MLB.com Games of the Year


MLB.com Games of the Year
MLB.com Games of the Year
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  • Episodes

    • Episode 167

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/30/08: White Sox Clinch!

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 30th, 2008: Minnesota Twins 0 at Chicago White Sox 1 F -- As recently as last Thursday, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf didn't think Tuesday night's celebration at U.S. Cellular Field would be possible. But there was Reinsdorf standing in a jubilant White Sox clubhouse, champagne-stained and smiling, after his team's 1-0 victory over the Twins. Tuesday's tiebreaking Game No. 163 officially locked up the 2008 American League Central title for the White Sox, with the team clinching at home for the first time since 1993. "After we got swept up there, I thought we were dead," said Reinsdorf, after watching his team's lone 1-0 victory this season. "We beat three different teams in three days. Thank God for the Kansas City Royals."

    • Episode 166

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/28/08: Shea Stadium Finale

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 28, 2008: Florida Marlins 4 at New York Mets 2 F -- Shortly after this latest and final defeat, the rather apt conclusion to an unfathomable demise, the Mets kept themselves busy selecting adjectives to explain what no one completely understood. "Frustrated," was what David Wright chose, and perhaps that's most apt. The Mets' 4-2 loss to the Marlins on Sunday left him and his teammates rightly frustrated, victims yet again of something beyond the grasp of even their baseball understanding. "Heartbroken," Ryan Church selected, and that one also seemed to fit. Blowing a 3 1/2-game lead with 17 games to play could humble even the proudest Mets, especially once viewed through the prism of last season. After the last out in Shea Stadium history was recorded at 5:05 p.m. ET, the Mets brought out many of the players who have donned the orange and blue in the last 45 years to give the old ballpark a final farewell.

    • Episode 165

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/28/08: Brewers Clinch!

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 28th, 2008: Chicago Cubs 1 at Milwaukee Brewers 3 F -- CC Sabathia strapped a whole city to his broad shoulders and carried it to the postseason. Ryan Braun provided the last big push. That's right, Brewers fans, for the first time in 26 years, your team is October-bound. Sabathia made his third consecutive start on three days' rest and worked all nine innings in the most clutch pitching performance in Brewers history. Braun put the team over the top, blasting a tie-breaking, two-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning for a 3-1 win over the Cubs that helped the Brewers win the National League Wild Card. That matter was settled about 30 minutes later, when the Marlins finished a 4-2 win over the Mets, giveing the Wild Card to Milwaukee and sending the thousands of fans who had remained glued to their seats at Miller Park into a frenzy.

    • Episode 164

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/27/08: Phillies Clinch!

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 27th, 2008: Washington Nationals 3 at Philadelphia Phillies 4 F -- With Pat Burrell's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, scoring Chase Utley with run No. 1, the crowd stirred. When Carlos Ruiz lofted another sac fly to right three batters later for run No. 2, the buzz grew louder. Jayson Werth's homer in the fifth produced a noticeable crescendo. But when shortstop Jimmy Rollins made a dazzling diving stop on a rocket struck by the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman, flipped to Utley from his knees, then watched the game-ending double play to its completion, the crowd and the players just lost it. With Lidge's 41st save in the books, the celebratory pile began at the mound and shifted to the spot near where Rollins gloved the season and wrapped it a complex bow. The Phillies' second straight National League East title -- their first back-to-back division championships since taking three in a row in 1976-78 -- didn't come easy. Still, they're going to the playoffs.

    • Episode 163

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/24/08: Padres at Dodgers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 24th, 2008: San Diego Padres 4 at Los Angeles Dodgers 12 F -- The Dodgers are only a magic number of one away from clinching the first title of the Torre Era and Wednesday night, while still working to finish off the current task, began preparing for the next. Hours after Arizona lost again in St. Louis, the Dodgers pounded the Padres into submission, 12-4, with home runs from Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra and a decisive six-run eighth inning. They earned their title Thursday when the D-backs lost to the Cardinals 12-3, clinching the NL West for Dodgers.

    • Episode 162

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/23/08: Indians at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 23rd, 2008: Cleveland Indians 4 at Boston Red Sox 5 F -- With the thirst for postseason champagne lingering around the Red Sox for a second straight night, not even overwhelming American League Cy Young Award favorite Cliff Lee was going to prevent the corks from popping. The Red Sox truly earned their 5-4 victory in this Tuesday night clincher against the Indians, getting to the normally dominant Lee for two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth. Now that they've solidified their fifth postseason berth in the past six years, the Red Sox can go about the business of trying to become Major League Baseball's first repeat World Series champions since the 2000 Yankees. "It feels great," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "It's probably a little different each time, different emotions, but it certainly doesn't become less enjoyable or less satisfying, and it's nice to know that we have more baseball to play. We'll see how the week unfolds and keep everybody healthy, feeling good, and try to win, and see what happens."

    • Episode 161

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/20/08: Cardinals at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 20th, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 4 at Chicago Cubs 5 F -- The Cubs can't make up for 100 years without a world championship just by winning the National League Central, but it's a start. Alfonso Soriano drove in two runs, and Ted Lilly executed a perfect suicide squeeze and notched his career-high 16th win to lead the Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday that clinched the division for the second consecutive year. It was party time in Wrigleyville. The sunshine-splashed crowd of 41,597 pushed the season home total to a club-record 3,259,649. And that's just a fraction of the championship-starved Cubs fans Lou Piniella has encountered in his second season in Chicago. He's tried to harness the expectations. Yes, this is the longest drought in professional sports, but Piniella wants the 2008 Cubs to be judged on what they've done this year, not carry the burden of what they haven't done in the last century.

    • Episode 160

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/21/08: Orioles at Yankees

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 21st, 2008: Baltimore Orioles 3 at New York Yankees 7 F -- Eighty-five years of memorable moments and indelible achievements at Yankee Stadium have been book-ended by Babe Ruth's home run to christen the building and Mariano Rivera's final pitch to close it. Rivera recorded the final out in the history of the Bronx's storied Cathedral on Sunday, inducing a ground ball to first base that put the finishing touches on a 7-3 decision against the Baltimore Orioles, ensuring that Yankee Stadium went out the same fashion it came in -- with a win. "It was emotional -- it was a great night," Rivera said. "It's something that I'll never forget. I was thankful for the opportunity to be on the mound for the last out." The Stadium's last batter was Brian Roberts, who chopped a tight shot down the first-base line. Cody Ransom gloved the ball and ran it to the bag himself, handing the ball off almost immediately to Rivera for safekeeping. The longtime closer said that he was holding it for Yankees principal owner George M. Steinbrenner, who watched the final game from home in Florida.

    • Episode 159

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/20/08: Rays Clinch!

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 20, 2008: Twins 2 at Rays 7 F -- The Rays made history with their win over the Twins, clinching Tampa Bay's first playoff berth in club history in front of fans at Tropicana Field. Carlos Pena, Fernando Perez and Cliff Floyd fueled the offense, and Scott Kazmir shut out Minnesota through six innings on five hits.

    • Episode 158

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/16/08: Red Sox at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      October 16th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 1 at Tampa Bay Rays 2 F -- Go ahead and beat the Rays, and beat 'em up bad. But you better show up the next night, because they aren't going anywhere. A night after taking an ugly 13-5 loss to the World Series champions, the Rays played beautifully in a 2-1 win over the same Red Sox in front of a crowd of 32,079 on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. "I believe in these guys, and I believe they believe," manager Joe Maddon said. "And that matters. If you have that inner resolve and faith among the group, you can rebound from negative moments. And if you don't have that, then you can not. "We've done it several times this year, and I have all the faith in the world in those guys in that room out there. I believe." The win gave the Rays (89-60) a one-game lead in the American League East over the second-place Red Sox (89-62), with one contest remaining between the two clubs on Wednesday.

    • Episode 157

      MLB.com Games of the Year: Big Z's No-Hitter

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 14th, 2008: Chicago Cubs 5 at Houston Astros 0 F -- The only thing that frustrated Carlos Zambrano Sunday night was his at-bat in the seventh inning. He struck out and looked as if he were about to snap the bat across his knee. But he stopped himself. "I was feeling too good to do that," Zambrano said with a smirk. "I saw Lou's face. I said, 'No, not today.'" Zambrano remembered in time that he's a pitcher first. He looked it. Making his first start in 12 days, the right-hander threw his first career no-hitter and the first by a Cubs pitcher in 36 years as Chicago beat the Houston Astros, 5-0, in a makeup game played in front of a very pro-Cubs crowd of 23,441 at Miller Park. "Carlos made it special for them and for us," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said.

    • Episode 156

      MLB.com Games of the Year: K-Rod Saves No. 58

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      -- On an evening in which all eyes were focused on Francisco Rodriguez breaking the single-season saves record, that would not have been possible without a monster game at the plate from fellow Venezuelan Juan Rivera and a solid pitching performance by Jon Garland. Rivera, starting in place of Vladimir Guerrero (right knee) in right field, exploded for a 4-for-4 night with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored. He also tied a club record with his three doubles, a feat that has been accomplished by an Angel four times this season. Rivera tied the game with a two-run homer in the second and put the Angels on top for good with an RBI double in the fourth. With a sellout crowd of 43,757 on its feet and flashbulbs circulating through Angel Stadium to freeze the moment in time, Francisco Rodriguez calmly did what he has done 57 times before Saturday night. He threw a wicked 3-2 changeup that Raul Ibanez swung through with runners at second and third in a 5-2 game, leading the emotional closer to drop to his knees and point to the sky after picking up save No. 58 of the season. With that pitch, Rodriguez now held the single-season saves record, breaking a mark Bobby Thigpen set with the White Sox 18 years ago.

    • Episode 155

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/11/08: Mariners at Angels

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 11th, 2008: Seattle Mariners 4 at Los Angeles Angels 7 F -- For Francisco Rodriguez, a World Series champion at age 20 in 2002, records are made to be broken, but rings are forever. Having matched Bobby Thigpen's single-season saves record on Thursday night, nailing down No. 57 in a 7-4 victory over the Mariners at Angel Stadium, K-Rod put it in perspective. After Jered Weaver, recovered from cuts to two fingers on his pitching hand, had worked six scoreless innings and the Angels had a seven-run lead with a five-run sixth inning, K-Rod thought he would have a night off in the afterglow of the American League West title clinching on Wednesday. "Tell you what," he said, "I'd trade the record for a ring. To win a championship, not every year you can win a championship. That's what I'm here for, and that's what I really want now.

    • Episode 154

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/10/08: Yankees at Angels

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 10th, 2008: New York Yankees 2 at Los Angeles Angels 4 F -- In an Angels clubhouse loaded with big-name, big-money performers, Dustin Moseley and Robb Quinlan quietly go their own way, rarely attracting attention. On Wednesday at Angel Stadium, the soft-spoken duo emerged in starring roles in a 4-2 victory over the Yankees that became the American League West title-clincher an hour later when the Mariners held off the Rangers in Seattle. This touched off a boisterous clubhouse celebration complete with the customary champagne and beer baths. The Angels' fourth division in five seasons was the earliest AL West clinching in history. The Majors' first postseason entrant, manager Mike Scioscia's troupe now will play out the schedule with the mission of finishing with the AL's best record to guarantee home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

    • Episode 153

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 9/06/08: Padres at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      September 6th, 2008: San Diego Padres 0 at Milwaukee Brewers 1 F -- The sting Ben Sheets felt in his fingers was representative of how tough San Diego Padres starter Jake Peavy can be. By the time the numbness subsided, Sheets showed that he had brought plenty to the table, too. The Brewers right-hander overcame a minor injury scare to trump Peavy in a classic pitchers' duel, finishing off his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory on Saturday. Sheets allowed five hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in the gem of a complete-game outing. But Sheets vs. Peavy sure made for one of the night's premier pitching matchups, and it lived up to its billing. Three weeks after Peavy (9-10) clipped Sheets in a 3-2 Padres win in San Diego, the two met again at Miller Park before Milwaukee's 40th sellout crowd of the season.

    • Episode 152

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/29/08: Mets at Marlins

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 29th, 2008: New York Mets 5 at Florida Marlins 4 F -- Mere seconds were all the ball needed to clear Dolphin Stadium's right-field fence, slicing through hours of frustration just as effortlessly as it cut through the sticky South Florida air. In a season of doubt, Carlos Beltran had hit a no-doubter. Which, in the same sudden fashion, was followed by massive waves of doubt. Beltran's grand slam hardly seemed to matter in the bottom of Friday's ninth inning, when Jorge Cantu was threatening to steal this win with every foul ball he hit. But each one of those balls stayed foul, and the Mets stayed on top, producing a 5-4 victory over the Marlins in the unlikeliest of fashions.

    • Episode 151

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/26/08: Mets at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 26th, 2008: New York Mets 7 at Philadelphia Phillies 8 F -- Forget the myriad details that preceded the final exhilarating moment when the Phillies, gasp, somehow actually won Tuesday's game, a triumphant 8-7, 13-inning win over the Mets in five hours and 17 minutes. To the front of your memory, let the image of Chris Coste lacing a game-winning single over a drawn-in outfield -- and the mob scene that followed -- sit for the next half-day. Now realize these teams are scheduled to do this again Wednesday. Whether the retelling of Tuesday's win begins with the rally-starting double by pitcher Clay Condrey, one of the two-run homers clubbed by Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins, or Eric Bruntlett's game-tying double in the ninth -- made possible by the first third-base appearance by catcher Carlos Ruiz -- it's going to end with the Phillies a half-game ahead of the Mets in the National League East.

    • Episode 150

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/24/08: Dodgers at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 24th, 2008: Los Angeles Dodgers 2 at Philadelphia Phillies 5 F -- In listing the impact of Pedro Feliz's return to active duty, manager Charlie Manuel begins with the third baseman's Gold Glove-caliber defense, then follows by saying he's capable of delivering a big hit. Feliz did all that Sunday night, using his leather and lumber to lift his team to a 5-2, 11-inning win over the Dodgers, bringing them within a half-game of the Mets in the National League East. With a victory over the Dodgers in Monday night's series finale and a Mets' loss to the Astros, the Phillies would lead the NL East by a half-game. Despite not starting, Feliz delivered the tying run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth, started a bases-loaded double play in the 10th with his glove and clocked a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th.

    • Episode 148

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/17/08: Brewers at Dodgers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 17th, 2008: Milwaukee Brewers 5 at Los Angeles Dodgers 7 F -- Andre Ethier missed a game-winning homer by a couple of feet on Saturday night, hitting what ended up being a 395-foot single when Matt Kemp tagged up thinking the ball would be caught. With Kemp at first again in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth Sunday afternoon, Ethier made sure his fellow outfielder could jog home by drilling a walk-off homer to right to pick up the Dodgers' bullpen in a 7-5 come-from-ahead victory. Ethier, who also homered in the fifth to set a career high in long balls, produced his second walk-off hit of the homestand after also driving home the winning run with a single in the ninth on Tuesday. "It's a great feeling," Ethier said. "You want to be the guy in that situation to get the job done, and you expect those type of situations and when you get a chance to do it, execute the way you want, it feels great."

    • Episode 147

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/12/08: Rangers at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 12th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 19 at Texas Rangers 17 F -- Remember that roller-coaster ride during your youth that seemed liked it twisted and turned so much you thought it would never end? Turns out the Red Sox decided to construct one of their own on Tuesday. This "Fenway Park Fiesta" had about everything. A 10-run outburst in the bottom of the first inning from a team that was unable to stroke a base hit until the seventh the night before. Then, of course, there's the fact that the Red Sox had two separate 10-run leads and somehow headed into the bottom of the sixth down by a run. So naturally, a lone walk in the bottom of the eighth inning to a pinch-hitter changed the complexion of the evening. Jacoby Ellsbury walked with one out in the eighth and crossed the plate with a Dustin Pedroia double to tie the game, and Kevin Youkilis hit his second homer of the game to propel the Sox to a 19-17 win over the Texas Rangers.

    • Episode 146

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/10/08: Rays at Mariners

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 10th, 2008: Tampa Bay Rays 11 at Seattle Mariners 3 F -- So much for the mystique of a knuckleballer. Prior to Sunday afternoon's contest, many of those in the Rays clubhouse weren't exactly sure how to approach Mariners starter R.A. Dickey. Here was a guy who primarily threw a knuckleball, but he could spot the fastball at 88-90 mph. But early in the game, a makeshift lineup of Rays hitters began attacking the "dancing medicine ball" of Dickey, and they continued to pile on in an 11-3 win in front of 30,336 at Safeco Field. The Rays' 71st win of the season held significance since it surpassed the highest season win total in franchise history, a mark set in 2004 when the Rays went 70-91 under manager Lou Piniella. By winning, the Rays also increased their lead in the American League East to 4 1/2 games over the second-place Red Sox, who lost to the White Sox, 6-5, Sunday. The Rays are now 3-1 on their current 10-game, three-stop road trip, and they improved to just three games under .500 on the road.

