Reason to Believe: Orioles 10, Yankees 9
Down three runs against the great Rivera in the ninth, they came back to tie it last night. Driving home late, I had no intention of tuning in but the game was on when the car sprang to life and I didn't turn it off. Bases loaded, two outs, and Jay Payton delivered a bases-clearing triple against Mariano. Game tied. With a jubilant September moon illumining the Potomac, Derek Jeter doubled to start the tenth. Here we go again. With one out, the Orioles loaded the bases by walking A-Rod and Matsui. Molina and Giambi popped up.
The Red Sox and a handful of fans in Fenway were watching with great interest. The pennant, one they had nearly relinquished to the bombers, hung in the balance.
Tike Redman sliced a one-out double into the left field corner. A wild pitch put him on third. "Now he has a multitiude of ways to score," Joe Angel said. The Yankees then walked Markakis and Tejada. Kevin Millar struck out. It was up to Melvin Mora. Melvin, in one of the most beautiful plays of the year, executed a perfect drag bunt down the third base line with two strikes to win the game.
New England erupted in celebration.
What could this team have been this year if the pitching had held up, if players like Gibbons and Hernandez continued to progress, and Tejada and Mora had remained true to form? As bad as they have been, the baseball gods have spared them the ultimate embarassment in 2007. They have had an awful time of it but their indiscretions may soon be eclipsed by the biggest collapse ever undertaken by the New York Mets.