Baseball fans who yearned for drama have no reason to complain right now, as we are witnessing two hilarious meltdowns from both the Braves and Red Sox. Boston split a doubleheader with Baltimore yesterday in grotesque fashion to maintain a slim two game wildcard lead over the Rays while the Braves lost a heartbreaker to the Marlins, taking a golden axe to the gonads thanks to a two-out, two-run walkoff shot off the bat of Omar Infante. Ridiculous. Rookie closer Craig Kimbrel, who hadn’t given up a home run since May 27, has served up two in the last two days. Perhaps the September stress is winning the war inside his head? That’s a shame. With the loss and St. Louis winning in Philly, Atlanta’s wildcard lead is incredibly down to just 2.5 games. I’m officially back on the Cardinals bandwagon simply because they have fans. Sadly, this probably means they’re on the cusp of a three game skid.
Yanks 6, Twins 4 – We’ve known this for a long time, but Mariano Rivera made his title of “Best. Closer. Ever” official yesterday, breaking Trevor Hoffman’s all-time saves record of 601. He took care of business in familiar fashion with a 1-2-3 ninth and his signature non-reaction upon the final out. After being congratulated, Mo tried walking off the field but Jorge Posada pushed him back to the mound for a well-deserved ovation on his own. The stirring moment also gave the New York Post an opportunity to pen the bitingly witty headline of “History will show Yankees closer was ‘cutter’ above.” The Post did, however, provide an amazing shot of Mo and his youngest son.
Cards 4, Phils 3 — A headline I never expect to see again, ever: “Lohse outpitches Halladay.” But that’s exactly what happened. Doc went eight and allowed four runs and, inexplicably, walked four batters which is the most free passes he’s allowed in a start all season. Let’s hope to see more of this from Halladay as we head into the postseason. If Cliff Lee gets rocked in his next outing, I’ll be first to do the Bushwackers dance. And yes, Tony La Russa used four pitchers to get the final five outs because he’s more unstable and uncertain than a high school freshman going through puberty.
D-Backs 1, Pirates 0 — Ian Kennedy won his 20th game by beating up on the Pirates. He pitched eight innings and allowed just one hit on his way to striking out 12. Impressive outing for sure, regardless of the weak opponent.
Here are the pitching matchups for the baseball games that matter today:
Rays at Yankees: Wade Davis vs. Ivan Nova
O’s at Red Sox: Rick VandenHurk vs. Erik Bedard
Mets at Cards: Mike Pelfrey vs. Edwin Jackson
Braves at Marlins: Randall Delgado vs. Anibal Sanchez
So Braves fans will be rooting for the Mets and Red Sox fans will be rooting for the Yanks? Got it.
[Mo photo via Getty]