Tonight’s amazing win is brought to you by two major moments that changed the game, an amazing night by Jurickson Profar and the world’s best pinch-hitting decision, bringing the beyond white-hot Seth Brown into the game, making him the first player in A’s history with 10 hits in 5 career games.
Despite the final score of 8-2, this game could have gone sideways in a hurry thanks to a replay review in the bottom of the fourth that was among the most stunning reversals (correct, but still) I’ve ever seen. I know we joke a lot about the A’s ending up on the losing end of replay, but you haven’t seen anything if you missed this one.
With runners on first and second and no one out, Brett Anderson looked for all the world like he rolled a double-play to Marcus Semien, who threw to Profar, who threw to first. The double-play was called on the field and the A’s should have been left with a Yankees runner at third and two outs.
Instead, the Yankees decided to challenge the call, BOTH bases were reviewed and to A’s fans’ stunning surprise, BOTH calls were overturned. You read that right: The A’s went from two outs and a runner on third to the bases loaded and no one out. Game-changer in every way.
You have to give Brett Anderson credit. Already tied 1-1, thanks to a Jurickson Profar solo home run in the second and a a bases loaded force out (Anderson just couldn’t beat the final out to the bag), Anderson was in deep trouble with no one out. And then, as if by magic, before we could even be too mad about the TWO OVERTURNED CALLS, LIKE HOW MUCH DO WE HATE REPLAY, he rolled yet another double-play ball and this time, the A’s turned it, scoring one run, but one felt like the best gift of all Christmases and birthdays combined. And then the A’s looked at the Yankees, leading 2-1, and said, that’s the best you’ve got?
And then they rolled.
Past Sabathia and his three innings (injured knee), past the stupid rule of replay, past the cheering crowd of a full house at Yankee Stadium, the A’s are on a mission and even the team with the best AL record was not going to stand even a little bit in their way.
The second watershed moment of this game, if you will, happened in the sixth inning as the A’s, still down 2-1, started off the inning against Tommy Kahnle with a single and a(nother) hit by pitch, this time Mark Canha (who was checked out and seemed fine), putting two runners on for the A’s, bringing up Chad Pinder. Melvin decided to play the hottest of hands, and pinch-hit Seth Brown. In Yankee Stadium. Down a run. In a red-hot playoff race. And boy, did that rookie come through in spades.
He doubled, tying the game, but more importantly, putting two more runners in scoring position. And after Phegley struck out, Profar, who was the king of this game for sure, nearly, nearly, NEARLY struck out, but he managed to foul tip instead, and on his second chance, he doubled, scoring both runs, giving the A’s the 4-2 lead.
Chapman singled in the seventh and stole second base, bringing up Mark Canha, who tripled in the A’s fifth run. Of course, in Seth Brown’s next at-bat, at Yankee Stadium, NO BIG DEAL, he singled in Canha for the A’s sixth run. And then, in the ninth, Semien hit his 25th home run for the A’s seventh, and after Olson doubled, Seth Brown came up again, and he hit another single for another RBI, giving the A’s an 8-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Oh, it was glorious. Oh it was amazing.
The A’s play early tomorrow morning to try to take the series. This is playoff baseball at its very best.
LET’S GO OAK-LAND!