The Oakland Athletics have scored walk-off wins in each of their last three contests. They now have 63 home games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Beyond stimulating the intrigue of Bay Area baseball fans — really, sports fans — this type of success could provide minute economic stimulus. At this pace, the Oakland will need to stock up on cans of shaving cream at $4 per can. They’ll need to load up on powdered Gatorade pouches, at $12 a pop. At $8 per bag, Stephen Vogt and the A’s (15-17) will also need to build a stockpile of — Skittles?
It started at Spring Training when a fan whose name Vogt only recalls — despite several interactions now — being Leah gave the All-Star catcher a bag of the colorful bits of sugary bliss. The team then ran off five consecutive victories.
In search of a change of regular season fortune, Vogt went back to the “Rally Skittles,” breaking them out in Saturday’s eventual 6-5 walk-off winner over the Detroit Tigers. Then again in Sunday’s 8-6 walk-off over the same Tigers. And once more Monday, when second baseman Jed Lowrie’s second home run of the evening gave Oakland a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 11.
Vogt said it has been fun, thanking Leah:
“We’re three-for-three these last three games with the “Rally Skittles.” So, we’re having fun with it and we’re grateful to our fans.”
Now, pictures of that winning snack the team has taken to calling “Hittles” has begun to make its rounds on Twitter:
Lowrie, hero number three of three so far, said that while some of his teammates choose to indulge a bit more in the magical rainbow it is his prerogative to not tempt fate, taking only what he needs:
“I had one every single inning — bottom nine, bottom 10, bottom 11 — because that’s all we needed was one run.”
One was what the A’s needed in the 11th Monday. And one is what Lowrie gave them, on a blast deep into the right field bleachers.
Decisions regarding the Skittles goes beyond the quantity of consumption, though, as Vogt explained, having a feel for the moment is far more important:
“You can’t bring them out early. You’ve got to know when to bring them out.”
He said that decision came at different times in each of the wins:
“It’s when you need to get a rally going. (Saturday), I brought them down in the ninth and we walked it off. (Sunday), we brought them in the eighth. And then (Monday), we brought them down in the eighth as well, so we had to kind of stretch them out but they’re working.”
— Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) May 9, 2017
The snack has interesting meaning, in a town long known for its football — despite its pro franchise’s past and future displacement. One star of the sport in particular is known for his own use of the snack as a reward for good play, a star who recently decided on a return to Oakland, the Coliseum and its Raiders.
“I guess it’s kind of fitting, since ‘Beast Mode’ is back in Oakland.”
“We’ve got a surplus now.”