OAKLAND – They stood in the middle of the infield, listening to “Celebration” blast over the P.A. system but confused on whether they actually could celebrate.
So as A’s players waited for a replay review of Ike Davis’ walk-off infield single in the bottom of the 10th on Wednesday night, one thought was going through everyone’s mind:
“If they turn this over, we’re gonna look like a bunch of idiots out here,” Josh Reddick said.
But the ‘safe’ call on Davis was upheld, Reddick’s winning run counted and the A’s had a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in one of the most unusual endings that’s unfolded at the Coliseum in years.
With Reddick on third and two outs, Davis stepped up as a pinch hitter and hit a ground ball toward shortstop. After sitting through the first nine innings, Davis admitted he wasn’t exactly flying down the first base line. It was a bang-bang play as his foot hit the bag just as Jose Reyes’ throw arrived.
After a 2-minute, 45-second review, with “Celebration” blaring and Blue Jays players watching JumboTron replays and cheering as if they expected an overturn, crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt signaled safe. The A’s sprinted for their dugout.
“We planned that we were just going to run off with no high fives,” Reddick said. “As soon as they did that, we just took off. … It felt like the longest replay we had all year.”
The feeling in the visitors’ clubhouse, even afterward, was that Reyes’ throw got Davis.
“It was a bang-bang play,” Toronto outfielder Danny Valencia said. “We’ve seen it all year. It’s got to be cut and dry for them to overturn it. If you look at it and break it down in this clubhouse like we have after this game, we all have it ‘out’ in here.”
For the A’s, it was fitting that even in victory, they waited through torture.
The game should have ended in the ninth but didn’t, when closer Tyler Clippard blew his second save of this homestand. And if you think the 10th inning review was tense for A’s players who had stormed the field, just imagine what it was like in the A’s clubhouse.
Manager Bob Melvin, who was ejected in the fifth, starting pitcher Sonny Gray, injured closer Sean Doolittle and video coordinator Adam Rhoden were all in agony watching on TV.
“It was me, BoMel, Doolittle and Adam standing there,” Gray said. “We knew it was about to get replayed. It was nice to come away with that win for sure.”
The victory improved the A’s to 3-2 since the All-Star break, but given the late-inning leads that they’ve continued to cough up, they’re not showing signs of a team that’s cured its first-half woes.
But a win is a win, and the A’s aren’t being picky about the route that takes them there.
Given all that went on with the ending, it probably won’t surprise you that even the A’s celebration ritual didn’t go off without a hitch. As Davis conducted a TV interview, Reddick went to grab a whipped cream pie to nail him with. Only problem was he ran out of whipped cream.
Reddick sent a note to the official twitter handle of O.co Coliseum later on.
“We are gonna need some more pie,” he wrote. “Had to substitute with some ranch dressing tonight.”