Oakland complete four game sweep over Yankees
Seth Smith’s solo home run off Rafael Soriano with one out in the ninth tied the game, setting up Oakland’s 11th walk-off win of the season three innings later.
“I don’t think there was anybody in the dugout or in the stands who didn’t think we were going to win,” Smith said.
The four game sweep was the first Oakland had achieved over the New York outfit in over 40 years, and sees them close in on, what would be, a surprise playoff spot.
The Yankees had a chance to take the lead in the 10th, but Derek Jeter was caught looking at strike three to end the inning with the potential go-ahead run at second.
“It’s no fun; we lost four tough games here,” Joe Girardi said. “We lost four games by a total of four runs. That’s no fun but you’ve got to put it behind you and get ready for Seattle.”
Two innings later, the Bombers received a gift when Josh Reddick lost Mark Teixeira’s fly ball in the sun, allowing Teixeira to reach second base after it glanced off the right fielder’s glove.
The Yankees were unable to capitalize, however, as Jerry Blevins retired Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Raul Ibanez to keep the score tied.
“Those are the opportunities that, when we’re playing really good baseball, that’s almost an automatic run for us,” A-Rod said. “For us, it’s a stumbling block.”
A year after Michael Lewis’ 2002 book ‘Moneyball’ was transferred to the big screen, the Athletics are back in the headlines again and are back in the AL playoff chase.
Prudence is paying dividends and their opening day payroll of just $53 million is less than the Yankees shell out on two of their star names; Alex Rodriguez ($30 million) and CC Sabathia ($24.3 million).
They have the lowest payroll in MLB and despite being last in the runs scored in the American League, this young group of players refuses to be beaten. Four victories by a single point indicate that the Athletics have the run of the green and they could go on to make the play-offs.
Sceptics may be waiting for the young side to falter, but Tampa Bay in 2008 and the Mets in 1969 proved that inexperienced sides can mount a serious charge.
The Oakland Athletics are the form team in MLB and at +6600 to win the World Series are well worth a cheeky bet now. The LA Kings showed that form can easily go out the window, and the Athletics might be able to sustain their momentum until the post-season.
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