In 2018, the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants spiced up their annual interleague rivalry with a new trophy. “The Bridge” is now awarded each year to the winner of the regular season Bay Bridge Series.
The A’s took the trophy in its first year of existence, but then the Giants captured it last summer. Now it’s back in its rightful home in the East Bay, as Oakland won five of the six meetings between them in 2020.
The Bridge trophy looks good with the A’s pic.twitter.com/BEKUo3zITM— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 19, 2020
The season series began in August, with three games at Oracle Park. The A’s authored dramatic comeback wins in the first two matchups, and then routed their opponent in the finale to complete the sweep. Here are our game recaps if you’d like to revisit the action:
- A’s stun Giants with 9th-inning comeback, win 8-7 in extras
- A’s get Gott again, come back in 9th for 7-6 win over Giants
- No comeback needed, A’s sweep Giants with 15-3 rout
The sequel series came last weekend at the Coliseum. Oakland tossed shutouts in each of the first two games, but this time it was the Giants earning a blowout victory in the finale, which also avoided what would have been the first ever sweep of the full regular season series by either side. Recaps:
- A’s shut out Giants 6-0, clinch Wild Card and Bridge Trophy
- Deja vu! A’s beat Giants 6-0 again, in comedy of errors
- A’s miss sweep, rocked 14-2 in finale against Giants
While there has never been a full regular season sweep of any length, this isn’t the first time one side has won five outta six. The A’s did it in 2007, and the Giants in 2009 and 2015. And of course, expanding our view to include the postseason, there has been a sweep between these two teams before — in the 1989 World Series, when the A’s overcame both the Giants and Mother Nature to win all four games in a row for the championship.
Looking big-picture at this local rivalry, the A’s lead the all-time regular season series 69-61, since 1997 when interleague play began. They’ve also won the season series in nine individual years, while the Giants have only done so in five, with the rest being ties.
As for the postseason, they’ve met four times in the World Series, three of them as Philadelphia vs. New York. The A’s have won three out of these four title showdowns, with a total record of 13-7 in the 20 games. (Won in 1911 and 1913, lost in 1905.)
The photo below is from 2018, but you can imagine it happening again last weekend.
While beating the Giants is fun, it was also nice to see the two sides get along for a moment last winter. They made their first MLB-level trade together in 30 years, with pitcher Burch Smith heading to Oakland — and having a breakout year until he got hurt in August, coincidentally while pitching against his former Giants team. San Francisco’s front office is now run by former A’s Assistant GM Farhan Zaidi, so it’s not a surprise to see the stalemate finally broken.
But on the field there is no love lost. And also relatively few games lost, from Oakland’s perspective. The Bridge trophy is back where it belongs for the next year.