Four clubs walked-off in one night on Tuesday. One of them could have been mine. There could have been pie at the Coliseum in Oakland.
There was a decent chance. It had been 1-0 since the top of the first inning in the game against the Detroit Tigers and my hometown Oakland A’s.
It was a true pitcher’s duel in Oakland Tuesday night. The only run came on a throwing error by A’s catcher Josh Phegley when Anthony Gose, who had singled to left on the game’s second pitch, stole second and advanced to third on the error. He scored when the next batter, Rajai Davis, flied out to Billy Burns in center field.
The run also highlighted the A’s biggest problem of the season: defense. It marked their league leading 50th error on the season.
Chavez also allowed five hits and walked two but struck out four batters over eight innings of work. Tyler Clippard took over and pitched a scoreless ninth.
The Athletics had little offense left in them in the ninth, which isn’t surprising as the A’s were coming off of their first three-game winning streak of the season in which they had scored a total of 16 runs. So a two-out double by Sam Fuld was all that they could manage in the bottom of the ninth.
So, sadly, at least for me, there was no pie in Oakland on Tuesday night.
In four other cities however there was pie or gatorade showers or however the teams decide to celebrate. I’ve heard the Washington Nationals use chocolate showers.
The Nats, however, were the victims of a walk-off double by rookie Addison Russell on the north side of Chicago as the Cubs beat the Nationals 3-2. It was the first time for Russell to receive walk-off treatment in the big leagues.
The New York Mets walked off on a single in the tenth by shortstop Wilmer Flores and while it wasn’t his first career walk-off, he hit a sacrifice fly to win a game last season, it was his first career walk off hit. The Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4.
Meanwhile in Cincinnati, Reds’ pinch hitter Skip Shumaker celebrated the 5th walk-off hit of his career, sixth overall.
Although the game winning fielder’s choice he grounded into in 2010 obviously wasn’t a hit, Tuesday’s walk-off double certainly was. The double ended a nine-game skid for the Reds who defeated the Colorado Rockies 2-1.
Finally in Toronto they celebrated a walk-off win, one I’d celebrated on multiple occasions. Not that I’m looking at Josh Donaldson‘s ninth inning heroics too nostalgically. I’m not.
I think A’s general manager Billy Beane did the right thing in trading the All-Star third baseman for Brett Lawrie, Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman and Franklin Barreto but all of that is beside the point.
The point is Donaldson had another historic night, going 4-4 with two home runs, one of which was the three-run walk-off that lifted the Blue Jays over the Chicago White Sox 10-9.
It was the sixth walk-off homer of his career and eighth overall walk-off hit of his career.
But Donaldson, in some ways like the A’s and their three-game winning streak, knows that the game can be fickle.
“In baseball you never want to get too high and you never want to get too low,” Donaldson said. “So it’s one of those things where you enjoy the moment, enjoy the win and tomorrow’s a new day. Baseball’s a game that can humble you real quick, I think it was just three games ago that I punched out four times in a game. This isn’t a league where you enjoy too much because you can be humbled real quick.”
Everyday in baseball is a new day. The A’s have a chance to win today. Donaldson may strike out in every at-bat. Anything could happen.
Tuesday night was definitely one for heroic endings all around the league. There was even a chance for pie in Oakland. Even though it didn’t happen, it could have. In baseball you just never know.