    • Episode 145

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/04/08: Yankees at Rangers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      August 4th, 2008: New York Yankees 5 at Texas Rangers 9 F -- The Rangers' homestand continued Monday night with just another walk-off, dogpile-at-home plate, beer-shower-in-the-clubhouse victory. This time, Marlon Byrd was the man in the middle getting mobbed by his teammates at home plate and doused with suds in the clubhouse after delivering the Rangers' third walk-off victory in eight games on this 11-game homestand. Byrd brought this one to a close with a grand slam off Yankees reliever Damaso Marte with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the Rangers a 9-5 victory before 33,813 fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It's the Rangers' seventh walk-off victory this season. "It's an incredible feeling," Byrd said after getting the traditional beer showering in the clubhouse. "A win like this, it's a wonderful feeling."

    • Episode 144

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 8/03/08: Diamondbacks at Dodgers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 3rd, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 3 at Los Angeles Dodgers 9 F -- The Dodgers expected Manny Ramirez to make an immediate impact after being traded to Los Angeles on Thursday, but nobody could have expected this. In a game Dodgers manager Joe Torre said his club needed to win, Ramirez put the team on his back by going 4-for-5 with a double, homer and three RBIs in Los Angeles' 9-3 win over first-place Arizona on Sunday. "It's nice to have that type of player," Torre said. "There aren't that many guys like that that come down the pipe [with] that ability that he has to hit." Ramirez missed a cycle by a triple in only his third game wearing Dodger Blue. He gave the Dodgers an early lead with an RBI single in the first and followed with an RBI double in the second and a solo homer in the fifth.

    • Episode 143

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/29/08: Angels at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 29th, 2008: Los Angeles Angels 6 at Boston Red Sox 2 F -- On a day like none other in Angels history, they acquired a slugger and nearly gave rise to another no-hitter by a hard-throwing, hard-edged Texan. Dealing like a mid-1970s Nolan Ryan, John Lackey was two outs away from joining his boyhood idol in the no-hit pantheon on Tuesday when Dustin Pedroia cracked a clean, no-doubt, line-drive single in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kevin Youkilis followed with a two-run homer, and Lackey bowed his head and got two more outs, walking off with a complete-game, 6-2 triumph. "You're not going to get a better pitched game than that, for sure," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who caught a pair of no-hitters in his day. "Unfortunately, that ninth inning, he didn't finish the no-hitter or shutout, but against that lineup, to pitch that well and that deep into the game, that's a great game by John Lackey."

    • Episode 142

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/25/08: Yankees at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 25th, 2008: New York Yankees 1 at Boston Red Sox 0 F -- Fenway Park brought out the very best in Joba Chamberlain. The Yankees right-hander held the Red Sox scoreless over a career-high seven innings and Jason Giambi drove in the only run off ace Josh Beckett, as the Bombers claimed the opener of the three-game series, 1-0, on Friday night. Co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner has tabbed Chamberlain (3-3) as New York's answer to Beckett. And on the same stage as the 2007 American League Cy Young runner-up, Chamberlain showed why. Not only did he throw seven scoreless innings, he matched a personal best with nine strikeouts while walking just one.

    • Episode 141

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/22/08: Phillies at Mets

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 22nd, 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 8 at New York Mets 6 F -- Glancing briefly at second place with three outs to go, the Phillies weren't impressed with the view. Rudely shoved there by Johan Santana, Carlos Delgado and Ramon Castro, the Phillies showed their preference for the top spot, mounting an 11-batter, six-run rally off a Billy Wagner-less Mets bullpen to upend New York, 8-6, on Tuesday. "We didn't go, did we?" manager Charlie Manuel said, 30 minutes after his team staved off a drop in the standings. "We're still in [first] and we play again tomorrow night." While they would've played again on Wednesday regardless, Tuesday represented the first real threat to their claim as the National League East leaders. The Phillies trotted out their newest acquisition, Joe Blanton, with the goal of thwarting Santana, the Mets' ace.

    • Episode 140

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/20/08 Red Sox at Angels

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 20th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 3 at Los Angeles Angels 5 F -- Striking early and late on a stirring, sun-splashed Sunday, the Angels swept the Red Sox out of Angel Stadium, sending them off to Seattle thinking this can't possibly be the same tattered troupe they tormented last October. "Any time you beat these guys," Howie Kendrick said following a 5-3 come-from-behind triumph over the reigning World Series champions, "it's a big deal." Eighth-inning doubles by Juan Rivera, Kendrick and Casey Kotchman provided the late noise after early thunder from Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter, who homered back-to-back in the second inning against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. With Jon Garland and Darren Oliver (3-1 with the win) limiting the Sox to three runs through eight innings, Francisco Rodriguez was positioned for a rousing finish. He struck out the side in the ninth to become the quickest ever to 40 saves, beating John Smoltz of the 2003 Braves by a whopping 10 games.

    • Episode 139

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/13/08: Reds at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 13th, 2008: Cincinnati Reds 2 at Milwaukee Brewers 3 F -- CC Sabathia made his second start for the Brewers on Sunday and was even more impressive than in his debut. The lefty picked up the win as he pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs while striking out nine batters. He even hit a home run, his second of the season and third of his career, to help his own cause. Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey and the Reds bullpen pitched a great game of their own, limiting the Brewers to two runs through eight innings. But with the scored tied at 2, the Brewers managed to come up big in the ninth as Milwaukee took the win in walk-off fashion by a final score of 3-2. The win ended the first half of the season on a high note before the All-Star break and came in front of a sellout crowd at Miller Park.

    • Episode 138

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/12/08: Giants at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 12th, 2008: San Francisco Giants 7 at Chicago Cubs 8 F -- Rich Harden won over Cubs fans, but Carlos Marmol may have lost a few in what Lou Piniella hopes was a good learning experience. Harden struck out 10 over 5 1/3 shutout innings in his Cubs debut, and was in line for the win Saturday but did not get a decision, as Reed Johnson hit a walk-off RBI single with one out in the 11th inning to give Chicago an 8-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs had opened a 7-0 lead, more than enough for Harden, acquired Tuesday from the Oakland Athletics. The right-hander notched his third career double-digit strikeout game, and second this year, and the crowd of 41,555 appreciated the effort, giving him a standing ovation as he exited after 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

    • Episode 137

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/12/08: Mariners at Royals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 12th, 2008: Seattle Mariners 4 at Kansas City Royals 5 F -- How's this for Christmas in July? David DeJesus delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning on Saturday night to give the Royals a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners. The 23,793 fans at Kauffman Stadium, wearing their giveaway Santa hats, got an early visit from old St. Nick. Happy Holidays, folks, and Happy 2,000th to you, Mark Grudzielanek. Grudzielanek got two singles early in the game, reaching the coveted 2,000-hit mark, earning a prolonged standing ovation from the red-hatted multitude. "I don't know how you could forget that, but that was just icing on the cake with David's two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth," Grudzielanek said in the winning clubhouse. "You dream about that as a kid -- hitting a home run to win the game. That's big, especially coming on a night like this. It's very personal and very special to me."

    • Episode 136

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/11/08: Diamondbacks at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 11, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 5 at Philadelphia Phillies 6 F -- Going nearly a month between hits is no way to go through life in the Major Leagues. Such reality has chosen So Taguchi. Imagine then the seldom-used Phillies outfielder's emotions as he accepted high-fives from jubilant teammates, after sliding home with the winning run in Friday's 6-5, 12-inning come-from-behind win over the D-backs. Taguchi, who last felt the joy of hitting safely on June 13, opened the 12th with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on Jayson Werth's single. Taguchi's effort helped the Phils to their third straight victory, and kept them 1 1/2 games ahead of the Mets and Marlins in the National League East.

    • Episode 135

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/10/08: Mariners at A's

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 10th, 2008: Mariners 2 at A's 3 F(11) -- The unsung hero of Thursday's thrilling 11-inning, 3-2 victory over the Mariners was not Emil Brown. Sure, the A's left fielder lined a fastball on a 1-2 count from Seattle's Cesar Jimenez just over the left-field wall to earn his first career walk-off homer. Nor was the hero Jack Cust or Kurt Suzuki, both of whom hit homers in the ninth inning to tie the game at 2. If not for them, Brown never would have been given the extra-inning stage in the first place. Rather, it was the man standing proudly in the dugout who received a big bear hug from Brown after the win. Say hello to the real hero -- A's hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo, who Brown said "prepared me more for that at-bat than I had ever been prepared for any other situation. "Before I went up there, Ty told me everything the guy may do. And he did all of it." That's what turned a game with an inauspicious beginning into the A's seventh walk-off win of the season. "Strange game," manager Bob Geren said. "You don't usually get three runs on three homers. And we haven't had the best of luck with pinch-hitting, but for Suzuki to have a nice, short swing and drive that ball out gave us a chance to win the game."

    • Episode 134

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/09/08: Indians at Tigers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 9th, 2008: Cleveland Indians 6 at Detroit Tigers 8 F -- Carlos Guillen has been saying it about the entire season. On Wednesday, he could say it about just this game. "It's not how you start. It's how you finish," Guillen said after Miguel Cabrera's walkoff two-run homer finished off the Tigers' largest comeback in two years with an 8-6 win over the Indians. Not since May 25, 2006, had the Tigers overcome a six-run deficit to win a game. The way the Tigers were going in this one, however, they needed to escape a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth and then strand runners at the corners with none out in the sixth to keep it from getting much worse. Then they had to hit Indians starter Paul Byrd, who hasn't lost to the Tigers since around the time they last overcame a two-run deficit. Then they had to pounce on Rafael Betancourt, an unheard-of challenge last season which they've now done twice this year. Betancourt went 13 2/3 innings over 10 appearances without allowing a run to the Tigers last year. Once rookie Matt Joyce jumped on a belt-high 0-2 fastball and drove it to right for a game-tying, two-run homer in the seventh, he trotted home with Detroit's seventh run off Betancourt in three-plus innings this year.

    • Episode 133

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/08/08: Twins at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 8th, 2008: Minnesota Twins 5 at Boston Red Sox 6 F -- Manny Ramirez's power had turned nearly invisible in recent weeks. But when the outage ended on Tuesday night, the timing could not have been better. The star slugger clocked a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, fueling the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Twins. Just when everyone was starting to wonder when Ramirez was going to start being himself again at the plate, the right-handed masher won Monday's 1-0 game with an RBI single in the eighth and then smoked that dramatic equalizer in Tuesday's equally tight contest. "It was nice to see him hit the ball out of the ballpark," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "[Monday night], it was what we needed; the infield was in, and he lined it to right. But sometimes, you need a home run." And without question, this was that occasion.

    • Episode 132

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/07/08: Braves at Dodgers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 7th, 2008: Atlanta Braves 0 at Los Angeles Dodgers 3 F -- Sandy Koufax nearly had company. The left-hander is synonymous with pitching excellence and retired as arguably the best pitcher of his generation 42 years ago at the age of 31. And out of the 10 no-hitters thrown by a Dodgers hurler, only Koufax had managed to take it a notch higher and record a perfect game. Hiroki Kuroda looked every bit the company of Koufax on Monday night with seven perfect innings to his credit and nary a hard-hit ball, but Mark Teixeira turned on a slider up in the strike zone to lead off the top of the eighth inning with a double. Kuroda instead settled for a well-pitched, one-hit shutout in the Dodgers' 3-0 victory over the Braves.

    • Episode 131

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/06/08: Red Sox at Yankees

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 6th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 4 at New York Yankees 5 F -- Brett Gardner's first week in a Major League uniform had already included one encounter with Jonathan Papelbon's high-octane arsenal, not that it made for much more comfort as he dug into the batter's box. There was a small cushion of confidence, however, as the rookie wasted some of Papelbon's best heat. On the eighth pitch of an at-bat, Gardner connected, dribbling a game-winning hit past second base and lifting the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox in 10 innings on Sunday. "It's awesome -- it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life," said Gardner, his uniform still dirty and fresh from being pummeled by his teammates' hands. "It's definitely an unbelievable experience.

    • Episode 130

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/05/08: Cubs at Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 5th, 2008: Chicago Cubs 4 at St. Louis Cardinals 5 F -- They were down two runs in the ninth against fireballer, Kerry Wood who does not cave in. They had no business beating their archrivals. But you know what? They did. Rick Ankiel's remarkable climb continued Saturday afternoon, as the Cardinals stole Game 2 from the Cubs, 5-4. Relying on Ankiel's two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals moved within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Cubs. It was the eighth time in the last nine games of the series that two runs or less determined the score. By the time Ankiel turned first base, his teammates mobbed him in a joyous celebration fit only for a victory seen on a day like this.

    • Episode 129

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/04/08: Mets at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 4th, 2008: New York Mets 2 at Philadelphia Phillies 3 F -- Standing alone at home plate, Shane Victorino gently brushed the batter's box dirt to pass the time, as the Mets discussed whether to pitch to him with first base open and the potential winning run on second. Victorino saw lefty Pedro Feliciano throwing in the Mets' bullpen, and thought he might be forced to bat right-handed, since his average is nearly 65 points lower from that side. Or perhaps Duaner Sanchez would pitch carefully with the open base and hope Victorino would get himself out. The Mets and Sanchez chose that course, and it nearly worked. The free-swinging Victorino swung and missed at a changeup, then took a fastball high. He fouled off another fastball before slicing a single to right field that lifted the Phillies to a 3-2 win over their division rivals.

    • Episode 128

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/04/08: Marlins at Rockies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 4th, 2008: Florida Marlins 17 at Colorado Rockies 18 F -- On this Fourth of July night, a night where anything could happen and just about everything did, you knew it wasn't over. You knew it wasn't over when the Rockies gave up five runs in the first inning. You knew it wasn't over when the Rockies trailed, 13-4, after the fourth inning, and knew it wasn't over in the seventh, either, when the Marlins put up four runs to take a 17-13 lead. And when the Rockies went to bat in the bottom of the ninth, trailing by a run, it was just a question of "how." The answer came in the form of Chris Iannetta's slow-rolling single through the infield, which drove home Matt Holliday to clinch an 18-17 win over the Marlins on Friday and bring a sellout crowd of 48,691 to its feet in celebration.

    • Episode 127

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/03/08: Brewers at Diamondbacks

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 3rd, 2008: Milwaukee Brewers 5 at Arizona Diamondbacks 6 F -- You would be hard pressed to find a more unlikely rally than the one the D-backs put together Thursday afternoon at Chase Field. The D-backs looked listless in falling behind 5-0 through eight innings and their first two hitters of the ninth, Robby Hammock and Chris Burke -- came into the inning hitting .160 and .173, respectively. Yet, moments later, there were the D-backs players pouring over the dugout rails as if they'd just won the pennant as Conor Jackson's ground-ball single up the middle scored a pair of runs to give Arizona a 6-5 win over the Brewers.

    • Episode 126

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/02/08: Red Sox at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 2nd, 2008: Boston Red Sox 6 at Tampa Bay Rays 7 F -- Having acquired a taste for steak, the Rays weren't content to settle for meat loaf on Wednesday night, when they beat the Red Sox, 7-6, to sweep the three-game series. "Meatloafing" is a good thing for a team, according to manager Joe Maddon, who likes to reference the old Meat Loaf lyric proclaiming "two out of three ain't bad." But after taking the first two games from the Red Sox, the Rays overcame a three-run deficit in the third game with a six-run seventh inning. During that inning, the Rays sent 11 hitters to the plate while a raucous sellout crowd of 36,048 drowned out the collective voice of a traveling Red Sox Nation like never before at Tropicana Field. Sweeping the Red Sox "reaffirms to us that we can beat these guys," Maddon said. "Now we need to do it at Fenway." Completing the sweep gave the home team 13 consecutive wins in the budding rivalry, which will not resume again until Sept. 8, in Boston.

    • Episode 125

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 7/01/08: Indians at White Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      July 1st, 2008: Cleveland Indians 2 at Chicago White Sox 3 F -- The stage was set for arguably Orlando Cabrera's biggest moment as a member of the White Sox during the 10th inning of Tuesday night's contest against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field. And before Cabrera delivered a single to center to score Dewayne Wise with the deciding run in a 3-2 victory, the White Sox sixth straight win, manager Ozzie Guillen predicted the hit was coming. At least Guillen made that particular claim during his postgame press conference. "I was talking with [bench coach] Joey [Cora] during that at-bat, and I said that I remember this kid in Montreal and he was the best clutch hitter I had ever seen," said Guillen of his dugout conversation with two outs in the 10th. "Joey said he did it in Anaheim, too. All of a sudden, he got the base hit." Cabrera produced the team's fifth last-at-bat victory of the season, getting the big hit off of Joe Borowski (1-3). But Cabrera certainly did not stand alone in the winner's circle for the White Sox (48-35) on this night.

