Athletics

POLL: A's Memorable Moments -- 2012 AL West Title vs Scutaro's bases-clearing 2B in '06 ALDS

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AP

POLL: A's Memorable Moments -- 2012 AL West Title vs Scutaro's bases-clearing 2B in '06 ALDS

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports California is looking back at the A's 50 Memorable Moments since the franchise relocated to Oakland in 1968. Below are the next two moments you can vote on. Tune into A's Pregame Live today at 6:30 p.m. to watch highlights of the two moments. After the A's and Angels conclude, tune into A's Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round!

1. A's winning 2012 AL West title on final day of the season (Four-time winner --  Defeated Coco Crisp's walk-off single against Tigers in Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS)

(From A's play-by-play broadcaster Glen Kuiper)

On the morning of Sept. 25, 2012, the A's trailed the first place Texas Rangers by five games with nine to play. My thought, oh well, Wild Card game here we come. 

Six games later, the A's were two back with three to play. And the Rangers were coming to town for a season-ending three-game series. My thought, forget that Wild Card game, lets win this thing. 

The A's win the first two games of the series to catch the Rangers for 1st place. Then on Oct. 1, Game 162, all hell broke lose at the Coliseum. 

Getting ready to do the game that morning, I remember feeling nervousness, tension, but most of all excitement. Be at your best, don't screw anything up, don't start screaming in the 1st inning, and just enjoy the moment. The A's trailed 5-1 going to the bottom of the 4th inning, and I was concerned. I should have known better. That A's team had no intention of losing that day. Forget the Wild Card game, this division is ours. The A's scored six runs in the 4th inning, the final two runs scoring on a dropped fly ball in CF by Josh Hamilton. When something like that happens, you just know it is your teams' day. With the crowd going nuts the rest of the game, the Coliseum turned into a party zone. The A's won the game 12-5, and won the Division. 

It was by far the most fun series I have ever announced, capped of by Game 162. I had a sore throat for two weeks from yelling during our broadcasts, but it was well worth it.

VS.

2. Marco Scutaro's bases-clearing double in Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS against the Twins

(From Ben Ross)

Leading two games to none, and up 5-2 in the seventh inning, the A's were one swing away from burying the Minnesota Twins. Marco Scutaro provided that swing.

With the bases loaded and two outs, and more than 35,000 fans at the Coliseum chanting his name, Scutaro went opposite field for a three-run double to put the A's up 8-2, and all but clinch a spot in the American League Championship Series.

The A's went on to win Game 3, 8-3, to finish the sweep of the Twins. However, they ran into a buzzsaw in the ALCS, getting swept by the Detroit Tigers.

VOTE HERE:

A's notes: Oakland completes best 50-game stretch since 2005

A's notes: Oakland completes best 50-game stretch since 2005

OAKLAND — On June 15, the A's were 34-36, 11 games out of a playoff spot. Since then, all they've done is rattle off 38 wins against 12 losses, their best 50-game stretch in 13 years. Even more incredible, 20 of those 38 wins have been of the comeback variety, and 14 have seen the winning run scored in the eighth inning or later. Oakland has only lost one of its last 17 series (14-1-2), moving within a game of first-place Houston in the AL West.

--- The A's won their 65th straight game when leading at the end of the seventh inning, matching the longest such streak in franchise history (July 21, 1927 – June 23, 1928). Oakland is 50-0 this season when leading at the end of the seventh, and 59-0 when leading at the end of the eighth.

--- Matt Chapman doubled and walked to extend his career-high on-base streak to 28 games. It's the longest active streak in the American League. Chapman also extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games.

--- Marcus Semien hit his third home run in the last four games. He is 9 for his last 17 with three home runs, six RBI, and seven runs scored.

--- Jonathan Lucroy threw out Dee Gordon attempting to steal second base in the eighth inning. Lucroy leads MLB with 22 runners caught stealing this season.

--- The A's have won 11 of their last 12 home games, and 17 of their last 20. For the season, Oakland is 35-23 at the Coliseum.

--- The A's improved to 25-10 in one-run games, the best record in MLB. Seattle fell to 30-16 in one-run contests.

--- Felix Hernandez made his first career relief appearance after making 398 starts. Only Mike Mussina made more career starts before his first relief appearance.

Mike Fiers battles through injury to earn first win with A's

Mike Fiers battles through injury to earn first win with A's

OAKLAND — In the hours leading up to first pitch Tuesday night, Bob Melvin wasn't even sure Mike Fiers would be his starting pitcher.

“He almost didn't make the start,” Melvin said after the game. “He had a lower back/upper glute issue. I had two (lineup) cards made out. I had potentially (Yusmeiro) Petit starting that game.”

Fortunately Fiers was able to battle through the injury and pitch six strong innings, earning his first win as a member of the Athletics.

“I was fine,” Fiers said. “Everyone's not 100 percent this part of the season, but I was fine. I just had a little something going on, but nothing serious at all.”

After allowing a run in the first inning, Fiers settled in and allowed just one more run in the next five innings. He struck out five batters, without issuing a walk.

“The first couple of innings, I was a little worried about him,” Melvin admitted. “He seemed to loosen up and get better as the game went along. But to think that he was going to give us six innings -- he was pitching on adrenaline.”

“I didn't feel anything,” Fiers said. “I just had a little muscle cramp. It was nothing. I just had to stretch and get a little active warmup in, and it went away.”

Fiers has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts, lowering his ERA from 4.29 to 3.38. In two starts with the A's, he has given up just three runs in 11 1/3 innings, for an ERA of 2.38, with 13 strikeouts and no walks.

“They all feel like playoff games,” Fiers said. “This is the spot I wanted to be in. I wanted to be on a team that's winning and heading for the playoffs.”

Fiers has already helped the A's in their playoff push, and he figures to be a vital piece the rest of the season.

“To have a guy go out there and give us a quality start, we're going to need that down the stretch,” said second baseman Jed Lowrie.

“He just goes out there and competes, throws strikes, and goes after guys,” added third baseman Matt Chapman. “It's fun to play defense behind a guy like that.”

“I feel like this team has a lot of trust in me,” Fiers said. “I don't want to let them down. I want to pitch well and give them everything I've got.”