After a 6-1 drubbing by the bats of the first-place Texas Rangers Tuesday, the Oakland Athletics looked like they were in for a reality check during this tough week in their schedule.
But Wednesday was a different story.
While trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Josh Reddick shot a double to score Brandon Hicks (more on him later) and Brandon Inge, tying the game at three.
At that point, O’co’s crowd reacted, and reacted well.
The rally halted after the shot, and the noise levels fell back to normal. But that double reignited the momentum the A’s have been riding for the last two weeks, and it couldn’t have ended any better for Oakland.
Bottom nine. Brandon Hicks leads it off for the A’s after pinch running earlier in the game, still knotted at 3. Quick 0-2 count from Michael Kirkman, and the crowd got a bit quieter. Most fans were probably thinking about the top of the order coming up next, and if the A’s could get to Reddick in the three-hole they had a chance. Apparently Hicks didn’t like that.
Deep to center field… Ballgame.
First home run of the season. First home run of Hicks’ career. Not bad for a .147 hitter coming off the bench in this game.
Despite a tough loss the day before, Oakland showed life in the late innings Wednesday. Rather than folding after surrendering two in the sixth, the A’s kept the pressure on the Rangers.
A’s fans would have obviously loved to sweep the two-game series, but splitting against the first place team isn’t bad, especially after looking over matched in game one.
Next up is the New York Yankees. The A’s have momentum again, and anything can happen when a young team like Oakland has the momentum on their side. But the Yankees are 8-2 in their last ten, and so are the A’s. Something’s gotta give.
Maybe the momentum and home-field advantage will help, but the Yankees are the best team in baseball right now at 57-34. If the A’s win the series against the Yankees, then they’re true contenders. But until Oakland matches up with the boys from the Big Apple, they’re just a hot team. A hot team that is currently tied for the second Wild Card slot in the American League.
A.J. Griffin will get the ball against Freddy Garcia to begin the series. He’ll be trying to prevent that reality check for a little longer, or demonstrate that what we’re seeing now is the reality for the rest of the season.