Oakland – The Bay Bridge series is always exciting. This battle never gets old, and tonight was an epic performance. Eight runs scored in one frame led to the Giants rally in the eighth. It was something you just don’t see too often in baseball especially at the Coliseum.
The A’s have been consistent in their wins but tonight, the bullpen failed and former Oakland player, Stephen Vogt capped the night off with a three-run blast against his old team. San Francisco’s 10-5 win over the A’s was a stellar comeback.
“Felt like we did’t get out for an hour,” said manager Bob Melvin.
The eighth inning lasted so long, Oakland used four pitchers in one frame. Vogt had four at-bats that didn’t get him on base. But his fifth at-bat, capped off a phenomenal offensive outburst for the Giants in the eighth.
After Vogt lined out, Melvin made a pitching change. Back-to-back singles from Buster Posey, and Alex Dickerson. Evan Longoria’s RBI single drove in Posey to make it a 4-3 game. A.J. Puk replaced Yusmeiro Petit. A wild pitch by Puk led to Dickerson scoring to tie the game 4-4.
Puk also walked Austin Slater. Melvin made another change, Lou Trivino replaced Puk. Kevin Pillar cleared the bases with a double driving in both Longoria and Slater to extend their lead to 6-4. Then pinch-hitter Donovan Solano and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back singles.
Melvin made his final switch in the frame with Ryan Butcher replacing Trivino. After striking out Mike Yastrzemski, Vogt went yard with a three-run home run. That gave San Francisco a good lead, making the A’s work hard to dig their way out of a hole too deep.
“I think we have to just move on from this one, we’ve been playing well up to this point,” Melvin said. “We just basically had a bad inning today.”
“It’s just one game, it is what it is,” said Chris Bassitt. “We can make this a huge deal but it’s just one game. Lick your wounds, come in tomorrow and do your job.”
Oakland was in control early on, Mark Canha went deep in the second recording his 20th home run. Josh Phegley’s RBI single in the second made it a 2-0 A’s lead. Crawford went yard in the fifth to cut the lead in half. But Oakland’s offense stayed hot.
By the sixth, Bassitt gave up a double to Dickerson and Longoria followed with a single scoring in Dickerson in to tie the game 2-2. That knocked Bassitt out of the game, and the bullpen took over. Profar Jurickson led off the frame bottom of the inning with a single. Phegley’s sacrifice bunt advanced Jurickson to third. Marcus Semien’s RBI single made it a 3-2 game. And Matt Olson’s RBI singled drove in Semien to extend the A’s lead 4-2.
The Battle of the Bay Bridge series is always exciting. Oakland opened up up Mount Davis to accommodate the 53,367 fans that showed up for the series. With both teams making a push for the postseason, the Bay Bridge series focuses on the rivalry across the bridge. Vogt a fan favorite in Oakland, had missed the entire 2018 season rehabbing from shoulder injury after he was released by the A’s.
“It was really special for me with the fans,” Vogt said. I was very moved by them cheering. The way that I was received the first time back, it really meant a lot to me. Obviously, this is a special place for me and for my family. To come back and have the fans say ‘Thank you’ or ‘Hi’, it was a very neat moment.”
Notes – In Bruce Bochy’s final farewell tour, A’s manager Bob Melvin gifted him with a bottle of red wine from the team.
“It’s always a lot of fun (Bay Bridge Series) especially with Mount Davis opened (upper level seating at the Coliseum),” said Melvin. “As far as Bochy goes, I guess I’ll have a few more wins in my pocket once he retires. He’s been so big for the Giants and what he’s accomplished.
He’s been a friend of mine for a long time, we talk quite a bit. Its hard not to like the opposing team whens he’s over there. He’s one of the greatest of all time and will be headed to the Hall of Fame, deservingly so. It’ll be kinda weird knowing this is that last time he’ll managing in Oakland.”
Athletics Director and head coach, John Beam threw out the first pitch for the A’s vs Giants game. Beam led his Laney College football team to the State Championship and won in 2018. He was recognized as leading the #1 team in the nation and as the California Community College Football Coach of the Year.
“I have been coaching football for 40 years,” said Beam. “I stay in it because of the kids. I get paid to have fun.”
Before Beam began his career at Laney, he was the head football coach at Skyline High school for 22 years. The next chapter of his life began as Laney’s Running Backs coach in 2004, and in 2005 he was promoted to Offensive Coordinator where he led an explosive offense that won 3 conference championships and five straight bowl game appearances. By 2012, Beam was named head coach.
“My assistants are unbelievable, many are Skyline graduates,” Beam explained. “Friendships that started off as student-teacher developed over time and that’s what I like about this job because I can see those transformations. People say its a new generation but the kids still want to learn and be taught how to play the game, and we enjoy that.”
The A’s have been a huge contributor to Oakland schools and community colleges. They donated $100,000 to the Peralta Community College District after their offer to build a ballpark next door to Laney was shutdown. Another commitment from the A’s is to support the Peralta College Workforce Development Program. Which will honor four scholarships annually for student studying business, digital media, communications and technology.
“The A’s have been phenomenal partners with us (Laney College) and with Oakland,” Beam said. “Our championship rings, the A’s helped pay for them.” I appreciate the A’s bringing me here to throw out the first pitch. I wish I would’ve done better with that pitch but [Marcus] Jensen (A’s Bullpen Coach) did good by catching my grounder.”