New season, same old magic for A’s

Only in Oakland.

Could there have been any other site for Monday’s epic, 19-inning marathon game between the A’s and Los Angeles Angels?

The East Bay has been ground zero for magical moments this week. First, it was the Warriors’ Stephen Curry channeling his inner “NBA Jam” on Sunday night with 22 of his 31 points in the third quarter of a Game 4 playoff victory against the Denver Nuggets.

On Monday, the facilities nestled just to the east of Interstate 880 were home to another spectacle.

The A’s and Angels battled not just deep into the night, but seemingly into next week before Oakland prevailed 10-8 in the 19th on a home run by Brandon Moss.

Five-Hour Energy? You needed 6-Hour Power for this one.

Total game time was 6 hours, 32 minutes, with a 1:41 a.m. closing time. A whole new meaning on last call.

Needless to say, it was the longest game of the MLB season and longest in A’s history.

When the hour started approaching midnight, an already sparse Oakland crowd scurried for the gates to catch the last BART train of the night. Little did they know that had they waited it out, BART would be up and running again not too long after the final out was made.

How zany were things at the Coliseum? The A’s Brett Anderson, who was scratched from his scheduled start Monday, wound up pitching more innings in relief (5¹?³) than the A’s actual starter, Dan Straily (4²?³). Oakland reliever Jerry Blevins was forced to hit after the A’s ran out of players and had to lose their DH.

The teams combined for 35 strikeouts, 33 men left on base and 16 pitchers. Around four hours passed between Moss’ home run in the sixth inning and his game-winner in the 19th.

By the end, media covering the game almost needed to go to the bullpen for reliever reporters.

As wild as things were, we shouldn’t be too surprised. These are the A’s we have come to know over the past year-plus.

The same team that shocked the baseball world last year by winning the AL West, and doing so after not being in first place until the final day of the season. The team that pushed the Detroit Tigers to a Game 5 in the American League Division Series.

The A’s pie-in-the-face celebration after a walk-off win is becoming as linked to Oakland as peanut butter is to jelly. Or for our allergic friends, Nutella and jelly.

On Monday they were at it again, overcoming a 7-2 deficit, rallying to tie it in the 15th after the Angels took an 8-7 lead in the top half, and eventually sending everyone home on Moss’ thank-God-its-over homer.

These are the A’s. Crazy, zany, unlikely. Pick your adjective. You just never know the manner in which they are going to do it.

Monday was just the latest, although maybe the greatest, of those wins that have defined this current group.

Once again, only in Oakland.


Dylan Kruse is the sports editor of The San Francisco Examiner. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @dylan_kruse.

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