It was quite a night at the Oakland Coliseum last night!!! My friend Sandy and I left my house around 5:00 pm in the pouring rain, arrived at the Oakland Coliseum in a drizzle, and dodged raindrops on our way to the Westside Club inside the stadium to have dinner and wait out the rain. It looked doubtful that the A’s and the Florida Marlins of the National League would be able to get the game in.
Around 6:45 (scheduled game time was 7:05) the skies lightened and the ground crew (augmented by some people from the front office, Dave Rinnetti, for one) began to take off the tarp, squeegee up the standing water in the outfield, and put at least 50 bags of sand on the non-grass part of the infield and all around the warning track, except directly behind home plate for some reason as yet to be determined.
When the rain had completely stopped around 8:00, we decided to go down to our seats in the 2nd row by 3rd base. We were afraid it might rain again at some point, and we wanted to see at least 2 or 3 dry innings. I had the forethought to bring a towel to wipe off our seats. We then settled in to watch however many innings of baseball we would be granted before the heavens opened again. With my luck, that was a foregone onclusion.
The 1st pitch was finally thrown at 8:17, 1 hour and minutes late. There couldn’t have been more than 2000 people in the stands to witness one of the best pitched games I have ever seen. Javier Vasquez, the Marlin’s starting pitcher, has always owned the A’s. They’d never beaten him. And he was definitely on last night, except for the 1 run he allowed in the 2ndinning.
But Gio Gonzalez was on fire, allowing 1 hit and 3 walks over 8 innings, while striking out 9, against the team he grew up rooting for. He could have pitched the 9th inning as his pitch count was no higher than the low 90’s. But Manager Bob Melvin sent Andrew (“Boom Boom”) Bailey in to close it.
Unfortunately, the A’s 3rd baseman, Scott Sizemore, airmailed a throw over first-baseman Conor Jackson’s head to put the first batter of the 9th inning on 2nd base. There he died, as Boom Boom mowed the next 3 guys down, striking them out with authority and fist pumps. Everyone in the stands stood for the 9th inning. The place was electric.
Even though it was close to 11:00 pm, the crowd lingered to cheer the guys while they were celebrating on the field after the final out. It was an amazing experience! And miraculously we didn’t get wet.
I was particularly happy as last night was the first game I have attended this year that the A’s won. And what a game it was! I can’t wait to go to my next game on July 5th against the Mariners.
[N.B. There is something messed up with the program and the way the pictures are displayed. My apologies.]