Three games with monster playoff implications, three walkoff wins. Holy smokes!
Mets 7, Cubs 6, Brewers 5, Pirates 1: In my book, a walkoff grand slam by Ryan Braun in the bottom of the 10th beats a walkoff single by Carlos Beltran in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets can talk about stopping the bleeding all they want, but they're in the same place this morning as they were yesterday morning. Now Milwaukee gets three at home against a Cubs team likely looking to rest its starters as much as possible while New York has to play three against a scrappy Marlins team and a Nor'Easter. For all of the fireworks last night at Shea, I still say: Advantage Milwaukee.
Twins 7, White Sox 6: I must have some kind of gift, because I have clicked to the Game Cast on ESPN.com three times this week, and all three of them ended less than five pitches later with walkoff hits (the Fielder homer the other night, the Braun homer last night, and now this one). Minnesota now has the Royals (and the lead in the division) while Chicago has the Indians.
Cardinals 12, Diamondbacks 3: And that, as they say, is that. All of the game stories today will talk about how L.A. won the division while sitting around the clubhouse on Thursday afternoon, but that's really not accurate. They won the division on September 6th, 2008. That was the last day the Diamondbacks awoke in first place, only to have their ace beaten by the Dodgers later that evening. In that way, Arizona was decisively vanquished on the field of battle, even if they did not die from their wounds for nearly three more weeks.
Red Sox 6, Indians 1: Boston could still win the division because . . .
Tigers 7, Rays 5: I have to believe that the Rays are sandbagging at this point. I mean, if they lose out and get the wild card, it means that the Red Sox will be the ones that could have to face the Twins in the first round. A Twins team, mind you, that is reminding me of those profoundly annoying 1987 and 1991 teams. Why annoying? Because the 1991 Twins beat my Braves who, in my mind anyway, were better than them. Because the 1987 team beat a Tigers team that, while not really my rooting interest anymore, still had most of the heroes of my youth playing for them and who, again, were probably better than that Twins team. I said in the comments yesterday that I was no conspiracy theorist, but I'm almost willing to buy in to the idea that the Rays are throwin' this thing so that they could go play a fat, happy, and maybe a bit rusty Angels team.
Blue Jays 8, Yankees 2: Roy Halladay wins his 20th. Which is great and all, but check out the names who played for New York last night: Gardner, Betemit, Ransom, Cabrera, Cervelli, Pavano, Giese, Robertson, Ramirez, Sanchez, and Rasner. No A-Rod, no Jeter, no I-Rod, no Damon, no Matsui, and none of the first handful of arms you'd ever see trot out of the Yankee bullpen. Halladay basically beat Scranton on a night when a couple of vets were down on a rehab assignment.
Astros 8, Reds 6: This season started out with Johnny Cueto pitching a gem against the Diamondbacks and causing many of us to wonder if he was the second coming of Bob Gibson. It ends quite differently (2.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER), and with final season stats that are nothing special (9-13, 4.62 ERA), but I've watched this guy pitch an awful lot this year, and I still think he's going to be something special. In some ways I wonder if this season won't be a blessing in disguise for Cueto, in that many of those rough outings ended early, resulting in him only throwing 171 innings this year. If he had maintained even a reasonable approximation of that hot hand all summer, you can bet that Dusty would have ridden him like a Tennessee stud.
Rockies 3, Giants 1: Jorge De La Rosa throws bullets for seven innings to beat Barry Zito and the Giants.
Angels 6, Mariners 4: Given that they've won eight of nine, I should probably take back what I said above about the Angels being fat, happy, and rusty. But I do so like that paragraph, and I always have trouble making choices as a writer.
Padres 7, Dodgers 4: Peavy's line for the year: 10-11, 2.85 ERA, 166K, 59 BB. Still, you just know someone, somewhere is going to look at that record and say "what happened to Jake Peavy?"
Marlins vs. Nationals, cancelled: Given the utter lack of gravity of this game, how long did they wait to call it off? Five minutes? Ten? Did they just agree to cancel it at around 5PM so that everyone could grab some dinner somewhere and not go through the charade of caring?