    • Episode 124

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/30/08: Pirates at Reds

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 30th, 2008: Pittsburgh Pirates 3 at Cincinnati Reds 4 F -- A good, solid benching worked for Ken Griffey Jr., too. After entering the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning, Griffey hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Reds a 4-3 victory over the Pirates at Great American Ball Park on Monday night. Before the game, Griffey joked with Adam Dunn, who had the day off on June 23 in New York. Dunn called his day off "a good, solid benching." "A good solid benching, huh?" Griffey asked Dunn before the game. "It seemed to have worked for you. It's a little jump-start." It was indeed, and it was exactly what the Reds needed to snap a five-game home losing streak to climb out of the cellar and into a virtual tie with the Pirates for fifth place in the National League Central.

    • Episode 123

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/29/08: Diamondbacks at Marlins

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 29th, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 3 at Florida Marlins 4 F -- The Marlins are making a habit of this whole come-from-behind thing. Their latest rally came courtesy of a one-out RBI single by Jorge Cantu in the bottom of the ninth, capping a two-run inning and giving the Fish a 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks in front of 11,327 on Sunday afternoon at Dolphin Stadium. After the ball went past the drawn-in infield and rolled into an empty outfield, Hanley Ramirez, who tied the game with a solo shot that same inning, jumped on Matt Treanor's shoulders, and Cantu lofted Alfredo Amezaga high. "I don't know how that happened," Cantu said after the game, standing in a clubhouse decorated with music blaring from Ramirez's iPod and joy from the Marlin players. It was Florida's seventh walk-off win of the year and 22nd come-from-behind victory. Even more impressive, the Marlins, with a $22 million payroll, are sitting at 42-39 with first place in the National League East within reach at the midway point of the season.

    • Episode 122

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/28/08: Yankees at Mets

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 28th, 2008: New York Yankees 3 at New York Mets 2 F -- Andy Pettitte's eyes grew wide as he kicked his left leg, stutter-stepped and tossed to second base, cutting short Jose Reyes' dancing and the thoughts of larceny running through his mind. The left-hander may not be quick to home plate, but owning one of the Major League's best pickoff moves makes up for the difference. It also helped kill a fifth-inning rally on Saturday at Shea Stadium, where Pettitte's Yankees nipped the Mets, 3-2, in the Subway Series.

    • Episode 121

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/28/08: Red Sox at Astros

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 28th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 10 at Houston Astros 11 F -- As much as the Astros' offense has struggled to score at key times, Saturday's 11-10 win over the Red Sox should give them some confidence. Houston was down four runs in the third inning and three runs in the sixth, yet the club managed to come up with big go-ahead runs to win the second contest of the three-game series. The biggest hit of the night was a two-run double to the left-field corner by Lance Berkman (2-for-5, three RBIs) that scored the eventual winning run. Trailing, 9-8, in the eighth inning, Ty Wigginton hit a leadoff homer to knot the score at 9. Pinch-hitter Darin Erstad followed with a single up the middle, and Brad Ausmus' sacrifice bunt moved him to second. After Michael Bourn struck out on three pitches, Hunter Pence set the stage for Berkman's game-winning hit by working a walk off Boston's Manny Delcarmen.

    • Episode 120

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/27/08: Brewers at Twins

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 27th, 2008: Milwaukee Brewers 6 at Minnesota Twins 7 F -- The last thing the Twins wanted to do on Friday night was get in a slugfest with the Brewers. Milwaukee is fourth in the Majors in home runs, while Minnesota ranks 29th. But a packed ballpark that used to be known as the "Homer Dome" was again a launching pad for home runs on Friday night. The Brewers and Twins combined for seven homers in the see-saw battle between the Interleague opponents. And this time, it was the Twins who came up with the biggest home run -- Joe Mauer's two-out solo shot to center field in the eighth inning -- to capture a 7-6 victory over the Brewers and extend their season-high winning streak to 10 games.

    • Episode 119

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/28/08: Angels at Dodgers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 28th, 2008: Los Angeles Angels 0 at Los Angeles Dodgers 1 F -- The Dodgers have been trying to win without hitting all year and Saturday night they literally did. They were held hitless by Angels starter Jered Weaver and reliever Jose Arredondo, but recorded a 1-0 win anyway with an unearned run in the fifth inning. It was only the fifth time since 1900 a Major League team won a game without a hit. "The most bizarre game I've ever been part of," said catcher Russell Martin. Chad Billingsley lost the battle with Weaver, allowing three hits over seven innings, but won the war by combining with Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito as the Dodgers recorded their second consecutive shutout against the Angels in the Interleague Freeway Series.

    • Episode 118

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/26/08: Cardinals at Tigers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 26th, 2008: Cardinals 2 at Tigers 3 F(10) -- The Tigers and Cardinals combined for 25 hits on Thursday. Just the 22nd and 23rd of them drove in runs. None of them decided the game. In fact, there was no game-winning hit -- only a walk-off walk. For nine-plus innings, Detroit and St. Louis played a duel of damage control to keep themselves deadlocked in the rubber match of their three-game Interleague series. A bases-loaded walk and a throwing error accounted for the only runs until the ninth. Albert Pujols finally provided the first RBI hit, but Gary Sheffield's game-tying home run extended the game before Clete Thomas' second bases-loaded walk of the afternoon in the bottom of the 10th sent the Tigers off with a 3-2 victory and their fifth straight series win.

    • Episode 117

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/25/08: Cardinals at Tigers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 25th, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 7 at Detroit Tigers 8 F -- Todd Jones provided the best relief of the night for the Tigers on Wednesday. Then he came out and provided the best actual relief early Thursday morning. With the tarp on the field during a 2-hour, 25-minute rain delay, Jones provided the fans who stuck around Comerica Park with some on-field entertainment. He tossed packs of sunflower seeds and gum to fans hanging outside the Tigers dugout in the rain, then he provided his best impression of Magglio Ordonez's walk-off home run in the postseason two years ago, adding a small slide along the tarp for flair. A couple hours later, his scoreless ninth inning set up the Tigers' latest walk-off heroics. Gary Sheffield's fourth hit of the night plated Clete Thomas in the bottom of the inning, sending the Tigers and some drenched, yet dedicated fans home with an 8-7 Detroit victory over St. Louis.

    • Episode 116

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/25/08: Yankees at Pirates

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 25th, 2008: New York Yankees 10 at Pittsburgh Pirates 0 F -- The process of moving Joba Chamberlain from the bullpen to the rotation took exactly five weeks to complete. All things considered, it could not have gone any better. Set loose from those pesky pitch-count shackles, Chamberlain logged his first victory as a starter, shutting out the Pirates into the seventh inning on Wednesday. Bobby Abreu homered and drove in four runs to pace the offense as the Yankees hammered out a 10-0 victory at PNC Park. The transition began in secrecy on May 21 in New York, when Yankees manager Joe Girardi allowed Chamberlain to throw 35 pitches and announced the reason after the game. As Chamberlain whipped 114 pitches through Pittsburgh's lineup, those cautious days seemed distant.

    • Episode 115

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/24/08 - Diamondbacks at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 24th, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 4 at Boston Red Sox 5 F -- The Red Sox's lineup looked a little bit sluggish after having no luck crossing the plate on Monday against Dan Haren. But that hangover disappeared quickly once the eighth inning began on Tuesday. Jason Varitek singled to right field to drive in Mike Lowell from second base as the Red Sox climbed out of a three-run deficit with a four-run eighth to steal a 5-4 decision from the D-backs at Fenway Park. Varitek's timely RBI single was just his second hit in the past eight games. He recorded his first hit since June 11 against Baltimore on Monday, and followed it up with his first RBI on Tuesday since that June 11 contest.

    • Episode 114

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/23/08: Diamondbacks at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 23rd, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 2 at Boston Red Sox 1 F -- So let's get this straight. What the D-backs needed to get back on the winning track was a visit to a historic park to face the American League's top team and one of the game's best pitchers? Really? In yet another example of why the D-backs are so hard to figure, they snapped their three-game losing streak thanks to starter Dan Haren, who outdueled Josh Beckett for a 2-1 win in front of a sellout crowd Monday night at venerable Fenway Park. The D-backs came into this one having just been swept by the Twins in Minnesota and in dire need of something to snap them out of a slump that had seen them go 19-29 after a 20-8 start to the year.

    • Episode 113

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/23/08: Mariners at Mets

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 23rd, 2008: Seattle Mariners 5 at New York Mets 2 F -- Felix Hernandez was long gone, after hitting the first grand slam by a pitcher in Interleague history, then spraining his ankle. And the two relievers most likely to be used to end a game were unavailable for the Mariners' series opener against the Mets on Monday night. So veteran left-hander Arthur Rhodes became the last line of defense, and he came through in a big way. Rhodes sauntered in from the bullpen and struck out the two batters he faced in the ninth inning, securing the Mariners' 5-2 victory over the Mets in front of an announced crowd of 49,789 at Shea Stadium.

    • Episode 112

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/22/08: Cardinals at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 22nd, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 3 at Boston Red Sox 5 F -- Let's just say the Red Sox didn't rush scoring runs on Sunday against the Cardinals. After waiting out a 49-minute rain delay at Fenway Park, Boston's lineup came alive in the seventh inning and beyond, stealing a 5-3, 13-inning showdown with the Cardinals. In doing so, the Sox avoided their first home sweep of the season and broke out of a nasty funk against Cardinals pitching. It was Kevin Youkilis who provided most of the damage for the Red Sox, as the first basemen launched two home runs over the Green Monster in left field -- the latter being a walk-off two-run shot that finally put and end to a four-hour, 25-minute game.

    • Episode 111

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/21/08: Mariners at Braves

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 21st, 2008: Seattle Mariners 4 at Atlanta Braves 5 F -- Greg Norton has the uncanny ability to make the routine look strenuous and the clutch look effortless. But then again, so do the Braves, who finally staged a late-inning comeback. Brian McCann got credit for the walk-off, as his bloop single with the bases loaded and no outs in the ninth inning found a hole and gave the Braves a stunning 5-4 win over the Mariners on Saturday night. But even the Braves' catcher had to defer the attention on this night. Any hitter, he reasoned, could have found a way to get that winning run across with the infield in and the bases full, even if the Braves have had seemingly endless bad luck finding holes in the defense. Saturday night's win was the first time the Braves had won when trailing after eight innings. They are now 1-29 in that situation.

    • Episode 110

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 06/21/08: Astros at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 21st, 2008: Houston Astros 3 at Tampa Bay Rays 4 F -- For eight innings, it seemed "Turn Back the Clock Night" at Tropicana Field had gone too far. Missed early opportunities coupled with rare defensive errors had Saturday night's Rays -- clad in vintage St. Petersburg Pelican jerseys -- nearly unrecognizable. But when Gabe Gross's bloop double dropped just on the relevant side of the foul line -- notching his third walk-off hit this season -- a sense of familiarity was finally found. The Rays notched their 20th come-from-behind win and seventh walk-off this season, defeating the Astros, 4-3, on Saturday in what was just the latest in a revolving door of growth moments for the young club.

    • Episode 109

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/20/08: White Sox at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 20th 2008: Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs F -- Home was never so sweet for the Cubs. Aramis Ramirez hit a game-tying solo homer in the seventh and belted a walk-off shot leading off the ninth to power the Cubs to a 4-3 Interleague victory over their crosstown rivals, the White Sox, and snap a three-game losing streak. "We needed to win this game," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. With the game tied at 3 in the ninth against Scott Linebrink (2-2), Ramirez launched a 1-0 pitch to straightaway center field for the game winner.

    • Episode 108

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/19/08: Blue Jays at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 19th, 2008: Blue Jays 7 at Brewers 8 F -- Dave Bush's no-hitter turned into a nail-biter. Bush took a perfect game into the sixth inning and a no-hitter into the eighth, then had to watch from the dugout as the Brewers' huge lead nearly slipped away in an 8-7 win over the Blue Jays at Miller Park. "It got a little tense," said Bush (3-7), who escaped with his first win in four starts. Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay -- swapped for Bush and two other players in 2005 -- dashed the no-hit hopes with a leadoff triple in the eighth inning and then scored on Alex Rios' single to end the shutout. Toronto tacked on six more runs in the ninth to make it a one-run game and actually brought the go-ahead run to the plate against closer Salomon Torres after an infield hit by catcher Rod Barajas, who's no speed demon. Torres struck out Matt Stairs to finish Milwaukee's three-game Interleague sweep. It was that type of afternoon at Miller Park, and not just because Bush was not exactly Milwaukee's leading candidate to throw a no-hitter. Third baseman Russell Branyan continued his incredible return to the big leagues by hitting his 10th home run in 20 games with the Brewers and his third in as many games against Toronto. And big first baseman Prince Fielder motored around the bases with his second career inside-the-park home run, one aided by Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios, who was slow to pick up the baseball after it lodged at the base of the right-field wall. Fielder had two hits and scored three runs, Branyan drove in three runs and right fielder Corey Hart went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs as Bush and the Brewers built an 8-0 lead through seven innings. That's when it got interesting. Bush worked eight innings, allowing a run on two hits, one walk and two strikeouts, including a whiff of pinch-hitter Brad Wilkerson that ended the eighth inning and Bush's outing. Enter Tim Dillard for the ninth, a hard-throwing rookie right-hander who posted a 1.17 ERA in his first seven Major League outings. He surrendered a hit, recorded two outs on grounders but then a two-run home run to Overbay, a single and a walk. That prompted Yost to call for veteran David Riske, who came off the disabled list earlier in the day. Riske walked David Eckstein on five pitches and engaged in an eight-pitch battle against Joe Inglett, who had two home runs in 288 Major League at-bats and none this season. Inglett hit a grand slam that cut the Brewers' lead to 8-7. The Brewers managed to hold on thanks to Torres, who notched his 10th save.

    • Episode 107

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/19/08: Cubs at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 19th, 2008: Cubs 3 at Rays 8 F -- Youth baseball coaches were smiling throughout the Tampa Bay area after the Rays affirmed the time-tested dictum, "a walk's as good as a hit" during Thursday night's 8-3 rout of the Cubs. The win was the Rays' 43rd of the season, and moved the team to 14 games over .500, a club-record high-water mark. Along the way, the Rays completed their fifth series sweep of the season and the first sweep in franchise history of a team with the best record in the Major Leagues. The Rays are now 35-18 since April 22, which is the best record in baseball over that span.Pan to the bottom of the seventh -- directly after the Cubs had taken a 3-1 lead -- when Willy Aybar led off the inning by working a walk against Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol. The Cubs' right-hander then made matters worse by walking the next hitter, Dioner Navarro. Marmol clearly looked rattled at this point and gave no indication to the contrary by hitting Gabe Gross to load the bases -- and then hit Akinori Iwamura to drive in the Rays' second run. "Aybar's been working good at-bats," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Navvy's been working good at-bats. Gross normally works a good at-bat. And then Aki had two strikes, and he hit Aki with two strikes, and that was kind of fortunate there. That part of the order, those guys usually will give you good at-bats, and they will accept their walks." Cubs manager Lou Piniella had seen enough and called to the bullpen for left-hander Scott Eyre to pitch to left-handed-hitting Carl Crawford. The Rays speedster took ball one before breaking from the theme of the inning by swinging at the next pitch, an inside fastball. "It was supposed to be down-and-away, and I missed up and in, and he still hit it," Eyre said. Seconds later, the ball landed in the right-field stands for a grand slam and a 6-3 Rays lead. By the time the Rays finished hitting in the seventh, they had scored seven runs to take a commanding 8-3 lead.

    • Episode 106

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/18/08: Astors at Orioles

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 18th, 2008: Houston Astros 1 at Baltimore Orioles 2 F -- It's almost as if there is no "down and out" in Baltimore this season. With their 21st comeback win this season, the Orioles continue to prove that they simply can't be counted out of a game. Finding yet another new way to come from behind, Baltimore took its second consecutive game from Houston on Wednesday night, 2-1, in 10 innings. This time it was Kevin Millar who was the hero for the Orioles. With Melvin Mora at third and Aubrey Huff at first, Millar hit a 2-1 pitch from Astros closer Jose Valverde up the middle, scoring Mora and sending the Orioles off as walk-off winners for the second time in four games.

