Okay, maybe we exaggerate. But still, if you're a fan of baseball dramatics, yesterday was a banner day.
First, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks went 13 1/2 scoreless innings until Garret Anderson, of all people, hit the game-winning single — ruled a trap by a diving Chris Young — in the bottom of the 14th inning. The Dodgers were a half game out of first place...for the time being.
But we were just getting started. Of course, the big baseball news of the day was umpire Jim Joyce's missed call costing the Tigers' Armando Galarraga a perfect game, which would have been the third of the season. Think the Steroid Era is over? (But weren't pitchers juicing too?)
Immediate reactions to this debacle included sympathy for Galarraga — and for Joyce as well. Both men reacted with class, and we got these transcendent words from Joe Posnanski:
Galarraga pitched a perfect game on Wednesday night in Detroit. I’ll always believe that. I think most baseball fans will always believe that. But, more than anything it seems that Galarraga will always believe it. The way he handled himself after the game, well, that was something better than perfection. Dallas Braden’s perfect game was thrilling. Roy Halladay’s perfect game was art. But Armando’s Galarraga’s perfect game was a lesson in grace.
Of course, none of this will prevent the instant replay debate from firing up for the rest of this season. Already there's talk of Bud Selig overturning the missed call, and for some, it's time to get back to work:
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said MLB gave Joyce the option to not work Thursday's game between Detroit and Cleveland, but Joyce chose to stick with his job behind the plate. Leyland added that Galarraga would present the lineup card and shake hands with Joyce at home plate before the afternoon game.
The first-place Padres, never willing to make things easy for the Dodgers, shook off a strong performance by Johan Santana and took the Mets into extra innings when David "MSB" Eckstein drove in the tying run off Francisco Rodriguez. And, just to top Anderson's walk-off single, Adrian Gonzalez hit a walk-off grand slam to win it in the 11th. The Dodgers' reclamation of first place must wait for at least another day.
Oh, and as the cherry on top of The Most Dramatic Day in Baseball History, the Twins-Mariners game ended with a bit of a brouhaha as well. These types of things may drive Selig crazy, but there wouldn't be controversy if people didn't care. And there was a lot to care about yesterday.
photo by Paul Sancya/AP