Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt rounds third base after hitting a go ahead home run in his final career at bat in the bottom of the seventh at the Oakland Coliseum off Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Zack Weiss on Wed Oct 5, 2022 (@Athletics photo)
Los Angeles (73-09). 2. 6. 0
Oakland (60-102). 3. 4. 0
Wednesday, October 4, 2022
By Lewis Rubman
OAKLAND-In a famous essay published in “Take Time for Paradise,” one time professor academic administrator, and, incidentally, MLB Commissioner , A. Bartlett Giamatti publicly confided that baseball “breaks your heart, it is designed to break your heart.
The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”
The final alliteration gently calls attention to the puns on “fall,” the season of the year and the consequence of man’s first disobedience. You can hear the leaves fall, while the persistence of aural memory also suggests a slight, stuttering misreading of the phrase to give us “leaves you to face the fall all alone,” all of which makes the whole paragraph vibrate beyond all the fancy writing of its opening sentence.
Giamatti expresses a true sentiment, and does it beautifully. But it is a limited, parochial sentiment. Baseball’s reach extends beyond New England. where Giamatti was born, studied, taught, and eventually reigned over Yale University.
Try telling that to a baseball fan from the vast reservoir of baseball talent that is the Caribbean basin! The Caribbean Series ends in early to middle February, just days before pitchers and catchers report to the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.
The climate of the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t as harsh as that of New Haven,CT, and enviorons. That’s one reason why the old PCL used to have seasons of more than 200 games. But we do have an autumn, and that does
contribute to the sadness we feel when the baseball season ends, successfully or, as happened to both our teams this year, in failure.
The the game, a squeaker that the A’s won 3-2 on an emotional filled home run by Stephen Vogt, ended a high note, and the sadness, at least for me, set in later.
It was a warm, sunny day in Oakland, but there still was a resigned sadness mixed in with the festive cheering among the 11,232 fans in the old ball park before Vogt’s electrifying homer.
The presence of Sohei Ohtani on the mound and at the plate added to the emotional complexity of the game. Even A’s fans wish him well and appreciate the added excitement he brings, especially when pitching, to the game. His performance today in that category was excellent.
Ohtani set down the first 13 batters he faced, not allowing a baserunner until he issued a 3-2 walk to Vogt with one down the the bottom of the fifth Chad Pinder followed that with Oakland’s first hit, a ringing double to left that moved Vogt to third. Ernie Clement ran for Pinder, but it was Vogt who scored the tie breaking run on a sac fly to center by Conner Capel.
That ended Ohtani tenure on the mound, but he stayed in the game as designated hitter. His pitching line was one run, earned, on one hit and a walk with six strikeouts over five innings. He threw 69 pitches, 46 for strikes. He was charged with a tough loss left him at 15-9, 2.33.
At the plate, Ohtani went went one for four and made the final out in the in the Halos’ last ditch attempt to tie the game in the eighth.
The numbers that Ken Waldichuk, Oakland’s starting pitcher, brought with him (1-2,6.28) were no match for Ohtani’s (15-8,3.55), but the young left hander more than proved himself up to the ocassion. He threw seven innings of three hit shutout ball, walking just one batter and hitting another. He struck out four Angels and threw 100 pitches, 62 of them for strikes.
Waldichuk earned his second win, evening his record at 2-2 while his ERA dipped to 4.93
Nash Walters was the new Halo hurler in the bottom of the sixth. He lasted the minimum allowable three batter, allowing a one out single to Tony Kemp and a walk to Sean Murphy.
Portsider Rob Zastryzny took over and retired Seth Brown and Jordán Díaz. The two runners advanced a base on a wild pitch to Díaz, but no one scored, and the A’s retained their 1-0 lead.
Zack Weiss replaced Zastryzny replaced Walters for the home seventh and faced Vogt, who pulled a Ted Williams on Weiss’s first pitch. It was the fan favorite’s last at bat, and he pulled a 94 fastball 369 feet into the right field seats.
Oakland tacked another run on to that with a one out single by Capel, who stole second before García struck out on a wild pitch that put runners on the corners. Capel then scored on Allen’s sac fly to right that put the home team ahead 3-0.
The Halos closed the gap to 3-2 after Norge Ruíz replaced Waldichuk in the seventh. Jo Adell opened with a triple to right center that originally was
scored as a double and a error, but the scorer checked the video and gave Adell the three base hit. Logan O’Hoppe smacked a pinch hit single to left to make it 3-2.After Rengifo grounded into a 6 unassited-3 DP, Trout blasted his 40th home run of the year, a monster shot 462 feet into the upper deck in straightaway center field.
That brought Kirby Snead in from the bullpen to put out the fire with a ground out to third by Ohtani. That and a perfect top of the ninth gave Snead his first save of the year.
Jaime Barría retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth.
That’s all, folks, for 2022.