As the fourth week of the 2020 MLB season is coming to a close, there is one thing that seems certain – there is something special about the Oakland A’s this year.
Every contending team can point to a game or two as a turning point in their season. It could be an improbable come from behind victory, or even a devastating loss that galvanized the team. those games end up being special, a point in time where the season changes almost overnight.
The Oakland A’s have already had several of those moments and we are just ending the fourth week of the season. Matt Olson belted a walk-off grand slam on Opening Day, setting the tone for the Cardiac A’s season to this point.
Stephen Piscotty has also made his presence felt with his flair for the dramatic. He hit a walk-off grand slam against the Rangers on August 4, then followed with a game tying grand slam against the Giants on Friday. That home run made Piscotty the 14th player in MLB history to have multiple ninth inning grand slams in the same inning.
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That victory was notable for another reason as well. It was the first time since 1952 that the A’s managed to secure a victory when trailing by five runs in the ninth inning. That game involved a comeback against the immortal Satchel Paige and the St. Louis Browns.
It should not be surprising that the A’s are creating history with virtually every late inning swing. They are the only team in the majors to have a grand slam in the ninth inning or later this season. They are also the 18th team in major league history to have hit three grand slams in the ninth inning or later in a single season; none of those teams have ever hit four grand slams that late in a game over the course of the year.
There is still plenty of time for that record to fall. The A’s have 39 games left in their schedule and have displayed a knack for impressive late inning heroics. It would certainly be fitting if Piscotty was the player to hit another ninth inning grand slam, as he would set the team and individual mark on the same swing.
But it is more than just history. It is the belief that the A’s have in themselves, regardless of the score. They have proven that they can come back from virtually any deficit, that no lead is safe. There is a swagger and confidence about the A’s that cannot be quantified.
There is something special about the Oakland A’s this season. These late inning comebacks are just proof.