    • Episode 105

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/18/08: Mets and Angels

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 18th, 2008: New York Mets 5 at Los Angeles Angels 4 F -- Call it fire, call it fight, call it coincidence. Whatever the name, whatever the source, the Mets boasted something on Wednesday night that they've lacked in recent weeks. Call it luck. The Mets don't care. They call it a win. Jerry Manuel calls it his first managerial success in five years. Certainly, he wasn't the lone source of this victory, a 5-4 decision over the Angels. But his presence -- and the absence of distraction -- surrounded the Mets with a cleaner sort of environment. Gone were the questions of managerial turmoil, of whether or not Willie Randolph would have a job. Gone, too, were the day-old questions of how Manuel might change this club. What remained were nothing more than questions of baseball -- questions of how the Mets might win. So when Damion Easley launched a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning on Wednesday, the Mets felt somewhat cleansed.

    • Episode 104

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/17/08: Royals at Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 17th, 2008: Kansas City Royals 2 at St. Louis Cardinals 1 F -- There's doesn't seem to be any stopping Mike Aviles. Aviles, the Royals' irrepressible rookie shortstop, lined a home run in the eighth inning on Tuesday night to give right-hander Kyle Davies a 2-1 Interleague victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. "I basically went up there to hit a ball in the gap because we had our 3-4-5 hitters coming up behind me," Aviles said. "Hopefully I'd get in scoring position." What better scoring position than trotting around the bases? Facing left-hander Ron Villone, Aviles drilled a 1-1 pitch into the left-field bullpen to snap a 1-1 tie. It was the third home run in 12 games for Aviles, who is batting .333 since being called up from Triple-A Omaha. "It was going to be high, and it was a changeup. It shouldn't be high," Villone said. "Changeups should be low. I was looking for a ground ball, and I hung a pitch. A guy took advantage of it and I lost the game." The win gave Davies a 3-0 record and the Royals a 5-2 mark in Interleague Play this year.

    • Episode 103

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/17/08: Cubs at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 17th, 2008: Cubs 2 at Rays 3 F -- A crowd of 31,607 crammed into the building -- so what if half of them wore Cubs jerseys -- cheering and ringing cowbells while the Rays ruined Lou Piniella's homecoming with a 3-2 win over the Cubs that came down to a bang-bang play at first base that ended the game. The Rays have now won 23 of their last 27 games at home and are 3-1 on their current nine-game homestand, perched on the brink of claiming their ninth consecutive home series. In addition, the win kept the Rays two games behind the first-place Red Sox in the American League East. Solo home runs by Cliff Floyd and Evan Longoria, along with an RBI single by Eric Hinske, gave the Rays all the runs they needed, while Grant Balfour, J.P. Howell, Dan Wheeler and Percival pitched the final 4 1/3 innings in relief of Scott Kazmir to bring closure to the well-played contest -- but not before a few heart palpitations in the ninth. Percival entered the game looking to protect a 3-1 lead and right from the get-go, the inning got interesting. Geovany Soto led off with a line drive to deep left field. Justin Ruggiano, who has displayed a blatant disregard for immovable objects since being recalled from Triple-A Durham on May 3, grabbed the drive for the first out before running into yet another wall. The Cubs kept the heat on. Mark DeRosa singled, and pinch-hitter Kosuke Fukudome doubled to left to put runners on second and third for pinch-hitter Micah Hoffpauir. Percival then cut loose with a high hard one that got away from catcher Dioner Navarro, allowing DeRosa to score. Percival regrouped to strike out Hoffpauir, prompting Piniella to call on Jim Edmonds to pinch-hit. On the second pitch to Edmonds, Percival let loose a low pitch that went to the backstop. Fortunately for the Rays, the ball ricocheted back to Navarro and Fukudome remained on third. Edmonds walked on a 3-2 pitch, bringing leadoff hitter Reed Johnson to the plate. "We were trying to get Longoria to move in, but we're having this new problem: We can't hear," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Our players aren't used to not being able to hear from the dugout, so we have to do some things signal-wise. He was playing too deep." Johnson took a look at the defense and dropped what appeared to be the perfect bunt down the third-base line. "I was pressing the panic button," Longoria said. "I mean, that's the game on the line right there. He lays down a good bunt and I was just trying to get it off the turf clean and get it over there." Longoria barehanded the ball and fired a one-hopper to first base that Willy Aybar somehow managed to haul in for the final out of the game, despite the runner arriving at first the same time as the ball.

    • Episode 102

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/13/08: Royals at Diamondbacks

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 13th, 2008: Kansas City Royals 0 at Arizona Diamondbacks 1 F -- Chad Tracy described the feeling as the best he's had since he started playing baseball. Sitting on an 0-2 count in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 10th inning, the first baseman smacked a changeup from Royals right-hander Yasuhiko Yabuta (1-2) into the right-field seats, and the Diamondbacks walked off with a 1-0 victory in the series opener. "That's my first big league walk-off home run," Tracy said. "Now that it's out, I don't think there's any better feeling in baseball than winning a game with a walk-off home run, especially with what I've been through trying to get back here. It was Tracy's third home run since coming back from knee surgery in March. The shot ended an unusual version of a scoreless tie. The two teams left a combined 21 runners on base and had 12 walks combined, seven by Royals starter Zack Greinke, who threw seven innings.

    • Episode 101

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/16/08: Mets at Angels

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 16th, 2008: New York Mets 9 at Los Angeles Angels 6 F -- Flashes to the recent past were inevitable late Monday night, when closer Billy Wagner took the mound, allowed a booming flyout and then put two runners on base with one out. The Angels sensed an opportunity. The Mets sensed trouble. Then Garret Anderson, one of the more productive hitters of the past two decades, lined a laser directly at Jose Reyes, who snared it and jogged to second for an unassisted double play. "That ball was hit in front of my face," Reyes said. "I couldn't even move because he hit it so hard." Wagner took the save regardless, and the Mets took the 9-6 win over the Angels. It was an uncomfortable win, the type that kept the Mets squirming throughout its later stages. But it was a win nonetheless, and with jobs seemingly in jeopardy throughout the Mets organization, this group is not about to be picky.

    • Episode 100

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/14/08: Pirates at Orioles

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 14th, 2008: Pittsburgh Pirates 7 at Baltimore Orioles 8 F -- If the Orioles have proved one thing this season, it's that no opponent's lead is safe -- 19 of the team's 34 wins have been come-from-behind victories. To emphasize that point, the Orioles came back for the second game in a row against the Pirates, and this time, they did it in walk-off style with an 8-7 victory Saturday. The Orioles and Pirates (33-36) traded blows the entire game, but the knockout punch didn't connect until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Oscar Salazar took Matt Capps' (0-2) first pitch over the left-field wall to tie the game at 7. Two batters later, Freddie Bynum put himself in scoring position by hitting a single and stealing second base, before coming around with the winning run on Ramon Hernandez's single to left-center field.

    • Episode 99

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/15/08: Phillies at Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 15th, 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 6 at St. Louis Cardinals 7 F -- Chris Duncan turned on a first-pitch changeup and slowly began to run to first base because, in his mind, he ended the inning. That was until Tom Gordon covered first and missed the throw from Chase Utley at point-blank range. Because Rick Ankiel never stopped running from second base, the Cardinals won, 7-6, when Ankiel crossed home, taking full advantage of Gordon's 10th-inning miscue. "I got there quick enough," Gordon said. "I was prepared for the play. I was prepared to get over there. I don't know what else happened after that. I didn't see the baseball. That's it." What amplified how bizarre the play turned out was Ankiel's routine grounder to second base just two batters before. Utley threw wide of Gordon and Ankiel, who said he has never seen two routine plays go wrong like that in an inning, kept the rally alive.

    • Episode 98

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/14/08: Red Sox at Reds

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 14th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 6 at Cincinnati Reds 4 F -- The 140 friends and family members who turned out to attend Kevin Youkilis' welcome-home party early on Saturday got the perfect end to their day. Youkilis, the Cincinnati native getting his first start in his hometown, struck out in his first two at-bats but came back with two singles before launching the go-ahead homer to right-center field off reliever Mike Lincoln (0-2), and the Red Sox edged the Reds, 6-4, in 10 innings at Great American Ball Park. "It was definitely a great home run, and just to be able to hit a Major League home run here in Cincinnati, something I've never done, having never played here, it was definitely exciting," Youkilis said. "But other than a personal thing, it was great for this team to get back on track and get a win."

    • Episode 96

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/13/08 - Phillies at Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 13th, 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 20 at St. Louis Cardinals 2 F -- The Phillies needed about five minutes on Friday to turn a baseball game into their own version of Home Run Derby. There was a harmless beginning, as Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino were retired by Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer. But then came a sudden, stunning power show that sent the Phils merrily on their way to a 20-2 victory at Busch Stadium. Chase Utley? Gone. Ryan Howard? Gone. Pat Burrell? Gone. Before some of the late-arriving fans had settled into their seats, Philadelphia had hit three consecutive homers in the first, setting the tone for what would be a comfortable night for right-hander Kyle Kendrick.

    • Episode 95

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/13/08 - Yankees at Astros

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 13, 2008: New York Yankees 2 at Houston Astros 1 F -- This first installment of the Joba Chamberlain road show can be considered a complete success. Making his first career start away from Yankee Stadium on Friday, Chamberlain hurled six strong innings and set the scene for Derek Jeter's game-deciding home run in the eighth. The Yankees edged the Astros, 2-1, moving two games over .500 for the first time since April 24. Chamberlain had achieved only mixed results in his first two career starts after being moved to the rotation, but, provided a longer leash under the roof at Minute Maid Park, the 22-year-old right-hander showcased his improving leg strength. His final pitch, a fastball past Brad Ausmus, was clocked at a mouth-watering 97 mph.

    • Episode 94

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/12/08: Braves at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 12th, 2008: Braves 2 at Cubs 3 F -- Reed Johnson won't mind the bruise on his calf. It was the end result of what turned out to be the game-winning "hit" for the Cubs on Thursday. Johnson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in the 11th inning and lift the Cubs to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves, completing a sweep. "That's the first one ever, but it's probably the best-feeling one I've ever had," Johnson said of his walkoff hit by pitch. Aramis Ramirez walked to open the 11th against Manny Acosta (3-5), and advanced on a passed ball. Kosuke Fukudome was intentionally walked, and Geovany Soto then singled to load the bases. Lefty Jim Ridgway replaced Acosta, and hit Johnson with the first pitch, a slider. Johnson was batting for Jim Edmonds, who had hit a game-tying homer in the ninth. "It's a great situation for anybody," Edmonds said of the 11th inning. "Bases loaded, nobody out, bring Reed in, let him get a swing. All he has to do is hit a fly ball, or put the ball in play hard. It's a perfect situation for both of us. Reed went up there and we were joking -- it hit him in the calf, and he was limping and making fun of it." Edmonds could've taken one for the team. He told Johnson that. "I could've taken one off the leg," Edmonds said. "He probably could've," Johnson said. But Johnson was the batter Cubs manager Lou Piniella called upon. "Reed is a good hitter to send up there in that situation because he's patient, and he works the strike zone," Piniella said. "He can work a walk, make some contact." As it turns out, he did make contact -- with his leg. "I think if that ball doesn't hit me, it probably goes to the backstop," Johnson said. "It hit me in the back leg, and I don't know if [Braves catcher Brian] McCann could've gotten over there to block it." Johnson could sense the Braves were going to throw inside because Ridgway was targeting that part of the plate when he was warming up. It's just one more way the Cubs have found to come from behind and win. This was the 10th comeback win in Chicago's last 13 games, and 22nd of the season. It marked the first sweep over the Braves at Wrigley since April 10-13, 2000. Kerry Wood (3-1) picked up the win in two innings of relief.

    • Episode 93

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/11/08: Diamondbacks at Mets

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 11, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 3 at New York Mets 5 F -- It was as if a gunshot had gone off somewhere deep in the heart of Shea Stadium, echoing through the old concrete and jolting some few thousand straggling fans awake. Three extra innings had lulled so many to sleep, but then, one crack of Carlos Beltran's bat had changed the complexion of the night, and -- the Mets hope -- the season. The latter conclusion will have to wait. For now, all thoughts of the future -- of Moises Alou's health, of Mike Pelfrey's consistency, of manager Willie Randolph's job -- can wait. The Mets won a game on Wednesday, parlaying Beltran's two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 13th inning into a downright necessary 5-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. They feel good now. They're glad to be here. They're glad to be Mets.

    • Episode 92

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/11/08: Phillies at Marlins

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 11th, 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 2 at Florida Marlins 6 F -- An autographed Ken Griffey Jr. jersey in his left hand and a baseball signed by the team owner in his right, Dan Uggla walked out of the Marlins' clubhouse on Wednesday night in grand style. It was a fitting finish for the gritty second baseman, considering his walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning secured the Marlins' 6-2 win over the Phillies in what was a thrilling pitchers' duel in front of 14,122 at Dolphin Stadium. Uggla's first career walk-off home run gave the Marlins an exhilarating lift, as they've now taken the first two of the series with the Phillies. Florida is now two games behind Philadelphia in the National League East standings. After the Phillies tied it in the ninth, reliever Tom Gordon got into a jam by walking Hanley Ramirez. With one out, Jorge Cantu -- who had two solo home runs -- singled. A walk to Wes Helms filled the bases for Uggla. Gordon fell behind 3-1, and Uggla was sitting fastball, looking to drive the ball into the outfield. Home run No. 19 of the season for Uggla did much more for Florida. The power-hitting second baseman launched a 444-foot drive with a no-doubt blast that resulted in a home-plate celebration for Florida.

    • Episode 91

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/10/08: Twins at Indians

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 10th, 2008: Minnesota Twins 0 at Cleveland Indians 1 F -- The last gasps of daylight still hung over Progressive Field when C.C. Sabathia induced the Alexi Casilla groundout that ended Tuesday night's game. Officially, the sun had begun to set at 8:58 p.m. ET -- 13 minutes before that final pitch. But for the Twins, it was dark early. Sabathia turned in a masterful performance for his second complete-game shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory in front of 26,874 fans. And when it was over, and that daylight was still visible overhead, Sabathia needed to check the clock. "It was weird," he said, "because I didn't know what time it was. I thought, 'Man, it must be early. Maybe I can still catch the Lakers game.'"

    • Episode 90

      MLB.com Games of the Year: Ken Griffey's 600th Homer

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 9th, 2008: Reds 9 at Marlins 4 F -- Right before the series finale against the Marlins on Monday, Reds slugger Adam Dunn put it bluntly: "If we don't hit home runs, we're not going to win games. It's as simple as that." It turns out he was right. The Reds blasted four home runs, including one in each of the first three innings, and split the series against the Marlins with a 9-4 win in front of 16,003 at Dolphin Stadium. Of all the homers the Reds hit, one in particular stood out. With Jerry Hairston at third base after stealing two bases in the first inning, Ken Griffey Jr. got a 3-1 hanging curveball from Marlins starter Mark Hendrickson and deposited it into the right-field seats for his 600th career home run. Griffey became the sixth player in Major League history to reach that plateau. But the fact that the homer gave the Reds the initial lead that catapulted them into a victory made it extra special. "Much better," Reds manager Dusty Baker said about the home run meaning more because it came in a victory. "He gave us that much-needed lift that we hadn't been getting early in the game. "That was a monster home run. This isn't an easy place to hit them at. He got us on the board, 2-0, in the very first inning and got it over with." Plus, Reds starter Edinson Volquez usually doesn't need much run support. Cincinnati's blossoming right-hander got the win after pitching six innings. He allowed a season-high three earned runs on three hits while walking five and striking out five. The 25-year-old improved to 9-2 on the year with a 1.56 ERA. "All of my pitches were working," Volquez said. "The last two innings, my legs were shaking a little bit because I was tired." But Griffey wasn't the only one to make history for the Reds on Monday. Catcher Paul Bako reached his own milestone by notching the first multihomer game of his career. After Griffey made it 2-0 in the first, the Reds got runners on first and second to start the second inning, and Bako delivered with a three-run homer to straightaway center field to make it a five-run game. He then added a two-run shot in the ninth to pretty much seal the deal.

    • Episode 89

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/08/08 - Angels at Athletics

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 8th, 2008: Los Angeles Angels 3 at Oakland Athletics 7 F -- Mark Ellis said there was no way he was going to take a pitch from Angels reliever Chris Bootcheck. "I knew he had to get ahead of me," the A's second baseman said of coming to the plate with the bases loaded in a tie game with two out in the bottom of the 12th inning on Sunday. Ellis wasted no time in hammering the ball against the screen of the left-field foul pole to clear the bases and the A's dugout as Oakland snagged a 7-3 win to avoid a three-game sweep by the Angels, climbing back within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Halos.

