More playoff baseball? Yessir!
As soon as I published my entry about Game 1, my dad and I headed out to Oakland for Game 2!
This game was at 6:07, so the gates opened at 4:07. My goal was to get there around 3, but we left the house around 2:45.
We got to the Coliseum around 3:10, but we were stopped at the intersection just before the Coliseum by a bunch of police officers on motorcycles…
All for this bus… I’m guessing it was the Tigers team bus or something like that.
We got to Gate B to find out that we were the only ones in line, so I headed up these stairs to check out the field. I then posed for my dad, who was pointing the camera at me.
I was up there to also get this photo.
Up by the BART Plaza, Chevy had a booth set up, where you could get a free Postseason ticket lanyard.
My dad got one for each of us.
When I got inside, the A’s last group was just stepping into the cage.
Nobody really hit anything into the seats.
Except for Nate Freiman. He was hitting balls into the second deck in Left Field. 6-Eight Nate the Great put on QUITE a show!
As for toss-ups? I called out to just about every A’s pitcher in right field for a ball. But every pitcher ignored me. And every pitcher tossed up at least a couple of balls. Honestly, I think they are starting to recognize me. That is the only answer that I can think of. I am asking politely and they all have tossed me balls in the past. Plus, I go to games in Oakland a lot.
As for Tigers BP… Like the day before, Detroit was using ONLY postseason baseballs.
The first group was okay, but the second group, as expected, was the best. Miguel Cabrera put on a fantastic show!
As did Prince Fielder!
Unlike Game 1, NOT A SINGLE Tigers pitcher was tossing up balls in BP. I didn’t see a single toss-up all BP. It was frustrating. I had gotten shut out in A’s BP, the bleachers were awkwardly crowded, and nobody was tossing balls up. It was frustrating… BP ended around 5:10.
After BP ended, I headed over to my seat. When I got there, I saw Amanda and James being interviewed for Fox 40.
Ross was interviewed as well.
About 20 minutes later, a random person came by and handed out these awesome foam finger/hands.
Unfortunately, I did not get one, as there were not enough.
Then, I was handed a box of cookies. However, they were not ordinary cookies! Each cookie represented a player on the A’s. I reached in and grabbed a Grant Balfour one. How cool is that? They tasted amazing, by the way!
Towards the end of Tigers BP, my mom and sister had shown up! I would be sitting with my sister for this game, and my mom and dad had seats together about 10 or 15 rows back. While we were enjoying our cookies, they were walking about the 3rd deck, getting pictures like this one.
Former Oakland Athletic Bob Welch was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch!
He had some zip on his throw!
On the mound for the A’s was Sonny Gray!
For the Tigers, it was Justin Verlander!
This was already looking to be a good game!
And it was. The A’s were held hitless for the first 3 innings, as well as the first two outs of the 4th inning!
In the first inning, Ross turned around and asked me if I had seen Daric Barton’s parents when they had stopped by earlier. I hadn’t, but it turn out, they did!
In the 2nd inning, they were back! Daric’s dad is the one with glasses on his head, his mom is in the pink, with a bag in her lap.
Notice the boxes between them.
Why were they here? Because of the Daric Barton Fan Club! In April 2012, Omar Gonzalez and Ross started the fan club, to show their support for the struggling first baseman. As of right now, it is 142 members strong! Daric and his entire family appreciate the support, so to show his appreciation, Daric purchased 20 or so personal pizzas and had his parents deliver them to the bleachers! An inning or so after they left, Tyler and Jorge handed them out.
As they did, Omar explained where they had come from!
Thank You VERY MUCH Daric!
Meanwhile, Sonny was DEALING on the mound.
The Tigers 2nd hit of the day came on a seeing-eye single of the bat of Don Kelly. It barely got past Barton and Sogard.
Seth Smith was called out on strikes to end the 2nd inning. He was not very pleased with the call.
Through the first 3.5 innings, it was a close game!
It was still tied 0-0 going into the bottom of the 5th. Yoenis Cespedes and Seth Smith started off the inning with back-to-back singles.
Josh Reddick then tried to bunt them both over,
But as I’m sure you can tell, he was unable to get it down.
Between the 5th and 6th innings, the A’s once again held the Legends Race.
This time, it was won by Eck!
Sonny Gray continued dealing for the entire game.
In the bottom of the 7th, Verlander was already at 113 pitches.
Drew Smyly came in to replace Verlander in the bottom of the 8th. In the 7 innings he pitched, Justin allowed 4 hits and 1 walk to go along with 11 strikeouts, all on 119 pitches.
I had mentioned that the two guys had matched each other all game. Gray finished with 4 hits and two walks to go along with 9 strikeouts over 8 innings. That’s a real pitcher’s duel!
However, despite Jed Lowrie walking to put runners on 1st and 2nd, the A’s were unable to score, sending the game into the 9th inning. It was time to RAGE!
This meant Grant Balfour was in the game!
He pitched a great 9th inning!
Due up were Cespedes, Smith, and Reddick. In the Detroit bullpen, multiple guys were warming up.
Jim Leyland stayed with Al Alburquerque for the 9th, as he had gotten the last 2 outs of the 8th. Cespedes singled to lead off the inning and was followed up with a double down the line from Seth Smith.
The Tigers then elected to intentionally walk Josh Reddick, loading the bases with no outs!
Detroit then called on Rick Porcello to try and get them out of a huge jam. Just look at the infielders behind the mound. Their expressions say it all!
This brought Catcher Stephen Vogt to the plate.
He was ready to do some serious damage! 0-0 game in the bottom of the 9th, with no outs and the bases loaded. PERFECT!
Then, on a 1-1 fastball, Vogt dropped a single into left field.
The stadium EXPLODED!
EVERYBODY was excited!
I mean, how could you not be excited as an A’s fan?
Even though I was shutout, this game was still A LOT of fun! I mean, the A’s walked off!
- 39th Game this Year (26th MLB Game)
- 0 Balls at this Game
- 40 balls in 26 MLB games this season = 1.54 Balls Per Game
- 2 Balls in 3 Lifetime Postseason Games = 0.66 Balls Per Game
- 120 Baseballs this season
- 68 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
- 163 Lifetime Baseballs
Nick Badders is a blogger for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook. This blog entry was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.