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Game #147: Hilarious homer by Billy Butler splits series

Billy Butler played the role of hero for the A's, hitting a three run shot in the ninth to save the day.

Billy Butler gives Coco the HR presentation.
Billy Butler gives Coco the HR presentation.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

September has been a long month. But now we have this.

Pitcher's duel, kinda

Results wise, this game was a bit of a pitching duel for the early innings. For the A's, Sean Nolin "Ryan" got the start, again disappointing the radar gun but putting up decent results. Nolin went five laborious innings, throwing 94 pitches. He gave up just two runs, one on a mistake to Mike Olt who deposited Nolin's location miss deep into the leftfield stands in the fourth and one on an RBI single to Melky Cabrera in the fifth.

Overall, Nolin was solid. He lost control of the zone at points and topping out at 89 MPH, Nolin's fastball still lacked the zip we've been promised. Still, you have to see some promise in the guy. He hit his spots, missed his share of bats, (resulting in 4 k's) and induced a lot of weak contact. Make no mistake, the White Sox lineup is bad and Nolin's inability to get past the fifth isn't ideal but there is certainly promise. Especially if he finds those missing MPH's.

For the Sox, Jose Quintana got the nod. Quintana has quietly been a very good pitcher for a handful of years, mixing his wipeout slider with impeccable command. His Chavezian lack of run support has kept him out of the national spotlight and the win column, but he is an excellent pitcher. The A's struggled to sustain success against the lefty, tagging him for a single run on four hits in seven total innings.

The A's scored their run of Quintana in the third. Josh Phegley doubled to lead off and was driven in by Marcus Semien's bloop single to right. While it wasn't a shot, I think we can put the questions of Semien's clutchness to bed. The bats were otherwise quiet for Quintana's seven innings.

The middle innings

Innings 6-8 happened. That's about all I've got to say about them.

The good part

Watch it again.

The A's entered the ninth down 2-1. With one out, Brett Lawrie doubled to left to top off his 3-4 day. Danny Valencia followed with a single moving Lawrie to third. With the game on the line, 1 out, and a runner on 1st, the last person in the world I would want to hit is Billy butler. Conservative estimates have him at 23 GIDPs this year and about infinity in his career. A double play to end the game seemed certain but Butler would have none of it. On an 0-1 pitch, Butler cranked a deep shot to right, pushing Avisail Garcia to the wall. It was a great job of hitting which, fielding mishap aside, would have scored the tying run from third. But Garcia intervened.

As you can see above, Garcia reached over the wall to bring the ball back, only to drop it when his glove made contact coming back to the field. It was a hilarious moment for A's fans and a sad one for Sox fans. Thus is baseball.

Eh, one more time.

It's a great moment for the embattled Butler. The A's current DH is having a solid month and it's nice to see him have a great moment. Right?

Other Notes:

-Sean Doolittle pitched two beautiful innings of relief, the first time he has done so this year.

-Josh Reddick had a horrible day on the bases as he was caught stealing twice. Maybe Mark Canha can teach him a thing or two.

-Brett Lawrie went 3-4, fulfilling his promise to A's fans everywhere of getting you overly excited at least once per week.

What's next?

The A's travel to Houston to take on the Astros, who are all the sudden on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in. Let's go A's!