    • Episode 88

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/07/08: Royals at Yankees

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 7th, 2008: Kansas City Royals 11 at New York Yankees 12 F -- Shortly after Saturday's game, back where it was quiet, a clubhouse attendant handed Johnny Damon an unsightly, rather ugly baseball bat. The reddish-brown handle gave way to a lighter tan barrel, disfigured by numerous stains, nicks and blemishes. "That's a good thing," Damon said, tucking the bat into a corner of his locker. He would use it again -- and why not? That unattractive slab of maple not only helped create history on this day, it boosted the Yankees to a 12-11 win over the Royals. Damon, bat in hand, produced half a dozen hits to lead the effort, recharge the Yankees and, ultimately, lead them to victory with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. And it all started with a rather ordinary, rather ugly maple bat.

    • Episode 87

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/6/08: Brewers at Rockies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 6th, 2008: Milwaukee Brewers 4 at Colorado Rockies 6 F -- The Rockies' slumbering lumber woke up with a jolt in the eighth inning of Friday's series opener against the Brewers, stringing six consecutive hits together to open the inning and turn a three-run deficit into a two-run lead, then holding it in the ninth for a 6-4 victory. After seven innings of only once connecting for two hits in the same frame and scraping out one lone run against starter Ben Sheets, the Rockies finally made some noise against the Brewers' bullpen, staging an eighth-inning rally with right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota on the mound. Jonathan Herrera and Ryan Spilborghs hit back-to-back singles to open the inning, setting up Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins for some timely RBIs, with Helton doubling off the center-field wall to score Herrera, and Atkins plating Spilborghs and Helton with a triple past diving center fielder Gabe Kapler. Two singles, a double, and a triple in succession. All that was left was for Brad Hawpe to cap the night with the fifth hit of the inning -- a game-winning two-run homer over the out-of-town scoreboard in right. It snapped an 0-for-13 stretch for Hawpe, who was making his first start since a trip to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

    • Episode 86

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/06/08: Phillies at Braves

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 6th, 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 4 at Atlanta Braves 3 F -- It was wacky and it was wild. In the end, it was a victory that the Philadelphia Phillies may be remembering for a long time if they go on to win a second straight National League East title. "It definitely could be a pivotal game," Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino said. "You don't have many games like this." No, you don't. The game seemingly over, the Phillies made it to extra innings thanks to a Braves gift. Then, after scoring twice in the top of the 10th, Brad Lidge almost blew his first save of the season. Thanks to Victorino, it didn't happen, however. The center fielder ended the Phillies' 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field by throwing out Gregor Blanco in a bang-bang play at the plate Friday night.

    • Episode 85

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/5/08: Blue Jays at Yankees

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 5th, 2008: Blue Jays 8 at Yankees 9 F -- With his sore left foot, Jason Giambi wasn't in condition to run bases or play first base. But he was OK to hit, and he made his only at-bat against the Blue Jays on Thursday count. Giambi's pinch-hit, two-run homer off B.J. Ryan in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Yankees to a 9-8 victory over the Jays at Yankee Stadium. Giambi was looking for a fastball following two sliders that put the count at 0-2. But another slider, not as sharp as the others, came out of Ryan's hand. Giambi bashed his team-leading 12th homer into the upper deck in right field, mere feet away from the foul pole. Before Giambi approached the plate, Yankees manager Joe Girardi asked him if he wanted in, considering his foot pain and his 2-for-13 career mark against Ryan. Giambi accepted. "[Girardi] says, 'What do you think?'" said Giambi, whose homer evened the Yankees' record at 30-30 and dropped the Blue Jays to 32-30. "I said, 'Give me a shot. I'll go.' Luckily, it all worked out. Like I said, I got that one mistake, and with a guy like B.J., you might only get one mistake." With the Yankees down by two runs heading to the ninth, Ryan recorded the first two outs before Alex Rodriguez kept the inning alive with a single. Hideki Matsui followed with a single to score Rodriguez and bring the Yankees to within one run before Giambi stepped in.

    • Episode 84

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/4/08: Reds at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 4th, 2008: Reds 2 at Phillies 0 F -- This might have been Edinson Volquez's most daunting test yet. Volquez faced a Phillies team on Wednesday that's seen him once already in the regular season and twice more in Spring Training. Philadelphia was averaging nine runs a game in its past nine games. It has one of the game's hottest hitters in Chase Utley. And the opposing starting pitcher, Brett Myers, was dealing no-hit baseball most of the night. Turned out, it was no problem at all. Volquez was brilliant as he gave up two singles in seven scoreless innings. Joey Votto broke up Myers' no-hitter with a two-out RBI double in the seventh. And despite registering only three hits in the game, the Reds' road blues were chased away for one night in a 2-0 win. "I can't say enough about him. He just goes out every single day and puts out a solid performance," Votto said. "Today was probably the very best example of what he's meant to us the whole year. He threw great. He really took care of us and took care of the offense today, and he took care of the entire team." Volquez struck out eight and lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.32 while maintaining his lead in strikeouts with 91. The 24-year-old right-hander also has yet to give up more than two earned runs in any of his 12 starts."There's a reason why he's basically the best pitcher in the league," Phillies catcher Chris Coste said. "When you get an opportunity to score a run, you better get it. We were one big hit away a few different times, but when you face a guy like that, you have to take advantage of every situation. Tonight wasn't one of those nights." The Reds finally broke through in the seventh. Brandon Phillips drew a one-out walk from Myers and stole second base with Adam Dunn batting. With two outs, Votto lined a high 0-2 split-fingered pitch into left-center field to score Phillips for the first run of the game.

    • Episode 83

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/03/08: Tigers at Athletics

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 3rd, 2008: Detroit Tigers 4 at Oakland Athletics 5 F -- Baseball can be a mean old cuss of a game, cruel and unfair like an Algebra teacher who cares not that you missed the two weeks of class before the midterm with mono. But the game has a sense of humor, too, as evidenced by the bottom of the 11th inning on Tuesday night at McAfee Coliseum: bases loaded, two out and A's designated hitter Jack Cust at the plate. Often cited for his cherubic likeness to Babe Ruth, Cust really does look like a youngish George Herman. He doesn't get cheated with his cuts, either. Oakland's leading home run hitter in 2007 (26) and 2008 (nine) and also the team's current leader -- by wide margins -- in walks (44) and strikeouts (62), Cust often leaves the batter's box with one of those three outcomes. When Cust dug in against Tigers right-hander Freddy Dolsi nearly four hours into the second game of a three-game series, the smart money would have been on a walk. After all, Dolsi had just issued the 22nd free pass of the night, tying an Oakland record for combined walks in a game.

    • Episode 82

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/03/08: Mets at Giants

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 3rd, 2008: New York Mets 9 at San Francisco Giants 6 F -- Each man saw it from a different vantage point and through a prism unlike any of the others. To Billy Wagner, the impact of the return of Pedro Martinez could be measure numerically -- the innings the bullpen wouldn't be asked to pitch. To Ramon Castro and his catching compatriot Brian Schneider, the benefit would come in the form of innings more easily caught and outs more easily achieved. To a defense that has had its moments -- good and bad -- the return of Martinez would lighten the load in a direct way -- fewer balls to handle, fewer pitches hit hard. And the onus on the offense would be diminished as well. One man, one night, one game, one victory. And one row of dominoes the Mets dared to believe could stretch from here to October.

    • Episode 81

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/02/08: Marlins at Braves

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 2nd, 2008: Florida Marlins 5 at Atlanta Braves 7 F -- John Smoltz's christening in the Braves' bullpen didn't exactly go according to script, but then again, not much has this season for these endlessly entertaining Braves. After Smoltz blew the save by allowing two runs to score in the ninth, Yunel Escobar hit a game-ending, two-run homer in the 10th inning as the Braves snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the Marlins, 7-5, in front of 20,896 frenzied fans on Monday night at Turner Field. And the Braves did so because of Escobar, whose two-run shot off Marlins reliever Logan Kensing in the 10th bounced off the padding on the center-field wall. Escobar clapped his hands while circling the bases as fireworks shot off in the background. All in all, it was a rousing night for the Braves, who were looking for any semblance of relief after a maddening 1-5 road trip, which concluded Sunday with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Reds.

    • Episode 80

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/02/08: Padres at Giants

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 1st, 2008: San Diego Padres 3 at San Francisco Giants 4 F -- The Giants' 13th victory in a Major League-high 25 one-run games carried additional impact. It ended their seven-game home losing streak. They improved to 7-7 in games decided in the last at-bat, including 5-3 in extra innings. They remained undefeated (7-0) in games started by Tim Lincecum following a defeat, although the 23-year-old right-hander received a no-decision after working two batters into the eighth inning. Moreover, it re-emphasized Lewis' emergence as a potential offensive force, a player the Giants might be able to rely upon for years to come. He leads the team with 34 runs scored and tops the National League with six triples.

    • Episode 79

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/01/08: White Sox at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      June 1st, 2008: Chicago White Sox 0 at Tampa Bay Rays 2 F -- With a different hero seemingly every night, the last day in May brought an onslaught of candidates for the Rays in a 2-0 win over the White Sox on Saturday night. There was B.J. Upton, who delivered the winning RBI, and Cliff Floyd who notched a solo homer to give the club a little breathing room. Reliever J.P. Howell -- who inherited a runner at second -- pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out Chicago sluggers Jim Thome and Carlos Quentin to quash a threat in the eighth. And then there was Dan Wheeler, Trever Miller and Grant Balfour, who combined for an out each in the ninth inning -- with Balfour ultimately recording the save.

    • Episode 78

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/31/08 - Braves at Reds

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 31st, 2008: Braves 7 at Reds 8 F(10) -- Jay Bruce stood speechless at his locker, struggling to find the words to explain what he'd just accomplished. The 21-year-old rookie, who's enjoyed a magical week since his big league debut Tuesday, did something on Saturday afternoon he'd never done. With one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, Bruce launched a walk-off solo home run into the right-field Sun Deck, lifting the Reds to a thrilling 8-7 victory over the Braves before 38,585 sun-drenched fans at Great American Ball Park. "That was my first walk-off home run ever, at any level," Bruce said. "It was a fastball, middle-in. I knew it was gone. I was ready to get to home plate and get beat up. I'll take it every time it can happen." Bruce's homer, which came on a 2-1 pitch from Braves reliever Manny Acosta, gave the Reds their Major League-leading seventh walk-off victory. Cincinnati improved to 4-3 in extra-inning games. It was the Braves' 20th consecutive one-run loss on the road, the second-longest streak in big league history. Atlanta is 0-5 in extra innings this season. On a humid, steamy afternoon at Great American Ball Park, the two teams combined for six home runs and 23 hits. Bruce went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. In five games since Tuesday's debut, Bruce is batting .579 with three doubles, one home run and four RBIs. "Boy, if he's living a dream, I'd like to get in that dream," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "Everybody said he was good. Sometimes guys get overhyped. Most times, you're disappointed at first. This hype is real." In the first inning, Ken Griffey Jr. moved to the doorstep of history. Griffey connected on a 3-1 pitch from Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens and sent it sailing 380 feet into the right-field stands to put the Reds ahead 2-0. Jurrjens is the 383rd pitcher whom Griffey had homered off of.

    • Episode 77

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/30/08 - Rockies at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 30th, 2008: Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs F -- While so many were overjoyed, Mark DeRosa was in disbelief. "I was saying as I was walking over here, I'm like, 'I don't even know what just happened,'" he said. "Give me a little heads up on who did what during the game because it just seemed to all of a sudden steamroll into us getting a victory." About 40,000 mesmerized Cubs fans -- and a few stunned Rockies supporters -- could probably give the infielder a little insight. The Cubs overcame an eight-run deficit to beat the Rockies, 10-9, for their fifth straight win on Friday afternoon. DeRosa capped the return from 9-1 down in the sixth inning with a two-run homer as part of a six-run seventh. It marked the largest come-from-behind win for the team since June 22, 1999, also against Colorado, when the Cubs also faced a 9-1 hole. On that day, they won ,13-12.

    • Episode 76

      MLB.com Games of the Year: Manny Ramirez's 500th homer

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 31st, 2008: Red Sox 6 at Orioles 3 F -- Jacoby Ellsbury will just as soon leave the home run heroics to future Hall of Fame teammate Manny Ramirez, who belted No. 500 at Camden Yards on Saturday night. Ellsbury's role in Boston's 6-3 victory over the Orioles was all about speed. For the second night in a row, the rookie center fielder wore out the basepaths. Not only did Ellsbury steal three more bases to give him six in the first two games of this four-game series, he ignited the winning rally by ripping a leadoff triple to center to start the seventh. At the age of 24, Ellsbury has legs that don't tire easily. He still had enough left in them to roar home on David Ortiz's medium-depth sacrifice fly to Jay Payton. Ellsbury just beat the throw, and catcher Ramon Hernandez erased any doubt by dropping the ball. Ellsbury's dash home broke a 3-3 tie. Then Ramirez stepped to the plate and switched the theme from speed to historic power, taking Chad Bradford's first pitch and launching it over the wall in right-center to become the 24th member of Major League Baseball's 500-home run club. Ramirez was greeted at home plate with a big hug from on-deck hitter Mike Lowell. Ortiz and Lugo, two of Ramirez's closest friends on the team, emerged from the dugout and piled onto the slugger. The home run traveled 410 feet and was cheered loudly by the crowd, which contained many Red Sox fans.

    • Episode 75

      MLB.com Games of the Year: Unit ties Clemens on strikeout list

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 29th, 2008: Giants 4 at Diamondbacks 3 F -- Randy Winn's leadoff home run, his second shot of the game, was hard to take mostly because it ruined what had been an uplifting night at Chase Field. It belonged mostly to Randy Johnson, who appears back on his fast track and seemed primed to gun past a couple of pitching icons. Instead, in the aftermath of his third consecutive dominant start, the Big Unit could retire only with a couple of ties: with Roger Clemens for No. 2 in career strikeouts (4,672), and with Tommy John for No. 25 in career wins (288). "It's moot," Johnson said of drawing even with Clemens with his ninth and final strikeout of the evening, reminding all that he and the often-semi-retired Rocket had already jockeyed several times for the runner-up spot behind Nolan Ryan (5,714).

    • Episode 74

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/28/08 - Dodgers at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 28th, 2008: Dodgers 1 at Cubs 2 F(10) -- Alfonso Soriano may lose an occasional ball in the sun, but he hasn't lost his flare for the dramatic. Pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot doubled and scored on Soriano's walk-off single with one out in the 10th inning to power the Cubs to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and complete a sweep Wednesday night. "Soriano is a pro," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He's a battler. He has that ability, just to stay up and keep on trucking, performing. Tonight I was happy for him. A big clutch hit, and he got us a win." Soriano gave people something to talk about besides the dropped fly ball on Sunday in Pittsburgh that led to a game-tying run, and the Cubs' eventual 11-inning loss to the Pirates. That play prompted criticism from everybody, including the Cubs' home broadcasters. Asked if this has been a tough week, Soriano just smiled. "Not really," he said. "Anything can happen in the game. I play the game, and something happens. I'm ready to play and I love the game, and that's important for me." Fontenot connected against Chan Ho Park (1-1), and Soriano took four pitches, including two strikes, and then lofted the ball into left to score him. "That at-bat was very confusing," Soriano said. "I don't think they wanted to pitch anything close. I took a couple pitches, and I said to myself, 'I don't want to swing until I have two strikes.' I wanted to make sure I swung at a good pitch. I swung at the last one, and I got a hit."

    • Episode 73

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/27/08: Red Sox at Mariners

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 27th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 3 at Seattle Mariners 4 F -- A game full of unexpected twists and turns appeared to be heading to an all-too familiar path for the struggling Mariners on Tuesday. But on a night when Seattle desperately needed a victory, the game ended with a rather unfamiliar sight -- Jose Lopez playfully backpedaling through the infield as his teammates stampeded after him following his game-winning, walk-off single down the left-field line, which gave the Mariners a 4-3 triumph over the Red Sox in front of 30,758 at Safeco Field. With the hit, Lopez ended the Mariners' seven-game losing streak and gave them reason to celebrate after a winless six-game road trip and a tough loss Monday night to begin the homestand.

