2013 ALDS Game 5 at the Oakland Coliseum

Game 4 of the ALDS was a mess for Oakland. Thankfully, there is such a thing as a Game 5!

After the A’s heartbreaking loss on Tuesday in Game 4, I paid close attention to the Red Sox and Rays game. If the Rays won, Game 5 in Oakland would be at 6:07. If the Red Sox won, Game 5 would be at 5:07. Either way, the gates would be opening 2 hours before the game starts, so either 4:07 or 3:07. I get out of school at 3:05. I bet you can guess who I wanted to win.

The Red Sox ended up beating the Rays. Not only did that mean that Thursday’s game would be at 5:07, but it also guaranteed that if the A’s did beat the Tigers, games 3-5 would be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Great…

As soon as school got out, my mom’s friend picked me up from school and dropped my mom and I off at BART. There was a huge line to purchase tickets, but I found a couple of unused BART tickets in my wallet that had the exact fare to get to the Coliseum, so we skipped past the ticket booths and stepped onto the train moments before the doors closed. We ended up getting to Oakland around 3:55. The train was crowded and it was hard to get off. I finally got past security around 4pm.

I had already missed A’s BP and there were probably only 15 minutes left in Tigers BP, so I decided that given the past two days, it wasn’t worth ballhawking. I had thought about it all day and decided before we left that I wasn’t going to ballhawk, but the situation confirmed my decision.

I just stood along the fence, with no glove and just watched. Let me tell you, it was great to watch and not worry about whether or not I was going to get a ball. I didn’t come close to any balls. It was nice. After BP ended, I headed over to my seat, where a bunch of people were looking over the out-of-town scoreboard. I looked over and saw this.

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In fact, about 20 feet to the right, there was another ball. Since I had no materials to make a retrieval device with, I was out of luck. And given the fact that I knew they were both postseason balls, the feeling kinda sucked. Oh well! I don’t know how, but both balls ended up being retrieved somehow.

About a half hour before the game started, Dan Pagan, from the Left Field bleachers, came over to RF with this sign.

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Since Sonny Gray (#54) was on the mound for Oakland, I thought the sign was very fitting.

Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch was former Oakland Athletic pitcher Dave Stewart.
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When Josh Reddick finished warming up with Coco Crisp, he ran out to Right Field and saluted the right field bleachers.

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I then looked to my left and saw someone wearing a special credential and a signed Josh Reddick jersey. Moments later, I found out that it was Josh Reddick’s dad!

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He’s a really cool guy!

Like I mentioned, Sonny Gray was on the mound for Oakland.

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Over the first 3 innings, he allowed 0 runs on no hits and 1 walk.

However, in the 4th inning, Tori Hunter singled with 1 out, and immediately, Miguel Cabrera followed up with a 2-run home run, putting Detroit ahead 2-0.

After 2 singles to lead off the 6th inning for the Tigers, Dan Ortero came in to pitch for Oakland. He had been warming up for the past inning, as Sonny Gray had barely escaped trouble in the 5th.

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Through the first 5 innings, the A’s hadn’t gotten a single baserunner. Josh Reddick walked in the 6th inning, but through the first 6 innings, the A’s hadn’t gotten a single hit.

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Like usual, the Hall of Fame Race took place.
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Rollie took a huge lead over Eck and Rickey, winning by a landslide!

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Finally, on a 1-0 pitch with 2 outs in the 7th inning, Yoenis Cespedes singled, giving the A’s their first hit of the game!

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Going into the bottom of the 9th, the A’s were down 3-0, 3 outs away from being eliminated from the playoffs. Coco Crisp lead off with a groundout, and Josh Donaldson struck out, bringing the A’s down to their final out.

Jed Lowrie then doubled, which was followed by Yoenis Cespedes being hit by a pitch.
IMG_5574This brought the tying run to the plate, with the winning run on deck, with 2 outs. This brought Seth Smith to the plate.

However, he popped out, ending the game and season for Oakland.

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It was tough. Really tough. I had really been hoping for the A’s to go farther in the postseason, but I’m still proud to have seen them go this far. However, with the A’s being eliminated, comes the refund with our 2 postseason strips. Ideally, we will put the refund money towards our season ticket plan next year. This way, we can get 4 24-game plans, rather than 2.  And, it’s already paid for!

The stadium quickly emptied up, so I got this panoramic shot of the stadium slowly emptying.

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Soon, Coliseum security was down in the bleachers, demanding everyone leave. According to the A’s website…

“O.co Coliseum staff may set a reasonable closing time for parking facilities following an event. No person shall remain within the parking facilities after being informed by a police officer or security personnel the facilities are closed. No person shall refuse to obey the lawful order of a police officer or security personnel made pursuant to enforcement of this subsection.”

However, many people were under the impression that they were allowed to remain in the Coliseum 45 minutes after the game has concluded. The security did not like this one bit. Everyone was still kind of just hanging out.

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My mom and I ended up leaving and heading out towards the BART ramp and plaza. It was kind of crowded up at the plaza area.

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It was like that on the ramp too. Once we got off of the ramp, it was still crowded.

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So. Many. People.

That’s all that I have for this entry. It was a hard day. I didn’t get the chance to ballhawk AND the A’s were eliminated from the playoffs. But I was still at a baseball game and I still had a lot of fun!

Keep reading this offseason!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 40th Game this Year (27th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 40 balls in 27 MLB games this season = 1.48 Balls Per Game
  • 120 Baseballs this season
  • 68 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 163 Lifetime Baseballs

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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.

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