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Wild Finish to Baseball Season – Rays & Cardinals Clinch Wild Card Spots

In the summer no one would have questioned that the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves were in the playoffs, but everything fell apart for both of these teams in September and now they find their seasons over while Tampa Bay and St. Louis get ready for the post season.

Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images

The 2011 baseball season had one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the game.  Two teams that everyone thought were a shoe in for the playoffs now find themselves on the outside looking in, while two other teams surprised everyone with their remarkable late season comebacks.

The Tampa Bay Rays played all the way back to tie things up with the Boston Red Sox for the American League wild card and it all came down to last night.  The Rays looked to be down because the Yankees were up 7-0 through 8 innings, but the Rays tied things up to force extra innings where Evan Longoria would hit a walk off homer in the 12th for the big win in Tampa Bay.

Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

In Baltimore it would come down to late game heroics as well, but the Orioles were playing nothing but spoiler.  The Red Sox would lead the O’s into the last inning, but Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon would blow the save and lose the game for Boston.

The Red Sox Collapse goes down as the biggest collapse in MLB history, so now the 2007 New York Mets can rest easy.  Even if Boston had gotten into the playoffs, they would not have lasted as each of the other teams that are in, are far better this year.

In the National League their was another monumental collapse going on, and it would be that of the Atlanta Braves.  It was almost a mirror image of what was going on with the Red Sox.  This team could not win in the month of September, and St. Louis was hot their heals.  Last night, it was put up or shut up with both teams tied for the National League wild card.

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

St. Louis wouldn’t have too much trouble with one of the leagues worst.  They beat the Houston Astros 8-0.

The Atlanta Braves on the other hand were facing the always dangerous Philadelphia Phillies.  Atlanta had the lead into the 9th inning when the wheels came off and they end up tied with the Phillies and heading into extra innings.

The Braves would end up losing in 13 innings, and the Cardinals end up in the 2011 post season.  One of the craziest finishes baseball has had in a long time.  Lets hope that the playoff end up just as exciting as the final few games of the regular season.

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