It came with two out in the 9th inning, with Oakland trailing 5-4, after the first two A's had been retired and Josh Willingham had survived an 0-2 count -- and even a check swing in which he barely laid off -- to walk against electric closer Sergio Santos.
And then Hideki Matsui survived a two-strike count to single home Willingham. And then Daric Barton walked. And then Kurt Suzuki survived the third "down to their last strike" at bat getting hit by a pitch. And then Scott Sizemore, who has had good at bat after good at bat since joining the club, launched a ball deep into the left-center field alley.
It was more than Alex Rios could handle, more than Vince Cotroneo's cracking voice could handle. It was pure bliss for a team trying to stave off an 11th consecutive loss, and for a fan base that has been relegated to a Dahmer-style eating of each other to endure the horror. I mean that figuratively of course. (Or do I?)
Graham Godfrey was pretty mediocre, serving up a 2-run HR to Paul Konerko in the 1st and charged with 5 runs overall in his 4.1 IP thanks to a pretty straight fastball, but after Michael Wuertz allowed both inherited runners to score he combined with Joey Devine, Grant Balfour, and Andrew Bailey to toss 4.2 IP of shutout ball.
Cliff Pennington deserves props for his three-hit, two double game in his second day as the A's #2 hitter. And Matsui continues to show signs of life, with a two-hit game in which he reached base three times. And of course, Sizemore. Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, the A's have found their next 3Bman after an exhaustive and fruitless search? Time will tell but I like this guy's approach at the plate and he looks like he has the tools to play a decent 3B.
But perhaps the signature moment was a quick shot in the dugout of new A's manager Bob Melvin, joining in the bliss of Sizemore's blast that would give him his first win at the helm of the green and gold. Whether winning begets energy or energy begets winning, they're a beautiful combination and for at least one night, thanks to one great moment made possible by a series of great at bats before it, the A's had that beautiful combination.
And a win. Oh, glory be, a win. I like those.