Instant Replay: A's beat Astros on Reddick's walk-off hit in 10th


Instant Replay: A's beat Astros on Reddick's walk-off hit in 10th


OAKLAND — After being denied a potential game-winning rally in bizarre fashion, the A’s wound up winning on a crazy play anyway.

Josh Reddick tapped a single through the left side in the bottom of the 10th, and Marcus Semien motored around third and scored ahead of the throw home from Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, giving the A’s a 4-3 walk-off victory over Houston.

Correa fielded the ball in very shallow left field, and it seemed there would be a close play on Semien, but Correa’s throw wasn’t strong enough and off-line, and the A’s won for the fourth time in five games since the All-Star break.

That all played out after a strange sequence in the bottom of the ninth when the A’s tied the game. Coco Crisp’s game-tying double off Will Harris became one of the A’s most bizarre plays of the season. Stephen Vogt came around to score on Crisp’s drive that ricocheted off the right field wall. For reasons unknown, Crisp broke into a trot, rounded second as if he didn’t know the ball was still in play and got tagged out in a rundown. So the A’s knotted the score, but missed out on having the potential winning run on second.

Did Crisp think it was a walk-off homer? Was he not aware of the score? Whatever the case, the score remained 3-3 and wound up going to extras.

Starting pitching report:
The 6 1/3 innings turned in by Dillon Overton were his most in three major league starts. He gave up three runs on nine hits, striking out six without a walk. Overall, a solid outing for the lefty, and he should get another start next time through the rotation as Rich Hill is unlikely to be ready.

Bullpen report:
Daniel Coulombe, Liam Hendriks and Marc Rzepczynski held the Astros off the scoreboard over the final 3 2/3 innings.

At the plate:
The A’s mustered just three hits in the first six innings off Keuchel. They at least succeeded in driving his pitch count up and broke through after the reigning AL Cy Young winner left in the seventh. Billy Butler singled off Keuchel and Jake Smolinski doubled. Then Ken Giles relieved Keuchel and Ryon Healy greeted him with a two-run double to right-center that brought the A’s to within 3-2. The rookie has knocked in six runs through his first five big league games, and he’s shown a nice ability to drive the ball to the opposite field.

The A’s threatened in the second but Semien was thrown out trying to score from second on Healy’s single to left. Astros left fielder Colby Rasmus, among the league leaders in outfield assists, fielded the ball in shallow territory and fired off an accurate throw to the plate that was in plenty of time to get Semien.

In the field:
Overton was aided by a diving catch in left by Khris Davis, who robbed Evan Gattis on his sinking liner.

A crowd of 15,143 was on hand. Before the game, the A’s raised $38,460 through their annual Root Beer Float Day that benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Up next:
This three-game series wraps with Wednesday’s 12:35 p.m. matchup, as Daniel Mengden (1-4, 5.54) squares off against Doug Fister (9-6, 3.64)

Ex-A's catcher Bruce Maxwell details mental toll of kneeling in HEADSTRONG

Ex-A's catcher Bruce Maxwell details mental toll of kneeling in HEADSTRONG

"It made me feel a little lost in the world."

Former A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history on Sept. 23, 2017, by being the first MLB player to kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and police brutality. 

He detailed that day to NBC Sports Bay Area/California in NBC Sports' documentary, "HEADSTRONG: Mental Health and Sports."

"When I got to the field, I immediately walked into my manager's office -- had a sit down with him and our GM in private, told them what I was going to do, told them how I was going to go about it -- told them my plan, reasons, and shed a few tears because it's a heartfelt subject for me ... " 

Maxwell knew the backlash he would receive, he just wasn't prepared for the magnitude of it. He received death threats -- and still does to this day.

"The fact that somebody actually took the time to find out what school my sister coached basketball at in Texas, somebody took the time to find out where my mother lived," he explained. 

Maxwell then admitted he rarely left home when he headed back to Arizona following the event. 

"I was miserable," he said. 

He didn't want to do anything. Not exercise, not even talking to his parents.

"At that moment in time, I was standing for something way bigger than myself," Maxwell explained.

