The Oakland Athletics walked off against the Detroit Tigers in the bottom of the 9th Saturday, winning 1-0 on a Stephen Vogt bases-loaded single. The win tied the A’s with the Tigers in the ALDS at one game apiece with Game 3 coming Monday in Detroit.
Tigers starter, Justin Verlander, went 7 innings and struck out 11 while giving up only four hits. Matching that effort was Oakland’s Sonny Gray who went 8 strong while also giving up only 4 hits and striking out 9. Verlander and Gray became the first starters in postseason history to both have 9 strikeouts and 0 runs allowed in the same game. Of course, those fantastic pitching performances set up the hitting heroics at the end of the game.
The hero of the game, Stephen Vogt, sent a liner to left-center field to drive in Yoenis Cespedes from third. Cespedes reached on a line-drive single past 3B Miguel Cabrera. Seth Smith followed with a liner of his own down the 1B line just past an unenthusiastic Prince Fielder. The Tigers walked Josh Reddick to create a force out at any base, and then brought in Rick Porcello to pitch to Vogt. Cue the Zoolander walk-off.
Vogt, a career minor leaguer and .213 hitter, played the most recent hero in the 2013 MLB playoffs even though two MVP candidates had their chances to shine. In the 8th inning, Josh Donaldson came up with two on but couldn’t put the bat on the ball and sent the game to the 9th. In the top half of that inning, Grant Balfour came in and got Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Victor Martinez all to fly out and took the win with Vogt’s walk-off. Game 3 in Detroit will feature Anibal Sanchez and Jarrod Parker.