land a top of the line starter.
Then there’s Big Z, who’s going to be dealt somewhere, even possibly to Miami to play for Ozzie Guillen.
The list goes on…
At the very least, a painfully long season for the Cubs has come to an end. No more fielding errors, no more James Russell in the rotation, no more blow-ups from Big Z.
So let’s turn up the heat on the hot stove as we wait til’ next year!