Rays Vs. Yankees: Evan Longoria Blasts Walk-Off Home Run, Tampa Wins Wild Card

Look, I don't even...there's no way I'm going to be able to do a good job with this. This was probably the most exciting night of baseball in history. Let me just give you the details.

We've already covered the Rays' comeback from trailing 7-0 in the eighth inning. That was improbable enough. Dan Johnson lined a pinch-hit, two-out, two-strike solo homer in the ninth to knot things up and force extras.

But forcing extras isn't the same as a win, and the Rays still had work to do yet. All the while, they were looking at the scoreboard and seeing Boston on top of Baltimore 3-2. As thrilling as it was to come back, the Rays couldn't afford to reflect on what they'd done.

The game settled down in the tenth. Both the Yankees and Rays got runners aboard, but both the Yankees and Rays stranded them. In the 11th, the Rays threatened by getting two aboard with one down, but Sean Rodriguez and Desmond Jennings hit into easy outs to advance the game to the 12th.

That's where it looked like the Rays were in trouble (again). With Boston still leading, Greg Golson led off with a single, and then Eric Chavez followed with another single to put runners on the corners with nobody out.

But Jake McGee got Jorge Posada to hit a slow roller to third, where Evan Longoria tagged Golson out. Chris Dickerson then whiffed, and Brett Gardner rolled over on a grounder to second to end the threat.

So it was still 7-7 going into the bottom of the 12th. And it was around then that the Tampa Bay crowd learned that Jonathan Papelbon had blown the save in Baltimore, and that the Red Sox had lost 4-3. All of a sudden, where minutes earlier it looked like the Rays were on the verge of being eliminated, one run was all the Rays needed to win the Wild Card outright.

It didn't take long. Scott Proctor struck out B.J. Upton, but then Longoria stood in, and on the sixth pitch, Longoria pulled a drive down the left field line that just escaped, and just stayed fair. It was virtually identical to Dan Johnson's solo shot in the ninth, only down the opposite line, and with this drive, the Rays won.

Longoriahr_medium 

The Rays won.

There will be no baseball on Thursday. After today, it really doesn't matter.

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