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.