The Oakland A’s are a team that are used to walk-off wins filled with pies, Gatorade showers and Spiderman costumes. In 2012 the Athletics had 16 walk-off wins, in 2013 and 2014 they hit double digits again. In 2015 it took 61 games to get just one.
They’re used to being the league leaders in coming from behind to shock their opponents at the last second winning games on everything and anything from errors to grand slams.
It’s no secret that the A’s are having a bad year so far. They’re 24-37 and sitting in last place in the American League West. It’s another unusual feeling for a team that has made the postseason in eight of the last 15 seasons.
I’m certainly not saying there is no chance that they make a comeback in the second half of the 2015 season, they absolutely could. However, just when things seem to start going their way the tides turn and they are down again.
After sweeping the Tigers in Detroit, they got swept by the Red Sox in Boston and lost the first game in their current series with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night. Wednesday night they ended their four game losing streak and finally got their first walk-off win of the 2015 season.
It wasn’t pretty, the way they won. It wasn’t a beautiful walk-off home run out into the bleachers but the point is they won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was something that needed to happen for a team that at times appears to finally be coming together only to fall apart again.
The emergence of switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has been a huge help. He’s made four appearances for Oakland pitching 5.2 innings out of the bullpen without allowing a run. Venditte took over for starter Jesse Hahn in with two outs in the fourth. Hahn was having some serious control issues, hitting three batters and allowing four runs before Venditte could stop the bleeding.
The A’s scored two more runs in the eighth on RBI by Ben Zobrist and Billy Butler. In the bottom of the ninth with the score now tied 4-4, Sam Fuld singled and stole second. Billy Burns singled on a ground ball putting runners on first and third with one out, bringing Josh Reddick (who happens to be nicknamed “Pie-derman” as he is the one to usually deliver the pies to the faces of the players who walk-off) to the plate.
Reddick hit a short ground ball to second baseman Adam Rosales. He reached base on a fielder’s choice as Rosales threw to try and get Fuld at the plate. The throw was late and the A’s first walk-off win of 2015 was in the books.
Stephen Vogt delivered the pie to Reddick’s face during his post game interview and he received a gatorade shower.
It was a walk-off of the smaller variety but the A’s dugout emptied as though Reddick had hit a grand slam. It was something that the team had needed for a long time. The fans needed it too. It may even bring life to the slumping Athletics.