    • Episode 72

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/27/08 - Braves at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 27th, 2008: Atlanta Braves 2 at Milwaukee Brewers 3 F -- A walk-off win on Tuesday night did not make erstwhile Brewers starter Bill Hall any less peeved about the team's new third base timeshare. But at least it gave him a reason to smile. Hall came off the bench and sparked the game-winning rally in the opener of a nine-day Brewers homestand, scoring from third on Mike Cameron's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 win over the Braves at Miller Park. J.J. Hardy drove in the Brewers' other two runs as the team overcame an early 2-0 deficit and won for just the fifth time in 13 games.

    • Episode 71

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/27/08 - Yankees at Orioles

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 27th, 2008: New York Yankees 9 at Baltimore Orioles 10 F -- For five hours, it was a game that defied a conventional ending. The Orioles erased two four-run deficits, braved a 67-minute rain delay in the ninth inning and overcame an ambush in the 11th to earn a 10-9 win over the Yankees on Tuesday. Baltimore never led until the game ended, giving manager Dave Trembley a new personal highlight. New York and Baltimore combined for 16 runs in the first five innings and three over the next seven, but the teams still provided a hectic endgame. The Yankees stranded two runners in scoring position before the rains came, and the Orioles left two runners on base against closer Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 10th. The Yankees briefly forged ahead in the 11th, but Orioles' defense nearly stopped the rally. Second baseman Brian Roberts made a tough stop of a hard-hit grounder by Alex Rodriguez with no outs and the bases loaded, firing home to start a 4-2-5 double play. New York pushed ahead on a two-out hit by left fielder Hideki Matsui, but the Orioles nullified that rally with one of their own.

    • Episode 70

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/25/08: Phillies at Astros

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 25th, 2008: Philadelphia Phillies 15 at Houston Astros 6 F -- The Phillies found out that it's a good feeling to pay back someone who has been your leader all season. That's what the hitters did when ace pitcher Cole Hamels had a rare off-start on the mound Sunday. The Phillies' offense was overpowering in a 15-6 come-from-behind win over the Astros that gained them a split in their four-game series. Geoff Jenkins, Pat Burrell and Chase Utley all homered as the Phillies had a season high in runs and fell just a hit short of their season high for hits, with 16.

    • Episode 69

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/26/08: Dodgers at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 26th, 2008: Dodgers 1 at Cubs 3 F -- The Cubs not only returned home, they also returned to the familiar feeling of winning at Wrigley. Derrek Lee hit his 250th career home run and Aramis Ramirez added a solo shot to back Ryan Dempster and propel the Cubs to a 3-1 Memorial Day win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The Cubs snapped a two-game losing streak and remained the only team in baseball yet to lose three in a row this season. They improved to 20-8 at home after losing two straight series on the road, at Houston and Pittsburgh. "You should feel good about playing at home, and you should feel good about your chances when you're at home," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "It's an old adage, but you play really good baseball at home, and you play .500 or slightly above on the road, and you're going to have a really good season. We've played well, and let's hope to continue to play well." Dempster (6-2) constantly worked out of jams to grind out a line of one earned run on seven hits, three walks and three strikeouts before giving way to a taxed Cubs bullpen. "I would have liked to have gone deeper, but unfortunately I ran my pitch total up there," said Dempster, who threw 117 pitches, 71 for strikes. "I was glad I was able to get seven innings in and to be able to give the bullpen a rest." Ramirez connected in the eighth for his ninth home run of the year. Bob Howry faced a bases-loaded, one-out dilemma in the eighth but pitched out of it. Kerry Wood relieved Howry and tallied his 11th save of the season.

    • Episode 68

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/25/08: Cardinals at Dodgers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 25th, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 3 at Los Angeles Dodgers 4 F -- On the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw had a memorable start to his Major League career, doing almost everything that has been expected of him. Everything, that is, except for picking up the win, but the Dodgers ultimately pushed across a run in the bottom of the 10th, beating the Cardinals, 4-3, before 46,566 at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw's big league debut was something the fans have been waiting for since he was drafted seventh overall by the Dodgers in 2006. In the two years since then, the 20-year-old has done nothing to dampen expectations, including striking out 264 in just over 202 Minor League innings. While fans' expectations might have been unrealistically high, expecting nothing short of perfection his first time out, Kershaw's performance exceeded almost anything the Dodgers could have hoped for.

    • Episode 67

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/24/08: Cubs at Pirates

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 24th, 2008: Chicago Cubs 4 at Pittsburgh Pirates 5 F -- The Pirates know firsthand it takes quite an effort to beat the Chicago Cubs. They just didn't think it would take this long. After losing nine of their first 10 against the Cubs this season, the Bucs needed four hours and 21 minutes -- and 14 innings -- to finally beat the Cubs at home. Jason Bay's one-out single in the bottom of the 14th scored Freddy Sanchez from third to give the Pirates a 5-4 win Saturday night in a game in which the Bucs blew a late lead only to tie it in the bottom of the ninth, before improving to 4-3 in extra innings this season.

    • Episode 66

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/24/08: D-backs at Braves

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 24th, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 1 at Atlanta Braves 3 F -- As Jeff Francoeur exited the indoor batting cages and headed toward his locker approximately 20 minutes after Friday night's series-opening loss to the Diamondbacks, he was clearly agitated. Instead of displaying his usual smile, the Braves right fielder was displaying nothing but pure frustration. Less than 24 hours later, there was no need for Francoeur to make another postgame trip to the batting cages. Instead, he might have been better served to visit the Braves' trainers to see if he obtained any damaging bruises when he was mobbed by his teammates at the end of Saturday afternoon's 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks at Turner Field. An already memorable homestand got a little sweeter for the Braves when this latest victory came courtesy of Francoeur's walk-off two-run homer against D-backs reliever Chad Qualls. An afternoon filled with great pitching was ended by a hitter who has been feeling anything but great recently.

    • Episode 65

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/23/08: D-backs at Braves

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 23rd, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 11 at Atlanta Braves 1 F -- Not until his work was done for the night did Doug Davis allow his emotions to surface. The D-backs left-hander, six weeks removed from thyroid cancer surgery, allowed just one run over seven innings as Arizona snapped a six-game road losing streak with an 11-1 win over the Braves on Friday night at Turner Field. When Robby Hammock pinch-hit for Davis in the eighth, his teammates came up to him one by one and congratulated him. "Everybody gave me a hug and said, 'Good job,'" Davis said. "Every time I hugged somebody, I just felt very blessed to have them behind me as much as they are." Maybe it was just a coincidence, but on the heels of a dismal series in Florida where they scored just three runs in three games, the D-backs' hitters supported Davis with a season-high 11 runs and excellent defense which included sliding catches by outfielders Chris Young and Justin Upton.

    • Episode 64

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/22/08: Orioles at Yankees

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 22nd, 2008: Orioles 1 at Yankees 2 F -- From the comforts of his manager's office, with its wide desk and leather couch, Joe Girardi sat and watched about five minutes of baseball. Perhaps still simmering a bit from his ejection only moments earlier, Girardi watched as Robinson Cano laced a walk-off single through the left side of the infield, and as Hideki Matsui motored around from second base to score the winning run. Then Girardi leapt out of his chair and hurled his pen across the room. "I'm not so sure I am decompressed yet," he said just after the game. That might take some time, considering the magnitude of his argument, and the depth of the slump that had been vexing his Yankees. But now with a well-pitched and downright emotional 2-1 win over the Orioles in tow, perhaps Girardi can finally relax. Stuck in a 1-1 game in the bottom of the ninth inning, Girardi lost his cool -- and his seat in the dugout -- when Jason Giambi struck out with one down and Matsui standing on first base. Orioles reliever Jim Johnson had delivered a pitch high and inside to Giambi, who, with two strikes, couldn't yank his bat entirely out of the way. Home-plate umpire Chris Guccione didn't think so, at least, ruling that the ball skimmed the knob of Giambi's bat and deflected into catcher Ramon Hernandez's glove, good for a strikeout. That's when Girardi stormed onto the field and engaged Guccione in a lengthy argument. Within moments, he was ejected, throwing his hat on the ground and kicking it toward the dugout. Then he picked it up, kicked some dirt, and began arguing all over again. "Maybe that was the little spark that we need to get us going," Giambi said. "We've been playing good baseball, but not great baseball." What followed, coincidence or not, was great baseball. Bobby Abreu, batting with two outs, took a five-pitch walk to advance Matsui to second base, and then Cano drilled an inside fastball into left field to win the game. "This means a lot," Cano said. "Every time I get a hit to help the team win, it means a lot to me. Because it's not about just the numbers. It's about winning."

    • Episode 63

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/21/08: Indians at White Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 21st, 2008: Indians 2 at White Sox 7 F -- Another day, another White Sox win. Their seventh in a row, to be exact. Jermaine Dye homered twice and Javier Vazquez picked up his fifth win of the season as the White Sox toppled the struggling Indians, 7-2. For now, it's just business as usual on the South Side of Chicago. Playing in front of a soldout crowd of 38,518 at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox (25-20) moved to 2 1/2 games ahead of the Twins in the American League Central standings and rose to five games over .500 for the first time since the last game of the 2006 season. "We're playing pretty good baseball right now," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every time we send anybody from the starting rotation, we feel comfortable with the kind of job we are going to have from them. "That's the reason we are where we are. Those guys go out there and put us in good situations to win games." There was no letdown following Tuesday's big 4-1 win over C.C. Sabathia, who had never lost at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox weren't able to figure out Cleveland starter Paul Byrd (2-4) until the sixth inning, when the offense broke out for five runs, thanks mostly to Dye's three-run homer that gave the White Sox their first runs of the night and the lead. Dye would add another home run again in the seventh, his eighth of the season, for his 18th career multi-homer game. Those blasts helped the White Sox defeat Byrd for the first time in five career starts at U.S. Cellular.

    • Episode 62

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/21/08: Giants at Rockies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 21st, 2008: San Francisco Giants 3 at Colorado Rockies 2-- Steve Holm began Wednesday's game feeling sick to his stomach, and ended it by helping the Giants get well. Scratched from the starting lineup after pregame bouts of vomiting, Holm lashed a pinch-hit double that forged a ninth-inning tie and hastened the Giants' 3-2, 10-inning triumph over the Colorado Rockies. Another looming offensive presence for the Giants was Omar Vizquel, who doubled to launch the two-run rally in the ninth inning and delivered a sacrifice fly in the 10th that scored Ray Durham with the deciding run. Such joy might have seemed inconceivable to the Giants for most of the afternoon. Through eight innings, they mustered three hits and didn't even move a runner into scoring position against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who worked seven innings, and reliever Taylor Buchholz. Jonathan Sanchez, who began the game with a 9.45 road ERA, but limited Colorado to two runs in 6 1/3 innings, appeared destined for a hard-luck loss.

    • Episode 61

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/20/08: Phillies at Nationals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 20th, 2008: Phillies 1 at Nationals 0 F --The sore lower back that potentially kept Greg Dobbs from Tuesday's starting lineup wound up being a positive for the Phillies. Had he started in place of Pedro Feliz, Dobbs might not come up with a ninth-inning, pinch-hit single that dunked in front of center fielder Lastings Milledge in the ninth inning, landing on the "W" carved on the outfield grass. Still, it was plenty good enough, and given the state of the Phillies' struggling offense, they'll take a 1-0 win at Nationals Park. "I don't know how I laid off the first two pitches," said Dobbs, who fell behind, 0-2, to Nationals closer Jon Rauch. "He buried them." Though he wasn't sure of the third pitch -- it was either a slider or a cutter -- Dobbs knew it was bearing in on him, and that's the pitch he was seeking. He was looking for something he could drive to the outfield, rather than something he might beat into the ground. As it floated over a drawn-in infield, Dobbs knew pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett would trot home. "I did, yeah," Dobbs said. "The infield was in on the grass, and Milledge was playing a normal center field. As a hitter, you know. I was just watching Bruntlett, and he was on the bag, making sure that it fell -- because he can run and there's no reason for him to cheat off the bag -- but I knew he would score."

    • Episode 60

      MLB.com Games of the Year: Jon Legend: Lester No-hits the Royals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 19th, 2008: Royals 0 at Red Sox 7 F -- If only all the spectators and teammates who reveled in Jon Lester's magical Monday night at Fenway Park could have seen the way it started. There the left-hander was in the bullpen warming up with catcher Jason Varitek, and he had nothing. How was he going to thrive against the Royals when it seemed like all his pitches had stayed home? As it turns out, Lester knows a thing or two about perseverance. And on this night, he stayed the course well enough to throw a no-hitter, the 18th in the history of the Red Sox. "If you all saw my bullpen [session] today, it wasn't pretty," said Lester. "You would have thought I wouldn't have gotten out of the first inning. It was terrible. I got out in the game and I've always been a slow starter. If I can get through the first, second, third, sometimes the fourth inning and be doing all right, then usually I can do all right into the game and get stronger. That was the case. I just felt more comfortable with my delivery, more comfortable with the stuff I was throwing." With each passing inning, Lester (two walks, nine strikeouts) became filthier and filthier. It all came to a jubilant end when Lester blew a 94-mph heater -- his 130th pitch of the night -- by Alberto Callaspo. Just like that, the 7-0 victory was complete, so was Lester's no-no, not to mention the first complete game and the first shutout of his career.

    • Episode 59

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/18/08: Padres at Mariners

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 18th, 2008: San Diego Padres 2 at Seattle Mariners 3 F -- Second baseman Jose Lopez endured a 2007 season that no one should have to go through. He lost his brother, Gabriel, on June 13 in a motorcycle accident in Venezuela. He couldn't even get home for the funeral. His season virtually collapsed, as he hit just .213 with three home runs and 15 RBIs after the All-Star break. But Lopez has a renewed spirit this season, and his game-winning, two-out, two-run double off reliever Heath Bell in the eighth inning to beat the Padres, 3-2, on Sunday reflects the kind of season he is now having. "Things happened last year in his life, but I could tell the first day of Spring Training that he was coming to play," Mariners' manager John McLaren said. "He's having fun. He's been our best player from Spring Training to now. That's not knocking anybody. It's someone who deserve it. He's having fun playing baseball again.

    • Episode 58

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/17/08: Rays at Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 17th, 2008: Tampa Bay Rays 8 at St. Louis Cardinals 9 F -- The winds of change were blowing on Saturday at Busch Stadium. Some harmless-looking fly balls turned into homers thanks to a generous breeze, and Ryan Ludwick got the last wind-blown laugh. In the 10th inning of a game that made pitchers on both teams cringe, Ludwick sent a ball high in the air to left-center, and it carried just over the wall to give the Cardinals a 9-8 victory over the Rays. Ludwick was mobbed by his teammates at home plate and received a big hug from manager Tony La Russa, who picked up career win No. 2,400 on an afternoon that must have seemed about as exhausting as any of the previous 2,399 victories. The Cardinals were rolling right along with an 8-4 lead in the seventh when Carlos Pena hit a wind-aided three-run homer off Randy Flores. That put more stress on the St. Louis bullpen, but Ludwick made sure it didn't turn into a demoralizing day.

    • Episode 57

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/16/08: Astros at Rangers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 16th, 2008: Houston Astros 8 at Texas Rangers 16 F -- They played American League-style baseball at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday, and the Astros brought enough offensive firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Rangers. They just didn't help themselves with five defensive errors and they just didn't have an answer for Josh Hamilton. Few people have. Not even Lance Berkman, who has been on an incredible tear of late, could keep up with Hamilton. Hamilton crushed two of his team's six home runs, went 5-for-5 at the plate with 13 total bases, and drove in five runs to lead the Rangers to a 16-8 victory over the Astros in the opener of their Lone Star Interleague series. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, David Murphy, Chris Shelton and Michael Young also went deep. The Rangers, with their 14th victory in their last 20 games, are back to within one game of .500, and have climbed to just two games behind second-place in the American League West.

    • Episode 56

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/16/08: Blue Jays at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 16th 2008, Toronto Blue Jays 3 at Philadelphia Phillies 10 F -- A chilly, steady rain persisted during a 55-degree Friday night that grew colder with every pitch. The weather and lopsided score didn't matter to most of the 36,600 fans who remained at Citizens Bank Park, hungry for history. Jayson Werth knew they had stayed for him, and he tried to deliver a fourth home run and ninth RBI in the seventh inning. He popped up to end the drama, but his career night was plenty good in Philadelphia's 10-3 win over Toronto as the Phillies opened Interleague Play with a rout. Three homers. Eight RBIs. The fans still got their money's "Werth."

