Time for the “better late than never” conclusion to my 22 worst beats of ’22. Here is part two:
1. 7/12: Yankees ML vs. Reds
The Yanks were ahead 3-0 as they headed to the ninth inning. Clay Holmes came in to close it out. He was 4-0, and had been the second coming of Mariano Rivera up to this point. Cincinnati was 0-48 when trailing after eight innings. Conversely, the Yankees were 49-0 when leading after eight. Holmes didn’t have it. Five batters reached, although only one ball left the infield. Cincinnati had scored twice, and Wandy Peralta entered with the bases loaded and nobody out. He was one strike away from escaping the jam after a pair of ground balls each resulted in an out at home plate. Jonathan India then singled in two runs. Cincinnati completed a miracle comeback. It was an unfathomable loss for the heavily favored Yankees. Alanis Morissette said it best in one of her more popular songs. Thank you India.
2. 7/21: Giants +1.5 at Dodgers
Some bad beats actually look like they will end poorly in the early stages but give me false hope before becoming extremely painful. San Francisco rallied from 5-0 down to go in front, 6-5. The knock on San Francisco going in was their defense, and they showed why in this game. There were two official errors, but they also misplayed fairly routine balls. LA had two outs and a runner on in the eighth inning. Escaping with a lead to the ninth would greatly increase my chances of winning because the Dodgers would need to win by more than one with a walk-off.
Los Angeles tied it on an RBI triple. After a walk by Cody Bellinger (terrible because he was struggling and a far worse hitter than who was up next), Mookie Betts deposited one deep to left. The Dodgers won 9-6. LA was one of those teams that seemed to win almost every game. Especially when I went against them. Then they would lose at home against an awful Washington team as big favorites when I figured they were unbeatable.
3. 7/23: Yankees ML at Orioles
As Yogi Berra famously said, it was deja vu all over again. The heavily favored Yankees were up 3-0 with ace Gerrit Cole on the bump. Once again, they blew it. This time, Cole suffered the loss. Baltimore came back to win by a final of 6-3, but this wasn’t just on their pitching. Yankee bats were only 1-14 with runners in scoring position.
4. 9/10: Hawaii-Michigan over 66.5
This is one of my worst losses for several reasons. The final was 56-10. I could have bought a point and won. That afternoon I actually argued with people about how buying points makes a difference and turns losses into wins. Should have taken my own advice. It made SVP’s Bad Beats segment. Hawaii had their running back try a jump pass on third and goal. I even joked about possibly losing 59-7 before the game started. My point was they might only score 66 points. It was basically a replay of their game the week before in terms of coming up just short on the over by not punching one in late.
5. 9/18: Raiders +1.5 in a teaser vs. Cardinals
Las Vegas blew a 20-0 halftime lead. Kyler Murray made one ridiculous play after another. Murray threw incomplete on fourth down with 30 seconds to play. It appeared that the Raiders had held on and wrapped up a 23-15 victory. However, defensive holding was called. Kyler scored on fourth down with no time left. He then completed a pass for two points that forced overtime. Replay reviews went Arizona’s way. It took a bunch of wild plays for the Cardinals to make their comeback.
Arizona was then stopped on fourth down in the extra session. Las Vegas appeared to be driving for the win. Even a tie would have been good enough for my teaser. Byron Murphy Jr. returned Hunter Renfrow’s fumble 59 yards. This was the first of many times that Las Vegas snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and it was not the only time I would get burned by the Raiders. Another Las Vegas teaser that involved a 17-0 blown lead almost made the list.
6. 9/24: Oregon -6.5 at Washington State
Scott Van Pelt sometimes says that the right side covered. In fact, this was one of those times. I make my own rules. The fact that it looked like there was no shot of an Oregon cover made it even more frustrating when they came back to go up 10 before allowing a late touchdown. This game had just about all of the ingredients for a classic bad beat. First of all, I had just suffered a catastrophic loss that could have easily made this list when Florida scored two late touchdowns against Tennessee.
Losing on Oregon pretty much completed the double whammy. I could have won by going ML or teasing with the over instead of giving points with the Ducks. Washington State’s final touchdown was set up by a long pass with just seconds left. The time remaining didn’t appear on screen. It had been taken down. There was confusion about whether or not another play could be run. That long pass was originally ruled a touchdown before being reversed by replay. This allowed Washington State time to get down the field, set up, and snap the ball with five seconds remaining. It was incredibly chaotic, and heartbreaking.
7. 11/2: Blazers +4.5 vs. Grizzlies
Portland trailed 111-104. They missed a late three before scoring on an offensive rebound. Memphis won 111-106. My +4.5 lost. It went to 5.5 after my bet was placed. I didn’t buy a point or wait until the spread went up. That final dunk helped some people, but not me.
8. 11/20: Jets +3.5 at Patriots
Obviously, I had been covering the entire time if it was tied at 3 with under 30 seconds remaining. The Jets lost on a punt return touchdown when they seemed destined to cover and probably head into overtime. An absolute debacle. It was a horrible bad beat and an excruciating team loss. Also, their quarterback has been broken since this game. The season was a disaster after that punt return. Oh the pain.
9. 11/29: Blazers ML vs. Clippers
It was my second rough loss on a Blazers home game in less than a month. Portland was winning 91-73 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. LA pulled within 95-82 before the fourth quarter began, and outscored the Blazers by 19 points during the final period. Norman Powell, a reserve, scored 32 points against his former team. He scored 22 of those points in that decisive final quarter.
10. 12/3: TCU -1.5 in the second half vs. Kansas State
Overtime started with the game tied at 28. TCU went for two at 28-26. If they missed, it would have been a second half cover because they trailed 14-10 at halftime and it would have been 16-14 after halftime. When there was a third and goal from inches away in overtime I started to see how this would turn out. TCU didn’t score. Well, they were close once or twice and maybe did break the plane. Officials didn’t give it to them. Kansas State only needed a field goal to win after holding, and prevailed 31-28. TCU outscored them after halftime, but only 18-17. I didn’t get my over 60, either. A nightmare scenario. I figured this would happen because that was how I would lose both bets.
11. 12/11: KC -6.5 at Denver
The Chiefs were favored by 8.5, so I bought two points. Often I like to get it down under 6, but crossing past 7 is expensive. The Chiefs jumped out to a 27-0 lead, so it looked like they would cover easily. Jerry Jeudy bumped an official. He should have been ejected. Instead, he continued to play and scored three touchdowns. Kansas City won, but by six. Another case where I could have won by teasing with the over or going ML. I also could have bought that one additional point.