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Game #19: Matt Olson walks off third-longest game in Oakland A’s history

It took 14 innings, but the A’s completed their sweep of the White Sox.

Ceeeelebrate good times!
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Wednesday’s game between the Oakland A’s and the Chicago White Sox started out like any other game at the Oakland Coliseum. The White Sox and A’s both struck early, each getting a run in the first inning and things seemed to be moving right along.

*** Click here to revisit today’s marathon Game Thread! ***

Things were moving, but once the first inning had ended, both the game and my day had only begun to take a very different and unexpected turn. I was fully prepared to have my full recap done by 4:00 PM or so. It wasn’t meant to be however, as I sit here at just after 7:00 PM attempting to provide you with a recap of a 5-hour, 48-minute, 14-inning ballgame, the third longest game for the team in the past 50 years.

Triggs immediately ran into trouble in the second, loading the bases with nobody out. His day was over after just an inning and a third, after allowing the next two batters to combine for five RBI on a single by Adam Engel and a Grand Slam off the bat of Yoan Moncada. The A’s answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Mark Canha went deep for the second time this season, Marcus Semien knocked in Bruce Maxwell with a sac fly, and the third run ended up scoring on a challenge. Jed Lowrie grounded into what at first appeared to be an inning-ending double play, however, from the A’s angle he appeared to be safe. Skipper Bob Melvin challenged the call on the field, it was overturned and Bruce Maxwell was allowed to score from third. The scoring continued by both teams in the fourth inning with the White Sox adding on three runs and the A’s another four.

The score remained at 9-8 in favor of the White Sox until the sixth inning. The White Sox padded their lead with an insurance run thanks to an RBI single by Leury Garcia. The A’s regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three runs. Bruce Maxwell drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and red-hot second baseman Jed Lowrie, who is either leading the league or in the top 10 in every major statistical category, put Oakland on top with a line drive two-run homer to left.

Now ahead 11-10 the A’s were the one’s feeling pretty good, like the game might be in the bag with just three outs to get. Much like the rest of the game, things did not go as planned. With a runner on second and closer Blake Treinen on the mound, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson hit a ball deep down the left field line and into the corner to drive in the runner and tie it up. After the A’s failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, it was time for extra innings.

If you’ve been watching for the past five hours or so, then you’d know that innings 10 through 13 went by relatively uneventfully with one exception, both teams were running out of pitchers. With both teams’ starters, Triggs and the White Sox Carson Fullmer, barley getting through more than an inning, both bullpens got in quite a bit of work.

The A’s didn’t quite run out of pitchers especially thanks to the recently called up 26-year-old, right-hander Lou Trivino. Trivino had gotten in an inning of work in Tuesday’s night’s 10-2 blowout of the White Sox. He pitched a single inning in that game, allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out two. Even though he had pitched in his first big league game the night before, Trivino dominated this game’s final three innings allowing just two hits and no walks, while collecting four strikeouts and his first big league win. Along with Triggs and Trivino, the A’s used six other relievers:

  • Danny Coulombe: Coulombe pitched 2.1 innings, and although he only gave up one hit, he also walked three and was charged with two earned runs
  • Santiago Casilla: Casilla allowed one run on 2 hits and struck out one in two full innings of work. When he entered, Coulombe left him two inherited runners and they both scored.
  • Emilio Pagan: Pagan also allowed a run but gave up three hits and collected two strikeouts.
  • Chris Hatcher: Hatcher pitched a solid 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout.
  • Ryan Buchter: Buchter’s single inning of work went by without incident; no hits, runs, walks or strikeouts.
  • Blake Treinen: Treinen came in to pitch the 9th and potentially save the game for the A’s who were up 11-10. After retiring his first two batters and being oh so close to putting the game away Treinen allowed a double to catcher Wellington Castillo and an RBI single to Anderson to tie the game. He went on to pitch the 10th and 11th innings, ending the day allowing just the one run on four hits and one walk while striking out three.
  • Lou Trivino: As already noted Trivino pitched three nearly flawless innings and helped lead the Athletics to victory and earn himself the win.

The only guys they didn’t use were Ryan Dull, and ... outfielder Jake Smolinski.

The White Sox used 10 total pitchers, every single one of their relievers along with Fulmer and 36-year-old right-handed starter, known as “Big Game” James Shields. I’ve always found that nickname to be an interesting one for the veteran pitcher, because when it comes down to it he’s just not that good in big games. Out of Shield’s 11 postseason starts (including three in the World Series) he has a 3-6 record to go along with a 5.46 ERA. I had a feeling that White Sox manager Rick Renteria may have been giving the A’s an advantage by putting Shields in, in this win-or-get swept situation. It seems that it is in situations like these in which he does not seem to flourish.

Shields retired the first two batters he faced making it almost appear as if the game would continue on into yet another inning. The inning took a turn when Shields allowed a single to Marcus Semien who subsequently stole second. He walked both of the A’s most dangerous hitters in Lowrie and Davis to bring up Matt Olson, who took Shields’ second pitch and hit it to the center field wall, Marcus Semien scored and the A’s came away from this marathon victorious 12-11, with the series sweep and a four-game winning streak with some pie on the side.