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Another last-strike comeback by Clutch Cards? Crazy!

The Cardinals celebrate the final out of their stunner in Washington. (AP Photo)

I know the majority of you out there are Yankees fans and props to them -- especially to CC Sabathia -- for finishing off the Orioles Friday in Game Five, 3-1. Good luck in the ALCS against the Tigers starting tonight in the Bronx. They'll need it if they don't find any offense.

But what I can't stop thinking about is the end of the Cardinals-Nationals game. It's just too bizarre for mere words. Almost Groundhog Day. I was in Busch Stadium last year for Game Six of the World Series, when the Cardinals were two runs down and down to their last strike in both the ninth and 10th innings aganist the Rangers and somehow survived.

Last night? Same score in the 9th. 7-5. The Cardinals get four runs to win 9-7 and hand the Nationals a shocking end to the breakout season for baseball in the nation's capital. That fascinating potential Baltimore-Washington World Series? Toast.'s Jayson Stark was at both games and neatly connected the two.

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bernie Miklasz wrote "if you closed your eyes and listened intently, you may have heard the echoes of the late Jack Buck barking "Go crazy, folks. Go crazy." 

In the Washington Times, former News intern Amanda Comak wrote the Nationals "stood on the precipice. One out away. One strike away. One iota away from a ticket into the National League Championship Series." They never got the strike.

Said first baseman Adam LaRoche: "Seven, eight months worth of hard work goes away in one inning like that. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s frustrating. This is going to sting. It’s going to sting until next year.”

In the Post, legendary columnist Tom Boswell unleashed this gem: "You don’t get the whole feast in the first course. But Washington and its baseball fans, in their first visit to baseball’s postseason banquet, didn’t expect to be served arsenic in the appetizer."

Certainly the Stephen Strasburg situation loomed over this one afterward. He would have pitched Game 1 and Game 5 so we'll never know what would have happened. The starting pitchers had a 5.25 ERA but the offense managed just 3.2 runs in the first four games as well.

I say the Nationals tweaked the baseball gods too much -- but letting Teddy win the Presidents Race. Bad karma. Winless until the season finale and perfect in the playoffs? Booo to that.

Relive the Cardinals' comeback here:

So it's Yankees-Tigers and Cardinals-Giants. Give a vote below and watch for my coverage of the ALCS, starting Tuesday with Game Three in Detroit.

---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |