During the last at-bat of the game, I kept flashing on the MLB slogan you see on TV commercials: "I live for this." In four simple words, you have Barry Bonds and Huston Street, the Babe safe for another day and the A's in sole possession of 1st place, a packed house with electric energy all night long, all leading to this. In the end, some of them leave happy, some of them leave disappointed, but all of them leave knowing they got what they came for: nail-biting, history-chasing, crisp, pennant-race baseball. I live for this.
So on a night where all eyes are on the bleachers waiting for a historic blast, the game's only run scores on a weak chopper, while Danny Haren puts the team on his back again and makes a single run stand up. The A's are playing crisp baseball right now, and nothing exemplifies crisp baseball like exceptional defense. Mark Ellis' nimble "pump fake," stepping around Sweeney, resetting and calmly whipping the throw to first to complete a double-play. Bobby Crosby's all-out dive to his left, springing to his feet, firing a strike to a stretching Nick Swisher. Jay Payton, seemingly racing in before Randy Winn even begun his swing, running down a line drive with the tying run in scoring position in the 8th. Even without their most dominant starter, their most reliable reliever, and their 5-tool acquisition, the A's are playing like a 1st place team these days. And now it shows in the standings.