The Oakland A’s unleashed fury with their bats on Wednesday, in Game 3 of the 2020 ALDS against the Houston Astros.
The ball has been flying all week in the California heat at Dodger Stadium, and both teams have racked up home runs in bunches. Through three games they’ve already combined to swat 18 long balls.
The power display hit a new peak on Wednesday, though. Oakland hit five on their own, setting some franchise records along the way. It tied for the most homers the A’s have ever hit in a postseason game, with 1989 World Series Game 3. It also set a new mark for the most the club has ever hit in a single postseason series, despite being only three games in.
But the most impressive part of their feat came in regard to not just franchise lore, but all of MLB history. Among the A’s who went deep were first baseman Matt Olson, second baseman Tommy La Stella, shortstop Marcus Semien, and third baseman Chad Pinder, completing a sweep of the whole diamond. It’s the first time in postseason history that any team has seen their full infield all homer in the same game, reports analyst Ryan Spaeder.
Watch all five homers below, including one by outfielder Mark Canha.
Making this record more amazing is that this isn’t even the A’s expected infield. Star third baseman Matt Chapman, one of the best sluggers on the club, is out with injury, so super-sub Pinder stepped in and became an overnight superstar instead. The previous day he hit Dodger Stadium’s longest homer of the year, and the week before he also had the series-winning hit in the Wild Card Round.
Meanwhile, La Stella was a midseason acquisition and has only been with Oakland for a little over a month. Furthermore, while he does have his share of power, his fit in the lineup has more to do with on-base percentage and the ability to make lots of contact. Thursday was a reminder that some of his contact is quite hard. He was hit by a pitch later in Game 3 and exited, but he’s back in the lineup for Game 4.
What dinger magic can the A’s conjure up today? Maybe an outfield sweep this time? Or perhaps a homer by all nine hitters in the starting lineup? A bunt popup that carries out? The way the ball is moving in Los Angeles this week, anything seems possible.