"Aaaoutside Corner, Ring Him Up, Strike Three Called!"

Sweeter words were never spoken. David Ortiz pinch-hitting, Andrew Bailey on the mound, 4-3 A's, tying run at 2B, two out, and Ortiz spoiling off cutter after cutter. The two teams may only be in pennant races thanks to the wonders of math, but it was a playoff atmosphere in Oakland when Bailey finally won the battle, freezing Ortiz and painting the outside corner by less than the space between Big Papi's front teeth.

How did we get there? Brett Anderson tossed 7 solid innings yet trailed 2-0 when he threw his last pitch as the A's flailed helplessly for 6 innings against nemesis John Lackey. Without warning, the A's erupted for 3 in the 7th to take the lead and eventually return Anderson the winning pitcher. Daric Barton opened with a double, Jack Cust had a key single through the grand canyon sized SS hole, and Rajai Davis tripled just past the rather magnificent over-the-shoulder diving effort of CFer Ryan Kalish, sprawling on the warning track.

There was more drama in the bottom of the 8th when Cust's bases loaded single brought home Crisp, followed closely behind by Barton, who was called out on a bang-bang play at the plate. That missing run loomed large when Boston scored one in the top of the 9th, put the tying run at 2B, and sent Ortiz up representing the go-ahead run.

You know how it ended. Excitement in Oakland, in front of a lively crowd, a playoff atmosphere with the green and gold coming out on top. How ironic that Marco Scutaro and Adrian Beltre chose the Red Sox over the A's because they wanted to win now. For at least one night -- no, make it at least two nights -- they chose the wrong team.

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