There have been an awful lot of games going deep into the night lately. First, there was last week’s 1-0, 16-inning classic between the Rays and Red Sox. Then there was Monday’s Royals-Red Sox game, delayed at the start by rain and then extended to 14 innings, the last few somewhat comical (but painful, for a Sox fan.) But last night’s Braves-Pirates epic took the cake. The Pirates scored twice in the first and once in the second, and Atlanta tied it up at 3-3 in the bottom of the third…and then neither team scored until the 19th, at which point all chaos broke loose. With one out and runners on second and third in the bottom of the nineteenth, Scott Proctor hit a grounder to third which was easily handled and thrown to home plate in plenty of time to nail the runner. Proctor actually fell down exiting the batter’s box, and Pirates pitcher Daniel McCutchen tried to tell his catcher to throw to first for the inning-ending double play (something that should’ve been impossible if not for Proctor tripping)…only to find that the runner from third, Julio Lugo, was called safe. I’m sorry, but there’s no way Lugo was safe. The reaction to this play has been swift and furious all across the internet.
On the flip side, Rangers 20, Twins 6. The Rangers become just the third team to score at least 3 runs in each of the first five innings. Michael Cuddyer pitched the eighth inning for the Twins, loading the bases but not allowing a run. This was truly hilarious to watch unfolding.
Well…obviously not. No black burn (did you catch that pun in the last entry?), no RBI crown theft, no runs at all for Minnesota. 1-0 the final score, in true Chicago fashion–a solo home run, courtesy of Jim Thome. Fellow 38-year-old Ken Griffey Jr. made a game saving defensive play in the fifth inning, throwing out Michael Cuddyer at home plate. Such a shame, really–Minnesota was the better story, thanks to their big off-season trade with would-be first-round opponent Tampa. Joe Mauer went 0-for-3 but retains the batting crown.
Bonus blackout: Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, scoring all of their points in the fourth quarter in a 14-13 victory over the Florida Atlantic Owls, the game-winning touchdown coming with no time left on the clock. Teams utilizing the blackout go 2-0 on the night, and now it’s time for “There’s Only One October!”