The Athletics are no strangers to walk-off wins, but to split the series against the San Diego Padres with a Matt Olson double to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning definitely felt good.
Before the celebration at the plate, the 5-4 victory was something Olson didn’t think actually would happen on that play.
“Honestly, I thought it was a sac fly,” Olson said following the game. “It carried pretty well for Oakland standards I think. I just wanted to get something up in the air, at least tie the game, get the run in, avoid a double play. When I hit it, I thought my job was done, but it kept on going, and [Starling] Marte got off well and made a great read on it.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin coyly said the A’s have had a lot of walk-off wins, but it’s certainly one of the memorable ones.
“It ranks right up there, but we needed this win after -- last night was not a particularly good game for us.”
The A’s lost 8-1 to the Padres on Tuesday night.
Melvin added that we know what Olson, a 2021 MLB All-Star, is capable of in these situations. But across the board, the A's have proven to able to be successful in those clutch moments.
“Pinch hit at-bats, and everything, we try to maximize your at-bats, especially late in games, against particular pitchers,” Melvin said.
“Our guys step up. You know Oly, how many times have we seen him do it. I told him he’s lucky I didn’t have him bunt right there. First and third with a tough lefty on the mound. Never crossed my mind, just thought I’d add that.”
In the bottom of the ninth inning, A’s right fielder Ramón Laureano doubled to start some momentum. Trailing by a run with two outs, newly acquired catcher Yan Gomes also came in to pinch-hit for shortstop Elvis Andrus. He singled to center field to score Tony Kemp.
Olson never is one to talk about himself, so knowing any of his teammates could have thrived in that walk-off scenario didn’t surprise him.
“That’s kind of how we’ve always been,” Olson said. “We’ve always been a one through nine, we never rely on one guy. It’s always a different guy doing it, having a good game. I think we definitely look at that as our M.O. and we know that we’re dangerous one through nine. That’s how we approach it.”