    • Episode 55

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/15/08: Astros at Giants

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 15th, 2008: Houston Astros 8 at San Francisco Giants 7 F -- What the Astros are doing these days is borderline absurd. Apparently, not even a bad starting performance and shoddy defense are enough to stop them. They received very little from Chris Sampson on the mound, and Mark Loretta was, at best, rusty as Miguel Tejada's replacement at short, committing two errors. And still, the Astros overcame a wide deficit to beat the Giants, 8-7, on Thursday. Darin Erstad launched his first career pinch-hit homer, a three-run shot off Tyler Walker in the eighth, to tie the game at 7, and Lance Berkman's homer off Vinnie Chulk in the ninth pushed them ahead.

    • Episode 54

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/15/08: Dodgers at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 14th, 2008: Los Angeles Dodgers 6 at Milwaukee Brewers 4 F -- This was no ordinary ninth-inning comeback for the Dodgers. Of course, there's nothing ordinary about a ninth-inning comeback for the Dodgers this year. But they finally pulled one off Wednesday night, a 6-4 win over the Brewers to snap a five-game losing streak. And it not only required a total team effort, but some efforts from the opposing team and even crew chief Joe West. The culmination of a week's frustration came on Juan Pierre's third hit of the game, a two-run double off former Dodger Guillermo Mota with one out in the ninth inning that turned a deficit into a lead. The Dodgers had gone 0-18 when they trailed in the ninth inning until Wednesday night. Pierre then stole third base and scored an insurance run on a groundout by Andruw Jones, who also had two hits in his return to the lineup after a two-game break. Dodgers starter Derek Lowe (one win in the last month) had spotted the Brewers a 3-0 lead in the second inning, two of the runs scoring on opposing pitcher Manny Parra's single after a four-pitch walk to Craig Counsell.

    • Episode 53

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/13/08: Yankees at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 13th, 2008: New York Yankees 1 at Tampa Bay Rays 2 F -- It might not have been Auburn-Alabama, but according to Gabe Gross, getting the game-winning hit off baseball's best closer is not bad. In fact ... "It's really good," said Gross, the former quarterback at Auburn, after driving home pinch-runner Jonny Gomes to give the Rays a 2-1 walk-off win over the Yankees in 11 innings on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. "Wow. It's just big to win that game. ... Coming back in extra innings in the end -- that's a big win for us." Gomes' run registered as the first surrendered by Mariano Rivera all season. Mob scenes behind home plate and at first base followed, where teammates swarmed over Gross and Gomes as a crowd of 16,558 cheered louder than their numbers. And for good reason, the Rays' win -- the team's sixth straight and 11th consecutive at home -- combined with the Red Sox's loss in Baltimore catapulted Tampa Bay back in to first place in the American League East for the second time this season. The team now finds itself in unchartered waters at 23-16, seven games over .500 for the first time in franchise history.

    • Episode 52

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/13/08: Blue Jays at Indians

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 12th, 2008: Toronto Blue Jays 3 at Cleveland Indians 0 F -- The Blue Jays will actually be able to smile some when they board their flight to Minnesota on Monday night. Granted, Toronto's trip to Cleveland could've gone much better, but at least the club avoided a complete disaster. In the nightcap of a traditional doubleheader, the Jays found a way to overcome a wave of crushing blows to steal a 3-0 victory in 10 innings at Progressive Field. Yet another dominant outing by Shaun Marcum and some rare clutch hits for Toronto did the trick. "It's always nice to get away with a win," Jays second baseman Aaron Hill said. "It brings higher spirits in the next one. It's a much more fun plane ride when you get a win. It makes it pretty long if we would've lost that game. It's definitely a big win." The victory sealed a split of the double feature with the Indians, snapping a four-game losing streak for the Jays (18-22). Toronto was able to pull out the win, despite watching Cleveland turn the 14th unassisted triple play in baseball history and being handcuffed by left-hander Cliff Lee.

    • Episode 51

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/10/08: Cardinals at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 10th, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 5 at Milwaukee Brewers 3 F -- The St. Louis Cardinals made sure they weren't the only ones with questions in the back end of their bullpen. Ryan Ludwick delivered a clutch two-run single in the ninth against Milwaukee closer Eric Gagne, breaking a tie and sending the Cardinals to a 5-3 win Saturday. The victory came one night after Cards closer Jason Isringhausen blew his fifth save, a mark tied with Gagne atop the National League leaderboard. "I'm never nervous in that situation, I love that situation," said Ludwick, who fell behind Gagne with the bases loaded and two outs. "I've been blessed with that opportunity a lot since I've been here. I've been fortunate to come through a lot of the situations. I feel like that's what baseball's all about." Ludwick, who now has 23 RBIs in just 97 at-bats, snapped a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings by Brewers relievers.

    • Episode 50

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/11/08: Marlins at Nationals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 11th, 2008: Florida Marlins 5 at Washington Nationals 4 F -- All season long, the Marlins have ridden the left arm of Scott Olsen. So it was fitting on Sunday that the rest of the team picked up their most reliable pitcher on an off afternoon. Dan Uggla had two home runs while Jeremy Hermida also went deep to rally the Marlins to a 5-4 win over the Nationals in front of 25,871 at Nationals Park. The power surge was much-needed because Olsen labored through six innings, giving up four runs, including two homers. Nationals first baseman Aaron Boone, a former Marlin, had a big game with three hits. Boone homered off Olsen in the second inning, ending up a double shy of a cycle. For Olsen, it was a struggle to generate any velocity on his fastball, which topped out at 87 mph. He reached that speed on only a few occasions. The 24-year-old was coming off a career best outing of 8 2/3 innings and 121 pitches on May 6 against Milwaukee, which made Sunday a challenge to rebound.

    • Episode 49

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/11/08: Diamondbacks at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 11th, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 4 at Chicago Cubs 6 F -- Everything went the Cubs' way this weekend, even the weather. Heavy rain blanketed Chicago all morning, forcing Cubs manager Lou Piniella to scratch starter Carlos Zambrano, but it stopped in time for the game to start only an hour behind schedule. The Cubs waited a bit to make their comeback as well, responding with their third straight come-from-behind win, 6-4, over the Arizona Diamondbacks. With their three wins over the NL West leaders, the Cubs are now in first place in the NL Central after St. Louis lost to Milwaukee, 5-3, on Sunday. Arizona knocked the Cubs out of the playoffs last season, finishing up a three-game sweep at Wrigley Field in the NL Division Series, and the young club hasn't slowed down this year. The D-backs came in with the most wins and the most runs in baseball, but were outscored, 16-7, in the series by the new scoring leader, the Cubs, who have 211 runs.

    • Episode 48

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/10/08: Rockies at Padres

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 10th, 2008: Colorado Rockies 2 at San Diego Padres 3 F -- For a change Saturday, Padres manager Bud Black posed a question to a group of reporters which assembled in a room outside the home clubhouse at PETCO Park. "Don't you like watching Greg pitch?" Black asked, in a not-so-rhetorical way of Padres starting pitcher Greg Maddux, who got the start against the Rockies. Black didn't wait around for an answer, though he offered plenty of thoughts of his own on the 42-year-old Maddux, who earned career victory No. 350 as the Padres topped the Rockies 3-2 before a crowd of 34,117. "It's one of the things I've come to enjoy in my year-plus here," Black continued. "It's good stuff, trying to watch him pitch and guess what he's going to do. It's always a fun day when he pitches." But probably no more so that Saturday, as the Padres (13-24) won for just the fifth time since April 20, as Maddux limited the Rockies (15-22) to three hits and an unearned run, winning for the first time since April 13.

    • Episode 47

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/9/08: Angels at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 9th, 2008: Los Angeles Angels 0 at Tampa Bay Rays 2 F -- Don't get James Shields angry. Getting knocked out by the Red Sox on Saturday after just 3 2/3 innings did not sit well with the right-hander, who took the mound on Friday night looking to return to the form he'd shown when he pitched a two-hit shutout against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field. And he pulled it off -- with a little help from Evan Longoria. Shields pitched a complete-game one-hit shutout to lead the Rays to a 2-0 win over the Angels in front of a crowd of 12,039 at Tropicana Field. The victory moved the Rays to 19-16 on the season and tied a club record for seven consecutive home wins.

    • Episode 46

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/7/08: Red Sox at Tigers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 7th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 9 at Detroit Tigers 10 F -- Placido Polanco didn't worry about trying to do too much. All he worried about was getting just a little on that soft line drive to fall in between shortstop and left field. He got just enough of it to drop it in. Amazingly, it was the deepest hit of the Tigers' game-winning rally. The slugging Tigers' first walk-off win of the season featured just one ball out of the infield, and barely at that. Given how much Detroit's 10-9 comeback victory over Boston on Wednesday meant, it was fitting. A lineup that manager Jim Leyland saw was pressing during a five-game losing streak ended it with a style of small-ball few thought they could play. "It was a nice win for us," Leyland said, "and we kind of got it the unexpected way." Sixteen of the Tigers' 18 hits were singles, and their only extra bases came on a pair of doubles. When Polanco's fifth hit of the night scored Edgar Renteria with the deciding run, it marked just the third time this season that they pulled out a game without hitting a home run.

    • Episode 45

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/8/08: Padres at Braves

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 8th, 2008: San Diego Padres 4 at Atlanta Braves 5 F -- The Braves last had a perfect homestand in 2003, and it was starting to feel like it had been almost that long since they had won a one-run game. "We finally have that monkey off our backs," Matt Diaz said after supplying the winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday. Diaz's bases-loaded walk-off single gave the Braves a 5-4 victory over the Padres and completed a 6-0 homestand that leaves Atlanta with a Major League-best record of 14-4 at Turner Field. "Now we have to take the momentum on the road," said Jeff Francoeur, who was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out and bring Diaz to the plate. Padres reliever Joe Thacker got two strikes, but Diaz connected with an inside fastball on a 2-2 count and lined the winning hit into left field.

    • Episode 44

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/06/08: Twins at White Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 6th, 2008: Twins 1 at White Sox 7 F -- Gavin Floyd has been here before. In fact, it was just 24 days ago that the right-hander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Tigers in front of a rain-soaked crowd at U.S. Cellular Field. That brush with greatness ended one out later, on an Edgar Renteria single to right-center on a 1-1 pitch. Fortunes looked to be changing for Floyd on Tuesday night against Minnesota, during a 7-1 victory for the White Sox (15-16) before 23,480. Although he allowed an unearned run in the fourth, Floyd had not given up a hit through eight innings, and then struck out Brendan Harris looking to open the ninth. Joe Mauer stepped to the plate, the same Mauer who won the American League batting title in 2006. Floyd had retired him on a fly ball to center in the sixth and walked him twice earlier, but on this occasion, off a 1-0 slider, Mauer ultimately got the best of the seemingly un-hittable Floyd. Minnesota's catcher lofted a double into the left-center-field gap, falling about five feet out of the reach of Nick Swisher's all-out dive, thwarting Floyd's attempt at the 17th no-hitter in franchise history. Floyd (3-1) struck out four and walked three, and exited to a rousing standing ovation, with Bobby Jenks finishing off the White Sox 62nd one-hitter.

    • Episode 43

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/05/08: Cardinals at Rockies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 5th, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 6 at Colorado Rockies 5 F -- On a night when manager Tony La Russa admitted his bullpen was vulnerable and predicted the Cardinals would need to score some runs, his starting pitcher proved vulnerable in an extended at-bat that resulted in a crucial, game-changing two-run double. Joel Pineiro's offensive contributions may have outshone his pitching Monday night, but it was the kind of game the Cardinals refused to lose, bouncing back time and again with any number of heroes stepping up with both the bat and the glove, on the pitcher's mound and on the basepaths. Ultimately, Albert Pujols had the final act of heroism in the Cardinals' 6-5 victory, not so much by his one-out double in the top of a tied ninth inning off Rockies All-Star closer Brian Fuentes, but in his savvy baserunning, breaking for third with Rick Ankiel at the plate and storming on to home when Ankiel tapped a soft grounder to second. Rockies rookie second baseman Jonathan Herrera threw to first for the second out, and Gold Glover Todd Helton fired for home, missing Pujols by a hair.

    • Episode 42

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/04/08: Mets at Diamondbacks

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 4th, 2008: New York Mets 5 at Arizona Diamondbacks 2 F -- Brian Schneider, buddy of Ryan Church, has seen this sort of thing before. So while the rest of the Mets spent Sunday evening gushing over Church's game-saving throw -- and what a throw it was -- Schneider offered a more grounded assessment. "It was all right," Schneider said, dragging and stressing the last two words. Right. Gunning down the potential winning run at third base on Sunday, Church effectively saved the game and salvaged the series. Instead of walking off Chase Field with two straight losses and a renewed sour taste, the Mets instead skipped town having beaten the most successful team in the Major Leagues. And so Sunday's finale saw the Mets win, 5-2, in a game they otherwise might have lost to the Diamondbacks.

    • Episode 41

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/03/08: Pirates at Nationals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 2nd, 2008: Pittsburgh Pirates 8 at Washington Nationals 9 F -- Shortstop Cristian Guzman had his best game as a member of the Nationals. He drove in a career-high six runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle as he helped the Nationals edge the Pirates, 9-8, at Nationals Park on Saturday afternoon. The performance by Guzman is something that Washington envisioned after it signed him to a four-year, $16.8 million contract after the 2004 season. Unfortunately, it took Guzman a long time to reach the heights that he accomplished with the Twins. In the ninth, it was Guzman's glove, Acta and his coaching staff who saved the day. With Jon Rauch on the mound, the Pirates had a runner on second and two outs. Nate McLouth came to the plate and hit a hard shot up the middle, but Guzman was positioned perfectly and threw McLouth out to end the game.

    • Episode 40

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/02/08: Giants at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 2nd, 2008: San Francisco Giants 5 at Philadelphia Phillies 6 F -- Brian Wilson's first five pitches hummed in to Pat Burrell at 98, 97, 97, 97 and 97 miles per hour, at least according to the sometimes exaggerated radar-gun display at Citizens Bank Park. The Giants closer's sixth offering traveled much faster -- and further -- except in the opposite direction. Burrell sent a 3-2 pitch deep to left for a two-run homer and the Phillies' latest dramatic come-from-behind win, 6-5, in the 10th inning on Friday night. "I was just hoping to see the ball," Burrell said. The left fielder's ninth homer in his white-hot start to the season left little doubt, and the 38,270 fans, 38,271 if you count San Francisco left fielder Fred Lewis, watched the ball quickly slice through the chilly Philadelphia air.

    • Episode 39

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/01/08: Brewers at Cubs

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      May 1st, 2008: Milwaukee Brewers 4 at Chicago Cubs 3 F -- Had Cubs closer Kerry Wood closed the deal in the ninth, the Brewers, who four innings earlier were watching their best young pitcher lying on his back and clutching his knee, probably would have left Wrigley Field muttering, "It could have been worse." Instead, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was able to sit there and say, "It doesn't get any better." A day after a 14-run Cubs thumping and four innings after what looked like a devastating injury to right-hander Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee rallied for three runs in the ninth and got away with a 4-3 win at Wrigley Field on Thursday.

    • Episode 38

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/30/08: Blue Jays at Red Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      4/30/08: Blue Jays 1 at Red Sox 2 F -- Several members of the Red Sox had already raced out of the dugout by the time Vernon Wells had released his throw to the plate on a single up the middle by Brandon Moss. It was going to be another walk-off special at Fenway Park. As it turns out, the Red Sox had to wait another minute or so to celebrate Wednesday's eventual 2-1 thriller over the Blue Jays. Pinch-runner Jed Lowrie was thrown out at the plate by the strong-armed Wells. Now, there were two outs in this tie game in the bottom of the ninth. But no matter, thanks to Jason Varitek. The captain ripped into a 2-1 curveball from Jays reliever Scott Downs and stung it up the middle for a single. Wells couldn't duplicate his heroics, as this time his throw to the plate was too late to nail Manny Ramirez, who roared around from second base. Ramirez flipped his helmet off and braced for the celebration. Actually, there were two of them. One surrounding Ramirez just in front of home plate, and the other around Varitek just past first base.

    • Episode 37

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 04/28/08: Reds At Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 28th, 2008: Cincinnati Reds 4 at St. Louis Cardinals 3 F -- Struggling pitchers could find their fastball and some wins if Bronson Arroyo's new training method proves legit. According to Arroyo, the way to wash off his bad streak was to jump into a pool and make like Mark Spitz. The Reds right-hander finally reached the six-inning threshold to notch quality start No. 1 -- and win No. 1 -- in Cincinnati's 4-3 win over the Cardinals on Monday. It gave the Reds their first three-game winning streak of the season. On its 10th attempt, Cincinnati at last took the opening game of a series. With two outs in the third inning and another run in, Encarnacion hit a routine popup to short left-center field that got lost in the lights by left fielder Chris Duncan and dropped in for another RBI double that scored Dunn, for a 4-0 lead.

