The Oakland Athletics enter the All-Star break with a 43-43 record and have had a flair for the dramatics this season with a number of walk-off wins and defensively the A’s have made some outstanding plays as well. Here’s a look at the top 10 plays at the break for the A’s:
10. Jonny Gomes made his presence felt on May 5th against his former team the Tampa Bay Rays. He made a tremendous catch to take away extra bases from Carlos Pena in the bottom of the 10th inning and then in the top of the 12th inning hitting a home run to put the A’s on top.
9. One of the reasons the A’s acquired Brandon Inge was because of his ability to play defense at third base. On June 12th, Inge flashed his leather against the Colorado Rockies saving two runs from scoring and stealing a hit away from former A, Marco Scutaro.
8. Coming in at no.8 for the A’s an impressive home run for rookie Yoenis Cespedes. Facing Jason Vargas, Cespedes was given a pitch right in his wheelhouse and the measurement for the impressive home run 462 feet.
7. Though he didn’t get much of a chance to earn the first base spot. Kila Ka’aihue hit a walk-off bloop rbi single to defeat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 in the bottom of the 14th inning.
6. Cliff Pennington has struggled with his bat this season, yet that has not effected his defense this season. On June 9th, Pennington robbed Arizona Diamondbacks‘ catcher Miguel Montero of a single into left field on a great diving play and a very strong throw to first.
5. What an acquisition Josh Reddick turned out to be for the A’s at the break he has hit 20 home runs and driven in 43 and has really made a name for himself as the A’s right fielder. In the last game before the break, Reddick hit a walk-off double off of the Seattle Mariners‘ Oliver Perez in the bottom of the 13th. Reddick has also made outstanding throws from the outfield as well and is among the league leaders in outfield assists.
4. The A’s have struggled offensively against the Mariners this season. Rookie Chris Carter made his presence felt against the Mariners on July 7th, after Eric Wedge decided to take Perez out and have Steve Delabar come into face the A’s pinch hitter, which happened to be Carter. After a first pitch strike, Carter didn’t wait around long and deposited the very next pitch deep into the night for a walk-0ff three-run home run.
3. Derek Norris the A’s rookie catcher made a name for himself against the cross-town rivals the San Francisco Giants on June 24th. With the Giants up 2-1 and Santiago Casilla in to close the game out he faced Norris with two runners on and two out. After the count was worked to full including a questionable second strike, Norris fouled off a fastball off the mask of Buster Posey, another fastball was thrown to him and Norris took him deep for a walk-off three-run home run.
2. The second best play at the break came on June 8th against the Diamondbacks. Seth Smith made a spectacular leaping catch to rob Aaron Hill of a solo home run.
T-1. May 22nd was the scene. Josh Donaldson was playing third base for the A’s and Macier Izturis hit a ground ball towards short stop and out of nowhere comes Donaldson who dives, knocks the ball down, is able to pick the ball up while rolling over and from the seat of his pants throws out the speedy Izturis and at first base Daric Barton making a nice stretch.
T-1. May 8th, the home debut for the recently acquired Inge and with the Toronto Blue Jays‘ Francisco Cordero struggling it was time for Inge to make a name for himself to his new fans. After struggling in his previous four at-bats including two strikeouts, Inge had a chance to redeem himself. The end result for Inge a walk-off grand slam to defeat the Blue Jays 7-3 and that is the no.1 play for the A’s at the break.