The Oakland Athletics managed to take a 2-1 series lead in the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers on Monday afternoon. With the exception of the benches clearing in the ninth, it didn’t include the high drama that Game 2 featured, but it did include some heroics from Stephen Vogt.
Vogt has garnered some attention for this A’s club throughout the season, as yet another edition of their “Moneyball” philosophy personified. The Athletics managed to steal Vogt from the Tampa Bay Rays after he was designated for assignment back in March. Now he’s a key piece of a division champion.
An addition made as a depth pickup, injuries allowed for Vogt to grab more playing time as the season wore on. His final numbers on the season included 148 plate appearances, where he hit .252 and reached base at a .295 clip, while popping four home runs and knocking in 16.
None of those numbers scream that he was anything more than a depth addition. Since the playoffs have gotten underway, though, we’ve seen Vogt come to play in a big way for the Athletics. It was Vogt that knocked in the only run in Game 2 for Oakland, singling with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
In Game 3 on Monday afternoon, Vogt helped spark the offense with a triple that followed up a Josh Reddick homer in the fourth inning that helped the A’s build up a lead.
Vogt likely won’t be mistaken for a Major League star at any point during his career. Before the A’s picked him up, he had even contemplated retirement. But what Vogt has done is give the average baseball fan yet another reason to root for Oakland in these playoffs. He’s gone from an early season DFA to making huge plays for an Oakland team that stands on the verge of advancing to the ALCS.