A favorite cliché among sports fans is to remind each other that “it’s not over yet,” despite how comfortably your team may be winning or how little time is left.
Fans of the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics now know this all too well after incredible ninth inning collapses against the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals, respectively, saw the teams fall to dramatic MLB defeats.
Per ESPN, before the Marlins and the Nationals completed their comebacks, teams were 3-759 when trailing by 4 runs or more in the 9th inning or later.
The Yankees were leading the Marlins 7-1 at one point during their matchup and going into the bottom of the ninth New York was leading 7-3.
The relief pitching of Clay Holmes and Tommy Kahnle proved not enough as the Marlins rallied back to seal an improbable 8-7 win, scoring five runs in the final inning of the game.
“These guys don’t stop believing,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker told reporters. “It’s just a thing in the clubhouse, a thing in the dugout. The guys that we acquired they believe in it. There’s no stop.”
It’s already been a tough year for Oakland A’s fans. With relocation talks and the worst record across Major League Baseball, it’s been hard for the A’s faithful to catch a break.
Leading 7-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth, the A’s must have been thinking a rare win was coming their way. However, the Nationals had other ideas and stormed back to take an 8-7 win with Jeter Downs’ walk-off the final blow.
“You have to let this one go,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said to reporters. “It’s frustrating, obviously, on every level.”
The Nationals, who sit bottom of the National League East, have also had a tough campaign but this would have helped morale among the franchise.
“This team has been relentless,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said postgame. “They play hard. They don’t give up. You talk about playing hard for 27 outs, and it shows. We’re never out it.”
Downs’ winning RBI was also his first for the Nationals and could not have come at a better time for the franchise.
“The way it all ended, that’s why we play this game,” Downs told reporters. “You don’t ever think about something happening like that, especially down five. It definitely still feels surreal at this point.”
Elsewhere across MLB games, Shohei Ohtani continued his electric form and scored homer No. 41 for the season.
The only man in the league to better this tally is Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson. Olson also added another homer to his season count, notching No. 43 for the campaign.