    • Episode 36

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/27/08: Diamondbacks at Padres

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 27th, 2008: Arizona Diamondbacks 2 at San Diego Padres 1 F -- When he saw Chris Snyder get on the team bus Sunday morning, D-backs pitcher Brandon Webb realized his batterymate was sicker than he initially thought. "He never is on the bus," Webb said. "He always gets to the ballpark long before the bus." Sunday was anything but a typical day for Snyder, who has battled an upper respiratory infection for much of the past week. In fact, when he left the ballpark Saturday night, there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to play. Not only did Snyder play, he proved to be the difference in the game, as his two-run homer lifted the D-backs to a 2-1 win over the Padres at PETCO Park.

    • Episode 35

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/27/08: Res Sox at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 27th, 2008: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays F -- A shade after 4 ET Sunday afternoon, the sweep became complete. James Shields pitched his best game of the season to lead the Rays to a 3-0 win over the Red Sox in front of 32,363 on Sunday at Tropicana Field. The win moved the Rays into a first-place tie in the American League East with the Orioles and Red Sox in addition to giving Tampa Bay a sweep of the weekend series while extending its winning streak to six games. But this was the Red Sox, the biggest of the AL East bullies. And the Rays went through Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz and, finally, October legend Josh Beckett to complete the sweep of the defending World Series champions.

    • Episode 34

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/26/08: Yankees at Indians

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 26th, 2008: New York Yankees 3 at Cleveland Indians 4 F-- Much of what happened in the final four innings of Saturday's game went wrong for the Indians. David Dellucci's diving attempt to snare a Jorge Posada liner in the sixth came up short, allowing three runs to score. Jhonny Peralta was doubled off third base in the sixth, erasing a golden offensive opportunity against LaTroy Hawkins. And Victor Martinez was forced out at second on a controversial play in the eighth that led to the ejection of manager Eric Wedge. What went right, however, outweighed all of that. Because behind some resolute relief work from Jensen Lewis and Masa Kobayashi and the first walkoff RBI of Martinez's career, the Tribe toppled the Yankees again with a 4-3 victory in front of 35,765 at Progressive Field.

    • Episode 33

      MLB.com Games of the Year: April 24th, 2008: Yankees at White Sox

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 24th, 2008: New York Yankees 6 at Chicago White Sox 7 F -- Run-of-the-mill, line-drive singles to left-center field usually don't set off the wild celebration witnessed at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday night, just 15 minutes before the game between the White Sox and Yankees bled over into Friday morning. As is the case with most Joe Crede late-inning at-bats, coming with the game on the line, there's rarely anything run-of-the-mill or ordinary. Crede delivered his third game-winning and first walk-off hit of the year with a one-out drive scoring Carlos Quentin and coming against one of baseball's more dominant relievers in Joba Chamberlain. Crede's single gave his team a 7-6 victory before the remnants of the 27,243 who opened the night at U.S. Cellular Field, preventing the White Sox (12-9) from suffering their first three-game losing streak or series sweep of the 2008 season.

    • Episode 32

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/25/08: Astros at Cardinals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 26th, 2008: Houston Astros 3 at St. Louis Cardinals 4 F -- After 8 2/3 innings and 119 pitches, with two men on base and a dangerous hitter at the plate, Adam Wainwright finally found his pitch. It's probably one you've seen before. For the crowning moment in what turned out to be the first complete-game win of his career, Adam Wainwright threw seven straight sliders to Hunter Pence in the top of the ninth inning on Saturday. The last one finally finished Pence off, and half an inning later, Skip Schumaker's one-out single brought home the decisive run in a 4-3 Cardinals win over the Astros. Wainwright, establishing himself more clearly every week as the Cardinals' pro tempore ace, pitched his second Major League complete game. He saw a new high with 126 pitches thrown, but still finished it off in style. The at-bat recalled the final out of the 2006 World Series, when Wainwright dusted off Detroit's Brandon Inge with an all-slider at-bat to cinch the title.

    • Episode 31

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/25/08: Twins At Rangers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 25th, 2008: Minnesota Twins 5 at Texas Rangers 6 F -- David Murphy thrust a triumphant fist in the air. His teammates stormed the field, mobbing him near second base as if a pennant had just been won. What remained of the Rangers Ballpark crowd of 19,016 on Friday night cheered wildly. And in the Texas dugout, Rangers manager Ron Washington managed a thin smile after Murphy's two-out single in the bottom of the 10th provided a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins. It was his team's first win since April 17, one that ended an agonizing seven-game losing streak. But was it enough to save Washington's job? That is the question looming over Arlington during this six-game homestand for a team that has lost 16 of its first 24 games. Even in victory, the Rangers fell behind by five runs for the fifth consecutive game and induced groans with more sloppy fielding, costly baserunning blunders and important at-bats gone awry. The winning rally was not without cost, as third baseman and cleanup hitter Hank Blalock pulled up lame and limped off with a hamstring injury after his one-out double put the winning run in scoring position.

    • Episode 30

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/25/08: Cubs at Nationals

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 25th, 2008: Chicago Cubs 3 at Washington Nationals 5 F -- Catcher Wil Nieves has been in professional baseball for 13 years, but has played in only 70 big league games. Lack of hitting is the reason for his being limited to a cup of coffee in the big show. Entering the 2008 season, Nieves had a .161 batting average in the Majors. However, nobody questions what he does behind the plate. Nieves is an excellent catch-and-throw backstop, and he has proven it over and over since joining the Nationals on April 16. But Nieves' bat was still an issue. But his two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday night gave the Nationals a 5-3 win over the Cubs at Nationals Park. With Austin Kearns on first base and reliever Bob Howry on the mound, Nieves took an 0-2 pitch and hit the ball over the right-field wall for his first Major League home run. It was arguably the most exciting hit since Ryan Zimmerman's walk-off home run on Opening Day.

    • Episode 29

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 04/25/08: Red Sox at Rays

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 25th, 2008: Boston Red Sox 4 at Tampa Bay Rays 5 F -- A Nathan Haynes single ended it, but a cast of Rays heroes won the game on Friday night. Haynes singled home Carl Crawford in the bottom of the 11th to give the Rays a 5-4 win over the Red Sox in front of a crowd of 30,290 at Tropicana Field. Crawford led off the 11th with a single to left against Mike Timlin and promptly stole second on Timlin's second pitch to B.J. Upton. Upton then walked, bringing up Haynes, who hit the second pitch he saw into right field to easily bring home Crawford with the winning run. Manager Joe Maddon did not want to bunt the runners up because it would have created an empty base, which the Red Sox could have filled by intentionally walking Evan Longoria. So Haynes, who entered the game with three RBIs, was given the green light to hit away.

    • Episode 28

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/24/08: Cubs at Rockies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 24th, 2008: Chicago Cubs 2 at Colorado Rockies 4 F-- It was another late-inning giveaway at Coors Field on Thursday afternoon. Only this time, it was the Rockies on the receiving end in a 4-2 victory. After giving up yet another lead in the seventh inning, an error by Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot gave the Rockies the break they needed. After Matt Holliday led off the eighth with a double and was moved to third on a Garrett Atkins groundout, the Cubs intentionally walked Brad Hawpe to try to set up an inning-ending double play. Troy Tulowitzki gave them their chance with a check-swing grounder to second base. Theriot fumbled the relay and Holliday scored.

    • Episode 27

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/22/08: Cardinals at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      4/22/08: Cardinals 8 at Brewers 9 (12)F -- It took a whole lot longer than anyone would have liked, and it even managed to stretch the limits of baseball's only 14-deep pitching staff. "But the biggest thing is we got a win," Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks said. Gabe Gross walked and stole second before Gabe Kapler lined a winning single to right-center field, giving the Brewers a 9-8 win over the Cardinals at Miller Park on Tuesday that lasted 12 innings and ended four hours and 28 minutes after it began. "This team needed that," said Gross, who then needed his luggage. He was traded to Tampa after the Brewers' fifth extra-inning win this season. It was a happy exit for those of the 23,478 fans who stayed late for the end of the Brewers' only Tuesday afternoon game this season. The crowd was not so happy back in the ninth, when Weeks botched what that manager called a routine double-play relay that would have ended the game and instead cost closer Eric Gagne his fourth blown save this season.

    • Episode 26

      MLB.com Games of the Year: Smoltz Gets His 3000th Strikeout

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      4/22/08: Nationals 6 at Braves 0 F -- As much as the Braves wanted to see John Smoltz reach 3,000 strikeouts, they hoped to give him a victory a lot more. It didn't happen. "Very disappointing," Braves catcher Brian McCann said. "It was a special day and we didn't do our part." The Braves were handcuffed by young left-hander John Lannan and saw their winning streak end at five games with a 6-0 loss to the Nationals, as the bullpen gave up five runs in the ninth inning Tuesday night. "A tremendous performance by Smoltz," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's not going to throw the ball any better than that." Smoltz (3-1) was dominant over his seven innings at Turner Field, striking out 10 while becoming just the 16th player in Major League history to reach the 3,000-K milestone. "Pitch like that, you should win," Cox said. "But the kid pitched good. He kept the ball down all night long." The one run the Nationals got against Smoltz was enough, because Lannan stifled the Braves just 10 days after being pounded in a 10-2 loss to Atlanta in Washington.

    • Episode 25

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/21/08: Cardinals at Brewers

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 21st, 2008: St. Louis Cardinals 4 at Milwaukee Brewers 3 F-- They come in waves, these Cardinals outfielders, getting it done early and late. On Monday, it was the last one to get in the game who sparked the winning rally, doing so in an unfamiliar role that is feeling more and more normal. Brian Barton, who hasn't been a part-time player since he was a freshman in college, continued his embrace of pinch-hitting with a key knock at Miller Park. Barton's leadoff double in the ninth inning sparked the rally that finally put the Brewers away in a hard-earned 4-3 Cardinals win. Barton jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Derrick Turnbow, doubling to left-center field to open the ninth in a tie game. Cesar Izturis bunted him over to third base, and Skip Schumaker also jumped on a first-pitch heater, drilling it to center for the winning run.

    • Episode 24

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/20/08: Rockies at Astros

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 20th, 2008: Colorado Rockies 4 at Houston Astros 6 F -- The Colorado Rockies let Kazuo Matsui go via free agency after last season. On Sunday, Matsui paid them back. Trailing by a run with two outs in the eighth, the Astros new second baseman lined a 3-2 fastball from Rockies reliever Brian Fuentes down the left-field line to lift Houston to a 6-4 victory at Minute Maid Park. Matsui's single, his second of the day, scored Hunter Pence and Mark Loretta as the Astros came from behind to snap a three-game losing streak while ending Colorado's four-game winning streak. Matsui came around to score his second run of the day on a double by Miguel Tejada, who also contributed a pair of hits and two RBIs. Wesley Wright (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning to pick up the win for Houston. Jose Valverde retired the Rockies in the ninth for his second save and 100th of his Major League career.

    • Episode 23

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/19/08: Mets at Phillies

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      April 19th 2008, New York Mets 4 at Philadelphia Phillies 2 F-- On those nights when Aaron Heilman is a non-participant, "tomorrow" begins at 12:01 a.m. And no pages require turning on those overnights that follow a successful performance. But in the life of any late-inning relief pitcher, other nights develop; 12:01 passes, and the game still is being replayed, pitches are being re-thrown, re-hit and regretted. The Mets' victory against the Phillies on Friday night nearly became a bedtime story for Heilman. Neither the shower nor the clock performed the necessary purge. And the three-run home run he had surrendered to Greg Dobbs in the eighth inning hung there, teasing him, annoying him, threatening insomnia. But the Mets had prevailed despite it, so Heilman could rationalize, and he could sleep. That's not necessarily recovery, though. What allowed the Mets reliever to recover was additional time and another appearance at Citizens Bank Park, the arena fraught with peril regardless of circumstances, for any pitcher. And the circumstances Heilman inherited from Pedro Feliciano in the eighth inning Saturday provided their own danger -- bases loaded, one out and the Mets leading the Phillies by three. Another chance to build character.

    • Episode 22

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/13/12: Matt Cain's Perfect Game

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Matt Cain pitched the first perfect game in Giants history and 22nd overall while also tying Sandy

    • Episode 21

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/8/12: Seattle Mariners Combined No-Hitter

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Kevin Millwood's bid for his second no-hitter ended after six frames due to injury, but five

    • Episode 20

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 6/1/12: Johan Santana's No-Hitter

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Johan Santana took the mound Friday night at Citi Field and did something no Mets pitcher had done

    • Episode 19

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/28/12: Yankees 8 at Angels 9 | F

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Angels extended their win streak to seven -- and ended the Yanks' streak at five -- as Mark

    • Episode 18

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/27/12: Rockies 5 at Reds 7

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Rockies (five) won the home run battle, but the Reds (four) won the game, as the teams set the

    • Episode 17

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/19/12: Rangers 5 at Astros 6

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      A sellout crowd and national TV audience watched the Astros stand up to the Rangers as Houston

    • Episode 16

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/18/12: White Sox 3 at Cubs 2 | F

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Excitement is never lacking when the White Sox and Cubs play, and that held true to form Friday.

    • Episode 15

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/11/12: Braves 9 at Cardinals 7

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The night belonged to Tony La Russa -- whose number was retired in a pregame ceremony -- but it was

    • Episode 14

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/8/12: Rangers 10 at Orioles 3

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Josh Hamilton became the 16th Major Leaguer to hit four homers, belting a quartet of two-run shots

    • Episode 13

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/2/12: Phillies 13 at Braves 15 | F (11)

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Phillies seemed safe with Roy Halladay and a 6-0 lead. But Brian McCann's slam helped knock Doc

    • Episode 12

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/2/12: Dodgers 5 at Rockies 8 | F

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Rockies gave Matt Kemp a free pass in the top of the ninth, and he scored the tying run. In the

    • Episode 11

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 5/2/12: Jered Weaver's No-Hitter

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Twins barely got a sniff on Tuesday against Jerome Williams and on Wednesday against Jered

    • Episode 10

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/28/12: Nationals 3 at Dodgers 4 | F(10)

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Matt Kemp's amazing start to the season continued with a walk-off homer in the 10th inning as the

    • Episode 9

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/26/12: Marlins 2 at Mets 3 | F

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Mets took advantage of a wild Heath Bell, rallying for two in the ninth to secure a a three-game

    • Episode 8

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/24/12: Yankees 0 at Rangers 2

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      In just the seventh game in Major League history featuring two Japanese-born starters, Yu Darvish

    • Episode 7

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 04/21/12: Philip Humber's Perfect Game

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Philip Humber entered the MLB history books, tossing the 21st perfect game and third by a White Sox pitcher as he dominated the Mariners' lineup. The right-hander needed only 96 pitches to complete the feat at Safeco Field.

    • Episode 6

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/18/12: Phillies 0 at Giants 1 | F(11)

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Phillies' Cliff Lee pitched 10 shutout innings and Matt Cain nearly matched him with nine scoreless frames, but the game wasn't decided until the 11th. Brandon Belt singled, went to third on Ty Wigginton's error and then scored when Melky Cabrera singled.

    • Episode 5

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/12/12: Angels 9 at Twins 10

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau brought a bit of the old Metrodome to Target Field, spearheading a stirring Minnesota comeback from six runs down that Morneau punctuated with a go-ahead two-run blast -- his first long ball since last May.

    • Episode 4

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/11/12: Rays 4 at Tigers 2

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Carrying a one-hit shutout into the ninth, Justin Verlander was primed to pick up the win and send Detroit to 5-0. But the Rays had something up their sleeve: Evan Longoria KO'd the ace, then Ben Zobrist delivered the game-winner.

    • Episode 3

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/15/12: Padres 4 at Dodgers 5

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      The Dodgers improved to 9-1, tying their best start since 1981, in unconventional and dramatic fashion. After turning a disputed triple play on a Padres sac bunt attempt in the top of the ninth, L.A. retained the Majors' best record on Dee Gordon's walk-off.

    • Episode 2

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/9/12: Mariners 5 at Rangers 11

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      Yu Darvish gave up four Mariners runs on four hits and three walks while needing 42 pitches in his first Major League inning, but the right-hander recovered and rode homers from Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland, Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler to victory.

    • Episode 1

      MLB.com Games of the Year: 4/4/12: Cardinals 4 at Marlins 1 | F

      aired: Tue, Apr 3, 2012

      It was a night of firsts for the Marlins -- new stadium, new uniforms -- but the defending-champion Cardinals were in vintage form. Kyle Lohse took a no-hitter into the seventh, and David Freese drove in two runs with three hits as the Redbirds took the win on Opening Day.

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