Wk 26: Down to the last strike... season ending. Heartbreak only remains.
The incredibly improbable? or the cruelest version of an old script? Cursed fate rules.
New York Yankees (96-61) --> (97-65) wk 1-4
Tampa Bay Rays (87-71) --> (91-71) wk 4-0 6
Boston Red Sox (88-69) --> (90-72) wk 2-3 7
Toronto Blue Jays (80-78) --> (81-81) wk 1-3 16
Baltimore Orioles (67-91) --> (69-93) wk 2-2 28
2 outs, 2 strikes... bottom of the 9th. We've all played that in our backyards as kids. The thrill of victory? ..or the agony of defeat. Walk off win or slump off defeat.
Wednesday night, it didn't just happen beyond all likelihood, it happened twice. Rays down 7-0 in the 8th, a 9th inning HR to tie, an extra inning walk off winner. The Red Sox up 3-2, best closer on the mound, 2 strikes, 2 outs, ...then bang: 2 runs, game over, season over.
On Sept. 3rd, odds of Red Sox reaching the playoffs? 99.6 %
Odds of Red Sox winning Wed. in the 9th? >>> 95.3 %
Odds of the Rays coming back from 7-0 in the 8th? .3 % (99.7 against, 300 to 1)
Odds of a ninth inning hit by the Rays Johnson, 2 outs, 2 strikes? BA was .108, 1 hit in 45 ABs with 2 strikes, a 2% chance)
Odds of a rain delay in Boston, allowing the Sox to watch the Rays unlikely comeback? long and spooky.
Overall probability of all these things happening that night together? One chance in 278 million.
Like flipping a coin and having it land edge on standing up. Twilight zone odds.
But that doesn't add in the old destiny - the heartbreak that Boston knows all too well. If the gods wrote the script, it would be as cruel as possible, as last minute as the 9th on the last day, as story book as 2 strikes, and as ironic as the last hope of a one game playoff saved is dashed 3 minutes later when the Rays pull off an impossible comeback.
Babe, Bucky, Buckner, Boone, Baltimore.