Final day drama in MLB;A’s, Tigers, Cards win playoff races, Zimmermann’s no-no, Jeter’s farewell

Sonny Gray pitched Oakland into baseball’s last playoff spot, shutting out King Felix this October. David Price delivered the AL Central crown to Detroit, St. Louis scratched ace Adam Wainwright after wrapping up the NL Central. And on a final day that featured Derek Jeter’s farewell, Jordan Zimmermann injected even more drama by throwing a no-hitter preserved when Washington rookie Steven Souza Jr. made a catch for the ages.

Sonny Gray pitched Oakland into baseball’s last playoff spot, shutting out King Felix this October.

David Price delivered the AL Central crown to Detroit, St. Louis scratched ace Adam Wainwright after wrapping up the NL Central.

And on a final day that featured Derek Jeter’s farewell, Jordan Zimmermann injected even more drama by throwing a no-hitter preserved when Washington rookie Steven Souza Jr. made a catch for the ages.

“Just an epic day for an epic season,” Nationals outfielder Denard Span said.

Going into Sunday’s first pitch, not a single post-season matchup was set — plus the possibility of three tiebreakers loomed. Hours later, the brackets were all settled in Game 162.

Gray blanked Texas 4-0, helping the shaky Athletics hold off Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners for the second AL wild-card slot. The A’s will open this year’s post-season at Kansas City on Tuesday night, with Jon Lester facing the Royals’ James Shields.

The Royals went 5-2 against the A’s this season — both losses were to Lester. For Oakland slugger Adam Dunn, it will be his first playoff appearance. He’s been in 2,001 games, the most by any active major leaguer without reaching the post-season.

“I played scenarios of this day out in my head probably a thousand times,” Dunn said.

On Wednesday night, Madison Bumgarner and San Francisco visit Edinson Volquez and Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game.

The Pirates lost their chance to catch the Cardinals with a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati. No matter, they’ll be back home at PNC Park, where they won the wild-card game last season.

“I expect it to be like last year: So loud you can’t hear the ball off the bat,” said Josh Harrison, who almost won the NL batting title.

Both of the best-of-five AL division series begin Thursday. It’ll be the wild-card winner at the Los Angeles Angels and the Tigers at Baltimore.

In NL openers Friday, the wild card plays at Washington and the Cardinals are at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Price, acquired by Detroit in late July to win big games, stopped Minnesota 3-0. The Tigers needed a victory to close out the Royals for the division.

“On a day where we needed an enormous outing after giving up 20-something runs over the previous two, he stepped right up. He showed why he’s a true No. 1,” first-year Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

At Fenway Park, the World Series champion Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees were long gone from the playoff race. But the place was packed for Jeter’s goodbye.

On his final swing, Jeter chopped an RBI single. He left to a rousing ovation, stopping to embrace Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz on the mound.

The 40-year-old Jeter left after 20 years with 3,465 hits, five World Series rings and no regrets.

“I felt like the time was right,” he said. “My emotions were so all over the place on Thursday in New York, and when I got here I was ready; I was ready for my career to be over with.”

The Nationals punctuated a season in which they had the NL’s best record with an exclamation point — the first no-hitter in team history.

Zimmermann was in total control until two outs in the ninth, when Christian Yelich hit a deep drive. Souza, in left field as a defensive replacement, raced back into the gap and made a sensational diving grab.

Zimmermann winced when the ball was hit, figuring it was bound to be a “no-doubt double.”

“And then he comes out of nowhere and makes that catch,” Zimmermann said.

Just Posted

Tory MPs gather in Red Deer to hear from voters

Eight MPs from across the province got input on a wide range of topics

Red Deer food bank to re-evaluate to stay up to date on new Canadian food guide

The Red Deer Food Bank Society, which feeds thousands of families every… Continue reading

Young Blackfalds mother copes with double tragedies with community support

Three fundraisers are being held to help Alana Newbold and her children

Red Deer careful about overuse of road salt

Focus on anti-icing to reduce salt use

Carjacking victim would stop to help again

Springbrook woman has some sympathy for carjacker

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Liberals have options to help more millennials buy homes, experts say

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have several options as they look for… Continue reading

Parks Canada puts brakes on Icefields Parkway bike trail in Alberta

Parks Canada says it won’t go ahead with a plan to build… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake resident to receive kidney from younger sister

Sylvan Lake resident Lexie Libby had been losing hope of ever finding… Continue reading

Closing arguments at trial of accused in slaying of Calgary Stampeders player

CALGARY — Final arguments are to be heard today at the trial… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the… Continue reading

Canadian Milos Raonic has Australian Open run end in quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic is done at the Australian Open… Continue reading

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Two Quebec short-film directors mark first Oscar nominations together

TORONTO — Two Quebec filmmakers celebrated in solidarity on Tuesday after learning… Continue reading

Most Read