Post-Game Reaction: AL Wild Card Game- Oakland Athletics @ Kansas City Royals

Oakland Athletics' Eric Sogard, left, and Brandon Moss sit in the dugout after the Athletics lost 9-8 to the Kansas City Royals in 12 innings in the AL wild-card playoff baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Photo: Jeff Roberson, Associated Press

Eric Sogard crying. That is heartbreaking, right there.

I swear that I’m working on getting that Gotham review up. It should be posted later Wednesday night, though I would have had it up sometime tonight if not for this long-ass game. What was expected to be a pitchers’ duel between A’s ace Jon Lester and the Royals’ James Shields and, indeed, it looked like the A’s were going to cruise to the win after Brandon Moss hit two homers and Jon Lester turned in a decent (If not great) start, outlasting Shields, who got chased out in the sixth. However, the Royals struck back, clobbering Lester to make it 7-6 heading into he ninth and scoring the tying run off of a sacrifice fly from Norichika Aoki.

The Relentless Royals continued to put runners on base, and took advantage of the weak defense of Derek Norris (Substituting Geovany Soto, who was knocked out with a thumb injury in the fourth inning) by wreaking absolute havoc on the basepaths, with Aoki, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Terrence Gore, Jarrod Dyson and Christian Colon stealing a base apiece. It also didn’t help that outfielder Coco Crisp also left the game with a hamstring injury. A’s relievers Sean Doolittle and Danny Otero kept the game tied long enough for Josh Reddick to walk, Jed Lowrie to bunt him over, and Alberto Callaspo, of all people, to drive the lead runner in.

Leaving Otero in to pitch the bottom of the 12th inning, the A’s promptly got Cain to ground out, but fell victim to Eric Hosmer’s triple, which probably would have been a double had Jonny Gomes and Sam Fuld not crashed into each other at the wall. Bad luck then befell the A’s, as Colon hit a bouncing ball that Josh Donaldson had absolutely no chance to convert for the out, which scored the tying run. After lefty specialist Fernando Abad came in and got Gordon to pop out, he was promptly replaced with Jason Hammel, even though Salvador Perez had only hit for a measly .632 OPS against lefties this year. After Colon immediately stole second after the ball bounced out of Derek Norris’s glove, Perez, mired in a terrible game, recent slump and an all-around disappointing year,  struck a liner down the third-base glove, just past the glove of a diving Josh Donaldson and into left field. Scoring Colon, this base hit won the game for the Royals (Their first postseason win since Reagan’s first term), eliminated the A’s, and means that the Royals will face the Angels in the ALDS. It also means that I, not exactly being the biggest fan of the Angels, will have to cheer for the Royals against them, despite the fact that not only did they eliminate my second-favourite team, but their clinching of the playoff spot a few days back means that my beloved Toronto Blue Jays are now experiencing the longest playoff drought in baseball.

Fuck me, right?!?!

PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Royals Pitcher: Brandon Finnegan (2 1/3 Innings Pitched, 1 Hit, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 3 Strikeouts)

And to think that just a few months ago, Finnegan was pitching for Texas Christian University. Go Horned Frogs!

Royals Hitter: Eric Hosmer (3 Hits in 4 At-Bats, 1 Triple, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 2 Walks, 0/1 Stolen Base Attempts)

Salvador Perez may have gotten the walk-off, but without Hosmer, the game never would have been tied in the first place.

2nd Royals Hitter: Salvador Perez (1 Hit in 6 At-Bats, 1 RBI)

It’s not like I could have left him off though. Look at him! He’s adorable!

Athletics Pitcher: N/A

I wonder how much A’s fans are going to remember how tremendous Jon Lester was before this game…

Athletics Hitter: Brandon Moss (2 Hits in 5 At-bats, 2 Home runs, 2 Runs, 5 RBI, 1 Walk)

Proof that hitting two home runs in a game can only go so far if your pitching staff doesn’t back you up.

Royals Clutch Relievers: Wade Davis, Brandon Finnegan, Jason Frasor

Athletics Clutch Reliever: Fernando Abad

 

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