ELECTRIC 9th Inning As A's Sweep On Cespedes Walk-Off

Can I just skip the first 8 innings and describe the 9th in minute detail? Because as alluring as the first 8 innings were -- and the legitimate pitchers' duel between Clayton Kershaw and Travis Blackley was terrific -- both halves of the 9th inning were like an entire game's worth, maybe season's worth, of fairytale baseball.

The first 8? Each team had just 3 hits and one run, with the A's scoring in the 2nd on a Brandon Inge sacrifice fly and the Dodgers tying it in the 4th on Juan Rivera's single poked just inside 1B. Blackley was brilliant, needing just 87 pitches, 67 of them strikes, to keep the Dodgers' bats at bay for the 3rd straight game. Kershaw was Kershaw but was out after 8 innings and 111 pitches. Which brings us to the 9th...

In the top of the 9th, Ryan Cook walked #9 hitter Matt Treanor to start the inning. Dee Gordon lay down a good bunt to 3B that Inge charged and, without even a split second's hesitation, turned and fired a strike to 2B that nipped Treanor by no more than an eyelash. Gordon, second in the big leagues in SBs, tried to steal 2B and in his first major league game, Derek Norris fired a strike right over the bag to nail Gordon. Cook struck out Elian Herrera on a 3-2 fastball and the A's came to bat in the bottom of the 9th with momentum that was reflected by the electricity in the crowd.

In the bottom of the 9th, against reliever Josh Lindblom, Coco Crisp walked to lead off and was wild pitched to 2B. Jemile Weeks then bunted to the left of the mound and Lindbloom came off the mound, spun to fire a throw to 3B, and discovered there was no one covering -- then looked at 1B and saw that Weeks had already flown by the bag with his second bunt hit in two games.

1B and 3B, nobody out, and I'm not sure why the Dodgers elected to pitch to Yoenis Cespedes. Seth Smith was on deck to pinch hit for Jonny Gomes, actually a decent candidate for the dreaded home-to-first DP. Mariano Rivera protogé Kenley Jansen, with his 51 Ks in 32.1 IPs, was ready in the bullpen, yet Lindblom stayed in and the Dodgers chose to pitch to Cespedes. Cespedes drilled an absolute laser beam into the LF bleachers just inside the foul pole, a walk-off 3-run HR to give the A's a series sweep and 8 of their last 9.

Just electric.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Athletics Nation

You must be a member of Athletics Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Athletics Nation. You should read them.

Join Athletics Nation

You must be a member of Athletics Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Athletics Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker