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Question of the Day
SEPT. 28, 1998. CHICAGO 5, SAN FRANCISCO 3. FOR THE NL WILD CARD.
Sammy Sosa’s 66-homer season ended with a postseason berth, in part because he had two hits and scored twice in this win over the Giants. Down 5-1 in the ninth, San Francisco actually got Barry Bonds to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out, but he was held to a sacrifice fly and Jeff Kent followed by hitting into a forceout as the Cubs held on.
OCT. 4, 1999. NEW YORK 5, CINCINNATI 0. FOR THE NL WILD CARD.
The Mets lost seven straight in late September but steadied themselves in time to force this showdown with the Reds. Al Leiter took it from there, allowing only two hits in a 135-pitch shutout.
OCT. 1, 2007. COLORADO 9, SAN DIEGO 8 IN 13 INNINGS. FOR THE NL WILD CARD.
This was perhaps the most improbable tiebreaker because the Rockies needed to go on a 13-1 tear just to pull even with the Padres. The playoff was more of the same. San Diego scored twice in the top of the 13th, but Trevor Hoffman got only one out in the bottom half _ and that was on Jamey Carroll’s game-winning sacrifice fly. Replays were inconclusive on whether Matt Holliday actually touched the plate while scoring the winning run, but he was called safe. The Rockies didn’t lose again until they were swept by Boston in the World Series.
SEPT. 30, 2008. CHICAGO 1, MINNESOTA 0. FOR THE AL CENTRAL TITLE.
The White Sox beat Detroit in a makeup game to force the playoff with the Twins the next night. John Danks pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, and Jim Thome hit a 461-foot homer for Chicago in the seventh for the game’s only run.
OCT. 6, 2009. MINNESOTA 6, DETROIT 5 IN 12 INNINGS. FOR THE AL CENTRAL TITLE.
The Twins rallied from a three-game deficit with four to play, and the drama was only beginning. Both teams scored a run in the 10th inning of the playoff, but Detroit left fielder Ryan Raburn threw out Alexi Casilla at the plate to send it to the 11th. The Tigers thought they’d taken the lead in the 12th, but with the bases loaded, plate umpire Randy Marsh ruled that Brandon Inge was not hit by a pitch from Bobby Keppel. The replay appeared to show the pitch grazing Inge’s billowing uniform. The game remained tied, and Casilla drove in the winning run with a single in the bottom of the inning.
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
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