Today in Oakland Athletics history marks the 14-year anniversary of the Oakland Athletics defeating the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the 2001 ALDS. This unfortunately would be the final win the A’s would get in the postseason for 2001, but it was an incredible win and a classic game to remember as an A’s fan.
When the regular season ended in 2001, the A’s had won 102 games, led by manager Art Howe. Usually, a 100 plus win season would mean a division title, but the Seattle Mariners won 116 games that year which made the A’s the wild card team out of the American League. With the New York Yankees the Eastern Division champs, they were in the A’s opponents for the ALDS. Even though the A’s won more games during the regular season, they had to start the postseason on the road versus the Yankees in New York.\
The A’s again were the underdog, playing against the favored Yankees. With the World Trade Center attacks happening a month prior to this series, the whole world seemed to be rooting for the Yankees, and it seemed like television broadcasts showed then-mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani in his Yankees cap every 15 seconds while the games were being played. We got it, MLB! You wanted the Yankees to win for a feel-good story.
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As for the A’s scoring in that game, Ron Gant hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, off Andy Pettitte to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. How many A’s fans remember Gant when he played for the A’s, and how we got him in a deadline deal during that season? (This was back when Billy Beane was sane and tried to help the A’s win, but that is another story.) Johnny Damon then scored on an error to give the A’s an insurance run off of Mariano Rivera.
The pitching match up for Game 2 was Tim Hudson for the A’s against the Yankees’ Pettitte. Two potential Hall-of-Famers in a pitching duel that did not disappoint. Tim Hudson dominated and threw eight shutout innings to silence the Yankees bats, while Jason Isringhausen pitched a scoreless ninth inning to seal a Game 2 shutout victory, with a final score of 2-0 as the A’s took a 2-0 lead in the best of five series. Classic game for the A’s, as it always feels good to beat the Yankees.