Just a few weeks later, the 28-year-old made headlines once again when he was arrested at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct after he allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery worker.

Maxwell told NBC Sports Bay Area/California he was in a certain mental state, and in addition to what was currently going on, he felt he needed to grab his gun in order to protect himself.

"I'm in my house, I'm defending myself, just in case this happens to be one of these crazy-ass people that are sending me threats," Maxwell said

He didn't feel like himself. Not even like a human being, he explained.

[RELATED: Marcus Semien shares mental health journey]

But now, he's freely talking about it and wants to leave his mark on the world with more than just what's going on between the foul lines.

You can watch all of the "HEADSTRONG: Mental Health and Sports" vignettes right here. The full documentary will play all month on NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California.

Check our channel listings page for times and dates.

MLB free agency: Five relief pitchers A's could target this offseason


MLB free agency: Five relief pitchers A's could target this offseason

It's no secret that the A's need to improve their bullpen. Oakland blew 30 saves in 2019, the most of any team in the majors.

With that in mind, here are five free agent relief pitchers the A's could target this offseason:

Will Harris

The A's already know Harris well from his time with the Astros. The 35-year-old has spent the last five years in Houston, posting a sparkling 2.36 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.

The 2019 season was the best of Harris' career. The right-hander went 4-1 with four saves, along with a 1.50 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He notched 62 strikeouts in 60 innings, allowing just 14 walks.

Harris earned $4.225 million this past season and could be due a raise after his terrific performance. However, at the age of 35, he still figures to be an affordable option for Oakland.

Drew Pomeranz

The former A’s left-handed found tremendous success as a reliever this year after getting dealt to Milwaukee. In 25 games with the Brewers, Pomeranz went 0-1 with two saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP. The 30-year-old struck out an eye-popping 45 batters in just 26 1/3 innings, while issuing eight walks.

Pomeranz pitched for the A's in 2014 and 2015, going 10-10 with three saves and a 3.08 ERA. He spent the first part of last season across the Bay in San Francisco, where he struggled mightily as a starter, going 2-9 with a 5.68 ERA. But once he arrived in Milwaukee, he became a completely different pitcher.

Pomeranz earned $1.5 million this year after making $8.5 million in 2018. His new contract will likely fall somewhere between those figures, making a second A's stint a possibility.

Daniel Hudson

A crucial part of the Nationals' World Series title, Hudson figures to be a hot commodity on the free agent market. The 32-year-old went 9-3 with eight saves and a 2.47 ERA between Washington and Toronto, striking out 71 batters in 73 innings.

Hudson also notched four saves in the postseason, going 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA. The right-hander has a career ERA of 3.83 in 10 seasons, with the first four coming as a starter.

Hudson earned just $1.5 million this year and will be in line for a significant raise. Still, the hard-throwing veteran could be worth it for an A's team in need of late-inning options.

[RELATED: Why A's, Hudson would be good fit]

Joe Smith

Smith was superb in limited appearances for the Astros this season. The veteran right-hander went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 25 innings, striking out 22 and walking five.

Smith, 35, has a career ERA of 2.98 in 13 major league seasons. The sidearm specialist has been particularly effective against right-handed hitters, limiting them to a meager .215/.278/.308 slash line throughout his career.

Smith just completed a two-year, $15 million deal with Houston and could be available for a similar price this time around. The A's would be wise to at least make an inquiry.

Steve Cishek

Cishek is coming off back-to-back stellar seasons with the Cubs. The right-hander combined to go 8-9 with 11 saves and a 2.55 ERA, registering 135 strikeouts 134 1/3 innings.

[RELATED: Bullpen upgrade is Forst's main priority]

Cishek, 33, has a career 2.69 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 132 saves in 10 seasons. His sidearm delivery has also been especially successful against right-handed hitters, allowing them to slash just .199/.265/.288 in his career.

Cishek earned $6.5 million each of the last two seasons with the Cubs and figures to get a similar contract this offseason. He could certainly help boost the A's bullpen in 2020.