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The Shot Heard Round the Bay

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First place. Alone. It's ours, AN. For the first time in 2005, it's all OURS. At least for a day.

Thanks to Eric Chavez, the man routinely crucified by even A's fans for his lack of clutch hitting. He hit a three-run bomb against Oakland-hater Donnelly that could be remembered forever as the Shot Heard Round the Bay.

Chavez had at least three big-time clutch hits this year (I'm thinking off the top of my head). My question is, do you walk Chavy there and take your chances that DJ won't go 4-4? I don't know. I might've pitched Chavez carefully because you can get him to chase occasionally. They obviously didn't do that.

The A's won on a fluke play, thanks largely to a sulking Rodriguez. Could it be that Scioscia's whiny ways have permeated all his players? Both Molina and Rodriguez were sulking about the non-strike call. Just a thought.

But remember after the first night and the 9-2 loss, the A's were roundly criticized for being too young, too inexperienced to succeed under the intense heat of a big series. Yet, the "experienced and seasoned" Angels squad was the one that buckled under the pressure of this series. Goggle pen melted down two days in a row on mostly fluky plays, minus the Donnelly fastball.

Meanwhile, our younger, more modest pen (Duke in particular) picked up two victories in the past two days. Billy Beane has said that when he built this team, he thought about building it from the ninth inning back. That showed through both yesterday and today. The one game that wasn't decided by the pen the A's lost.

So, enjoy this sweet summer day, folks. The A's long and arduous climb back from oblivion is complete. Don't get me wrong, there's still a ton of work to do, but take a moment and revel in the fact that this team has the heart to come back from nothing. I love this team. Possibly more than any other team in recent years.

As a matter of fact, that smells like a new poll.

One thing to note: the two most exciting games this year involve Jason Kendall sliding towards home plate...the game in Texas and the game today.