The Red Sox celebration after Game 162 against the Nationals. Oct 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11), Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2), Red Sox left fielder Kyle Schwarber (18), and Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez (5) celebrate clinching a Wild Card berth after the final out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Game 162 of the MLB season Sunday, there was plenty of potential for chaos, with extra games potentially needed in both the American League and the National League. None of that chaos actually came to be, though. In the NL, the 106-55 San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 11-4 to get their franchise-best 107th win, meaning that the 105-56 Los Angeles Dodgers’ 10-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers didn’t force a division tiebreaker. In the AL, while both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (both 91-70) both looked in trouble at times, and while the 90-71 Toronto Blue Jays won 12-4 against the Baltimore Orioles to do their part in creating an extra tiebreaker (the 90-71 Seattle Mariners did not, as they fell  to the Los Angeles Angels), both New York and Boston came back to win to avoid the need for an extra tiebreaker.

In Boston’s case, the crucial comeback involved a three-run seventh inning (capped with a two-run double from Alex Verdugo) to tie the game at five. It then saw this Rafael Devers two-run home run in the ninth off Kyle Finnegan to give the Red Sox a 7-5 lead:

The Nationals got out of that inning without further damage following a pitching change to Jhon Romero. But in the bottom of the ninth, Red Sox reliever Nick Pivetta then got Lane Thomas to fly out and Alcides Escobar to ground out. Pivetta then struck out Juan Soto to end the game and secure the win and the wild card spot for the Red Sox.

Since the Red Sox won the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Yankees, they’ll now host New York in the AL Wild Card game Tuesday. That game will air at 8 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

[@RedSox on Twitter,, photo from Geoff Burke/USA Today]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.