Sports Weekend Wrap-Up
By Jeff Dickson, Director of Food & Beverage
What a weekend it sports it was. If you missed any of the action, I’m here to highlight the biggest news and best games, and recap the football picks Andrew and I made on last Friday’s podcast. But I’ll warn you…it was ugly.
The weekend got kicked off with an incredible night of baseball that featured not only two excellent series ending games, but one of the best and most improbable playoff comebacks ever.
The first game of the evening was a tight 3-1 New York Yankees defeat of the Baltimore Orioles to win what had been the most evenly matched series so far this post season. CC Sabathia got the win for NY, pitching a complete game and holding off the Orioles as they threatened multiple times in the late innings.
But as good as that game was, it was no match for the drama of the series deciding NLDS Game 5 match-up between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals. Washington got off to a quick start, scoring 3 runs in the first off of Cardinals star pitcher Adam Wainwright. They ended up chasing Wainwright in the third inning, en route to taking a 7-5 lead heading into the 9th inning.
The Nationals, in front of their home crowd, brought in their fantastic young relief pitcher Drew Storen to finish out the game. Storen had appeared in only 37 games during the season, but pitched exceptionally well, to the tune of a 2.37 ERA.
No one, I’m sure, was ready for what would happen next. The Cardinals, of course, came back. But not only did they tie the game, they took the lead. A two run lead. They scored 4 runs in the top of the ninth, two runs each on base hits by Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma.
The Nationals failed to score in the bottom of the ninth and, just like that, their season was over. I’m sure it will be a while before they get over the loss, but it was the end of a very special season for the Washington franchise.
The only game on Saturday was Game 1 of the ALCS between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. It was a long, 12 inning game which was ultimately won by the Tigers. But not before a little drama.
Bullpen meltdowns continued to be the theme of the weekend, as Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde gave up 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth as the Yankees sent the game to extra innings. The final blow of the inning was a two run, game tying home run by Raul Ibanez. It was yet another clutch homer by the Yankee who also huge home runs in the ALDS against Baltimore. The Tigers were stunned, and it looked like Yankees were in business.
What ended up happening, however, was much worse than just a loss for NY. Not only did the Tigers score twice in the 12th, and ultimately win the game, but the Yankees captain and shortstop, Derek Jeter, broke his ankle and is out for the rest of the playoffs. Losses are tough, especially in extra innings, but as long as the series isn’t over there is always that next game to rebound. It’ll be hard, though, to rebound from the loss of Jeter.
Sunday featured two more close games, as the Tigers took a 2-0 series lead with a 3-0 win over the Yankees and their struggling offense. Not as much drama as in game 1, although there was bit of controversy over a blown call that went in favor of the Tigers.
The NCLS got started with the Cardinals beating the San Francisco Giants 6-4 to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The Giants then evened the series up on Monday night, beating the Cardinals 7-1.
Like most football weekends there were some good games, some great games, and some blowouts. There were also a few surprises, like the New England Patriots losing to the Seattle Seahawks or two of the top teams, the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers getting trounced at home by the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, respectively.
But the biggest shock, the best game and the most drama all came on Monday night. Fast forward to half time of Monday’s game when the Denver Broncos went into halftime down 24-0 to the San Diego Chargers. Enter: Peyton Manning. The Broncos, not at all sharp in the first half, were led by in the second half by their quarterback who went 13-14 for 167 yards after halftime as Denver scored 35 unanswered points to beat the Chargers 35-24.
Manning and the offense couldn’t win the game all alone, of course, and the Denver defense helped out in a big way. The Broncos intercepted Chargers QB Philip Rivers four times, including one for a touchdown by Chris Harris.
The two teams are now tied for first in the AFC west with 3-3 records.
On the Weekly Crawdads Boil Podcast last Friday, Andrew Buchbinder and I made picks for three NFL games, as we will do each week for the remainder of the season. Each week we’ll keep track of how we did right here, even when the picks go as poorly as they did this week.
(Winners in bold)
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans
Jeff is entering his third season with the ‘Dads and second as the Director of Food & Beverage. The Oneonta, NY native joined the Crawdads in 2011 as a concessions assistant, and has previously worked with the Oneonta Outlaws as a sports marketing intern. Jeff is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and is a die-hard fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and North Carolina Tar Heels.