Those spunky A’s.
You could feel it coming. Down 4-3 to the vaunted Yankees entering the bottom of the ninth inning, you could feel something was going to happen.
Then, BAM! Seth Smith sent most of the 30,470 into a frenzy. He had just tied the game. For eight and a half innings, the Yankees had wrestled away momentum from the A’s. But with one swing, the A’s took it right back.
As Sunday’s extra innings wore on, a certain air inevitability breezed through the Coliseum.
In the bottom of the 12th, Coco Crisp made it a reality. With one out, Crisp, who entered the game in the 8th inning, flared one over second base, sending Derek Norris home with the winning run.
The unthinkable had just happened. The A’s had done something never before done in their history: Welcomed the Yankees into their home for four games, and won them all. They had never swept a four-game home series against the Yankees until this weekend.
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the Coliseum that loud.
In all their history, the Yankees had never lost all four games of a four-game series by one run. They will search, but no moral victories emerge from a series like this.
As for the A’s, there are so many things to take out of the sweep. Three rookie pitchers — A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker — excelled against the explosive Yankees lineup. Yoenis Cespedes went 7-for-15 in the series with a couple of moonshot home runs. He is clearly the player that makes the biggest difference for the A’s.
The A’s haven’t played this well in six years. It’s staggering to watch such a young team play this well, well enough to be at the top of the American League Wild Card standings along with the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels.
Sunday was the A’s 11th walk-off win of the season. The all-time record for walk-off wins in a season is 18, set by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1959.
Veteran columnist Carl Steward had a fitting recap to the wackiness the A’s are exhibiting on the field after these miraculous wins.