On Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland A’s did something that they had yet to do during the 2021 regular season – win a baseball game. They staged a ninth inning comeback against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to tie the game, setting up Mitch Moreland to drive in the game winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning.
But Moreland would not have been in that situation if it wasn’t for Ramon Laureano creating a run on his own in the fourth inning. The inning began innocently enough, with Laureano being hit by a 0-1 slider that stayed too far inside.
Ramon Laureano shows why he is so important to Oakland A’s offense
Laureano then stole second, taking the base as Moreland struck out for the first out of the inning. After a pop up to short for the second out, the Dodgers put the shift on with Seth Brown at the plate. Realizing that no one was either holding him on or covering third, Laureano ended up stealing what was essentially a free base.
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That stolen base became important one pitch later. Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Laureano to score and tie the game at 1-1. As Brown struck out to end the inning, Laureano’s aggressiveness on the basepaths and baseball intelligence directly led to that run crossing the plate.
Even in his limited time this season, Laureano has displayed why he may be the most important player in the A’s lineup. He has five hits in his 15 at bats, with two doubles and a triple, scoring three runs. Laureano has helped manufacture those runs as well, stealing four bases without being caught.
As the A’s look to break out of their early season malaise and maybe even have a winning streak, that ability to manufacture runs will make a difference. Oakland’s offense is not close to firing on all cylinders thus far, making someone such as Laureano indispensable to the lineup right now.
Ramon Laureano may be the most important part of the Oakland A’s offense right now. His ability to manufacture a run on his own is desperately needed.