The Oakland A’s won a walk-off over the division-leading Houston Astros on Saturday, but the victory came at a cost.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus scored the winning run, but he was injured on his way around the bases.
“As he was coming around third, felt a pop in his left ankle,” said manager Bob Melvin. Andrus went for an X-ray after the game.
With the score tied in the bottom of the 9th, Andrus led off with a single and then Starling Marte launched a double to deep right-center. Andrus raced all the way from first base to home, but as he rounded third he stumbled and began hobbling the rest of the way until falling onto the plate. He was safe and the A’s won, but he stayed down for a couple minutes before being helped off by the trainer.
Marte delivers the walk-off double, but Andrus injures himself scoring the winning run pic.twitter.com/5TSsf8qeGt— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 25, 2021
For what it’s worth, earlier in the game Andrus was hit by a pitch in the left foot and walked gingerly to first base. Just over a week ago, he was hit by a pitch in the left ankle and sat out the next day while still feeling effects from it.
“Look, we won a game, that’s good,” said Melvin this afternoon. “We may lose one of our toughest guys. I mean, this is one tough, tough SOB. So we’ve got our fingers crossed that it’s not something significant, but for him to be in that much pain, like I said he’s one of the tougher guys we have.”
Andrus has played 145 of the team’s 155 games this summer, including 140 starts at shortstop. His overall season stats are low on both sides of the ball, but he’s been hot in September, batting .338/.405/.400 in 21 games, with 13 runs scored and only four strikeouts.
If the injury causes him to miss any time during the final week of the season, then Oakland has a few other options for the position. Super-subs Josh Harrison and Chad Pinder have each started four games at short this year, and down on the farm there’s Vimael Machin, whose made six starts at SS during occasional stints in the majors.
Also in Triple-A is top prospect and Olympic silver medalist Nick Allen. The defensive wizard got off to a slow start at the plate in Las Vegas after his promotion there in August, but he’s heating up lately with a nine-game hitting streak, during which he’s 14-for-36 with four doubles and only five strikeouts. Allen isn’t on the 40-man roster, but he’ll need to be added this winter anyway for protection from the Rule 5 draft.
Update (Sunday morning)
The diagnosis for Andrus is a fractured left fibula, so he was placed on the 10-day injured list and his season is over. Repeated traumas like balls hitting his leg may have weakened the area, notes Shayna Rubin of the Mercury News. He should be ready for spring training, adds insider Martin Gallegos.
In other words, for his final play of the year, Andrus ran the final 90 feet to the plate on a broken leg.
Elvis Andrus literally left it all out on the field yesterday. Felt the ankle pop while rounding third, which turned out to be a fractured fibula. Basically made it home to score the winning run on adrenaline and heart. Warrior stuff.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) September 26, 2021