Ike Davis’ Reviewed Tenth Inning Walk-Off Single

I read about the deaths of E.L. Doctorow and Theodore Bikel as I listened to the radio. I watched part of the early morning news before I went to the office. I used a lot of time trying to get the antivirus software for my computer to work. I placed an order on Amazon for the Blu-ray edition of “Medium Cool.” I haven’t seen the movie in a long time. I went out to the BART station and got to the stadium early. I got in a line to buy root beer mugs. I saw Billy Burns signing autographs, but I went to the table where Tony Phillips and Vida Blue were. I was glad to get their autographs because they were on championship teams. I went over to the players’ wives’ table. Gray’s wife and Lawrie’s wife put the ice cream and root beer in my mug. I thought about how most of the players’ wives are interchangeable. Wasn’t there a scandal in baseball involving wife swapping years ago? I took all my stuff down to my seat and finished the ice cream in peace. I hoped the root beer wouldn’t make me want to urinate. The evening was getting rather cold, at least for July. I lamented the lack of good music on FM radio stations. Sonny Gray was the A’s starting pitcher, and he was trying to make up for his last appearance. He got into a bit of trouble in the first inning with two singles with one out, but he got a double play ground ball. In the third inning, Gray gave up a run on a walk and two singles. In the fourth inning, he got into big trouble with three consecutive one-out singles. A line drive that Zobrist caught led to a double play to end the threat. The A’s finally scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Jake Smolinski made it to second base on an error by Josh Donaldson. Brett Lawrie hit a fly ball to center that allowed Smolinski to get to third base. Josh Phegley singled to tie the score at 1-1. Sonny Gray pitched another clean inning in the fifth. In the bottom of the inning with one out, Billy Burns got a hit, and he stole second base. Stephen Vogt singled to drive in the A’s second run of the game. Billy Butler was walked intentionally. Smolinski hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-1. I saw the Big Heads in the East Side Club posing for photographs, so I knew they were around to have a race. Rollie Fingers took the early lead, but Dennis Eckersley had enough to win this time. On the first pitch of the seventh inning, Sonny Gray gave up a home run that went over the centerfield fence, making the score 3-2. Gray got through the inning giving up a walk, but still holding that lead. In the bottom of the inning, Vogt reached base on an error and Zobrist walked, but Butler hit into a double play. Butler has done that a lot this season. Edward Mujica pitched the top of the eighth inning. He gave up a single, but got two outs on a 1-4-3 play. He gave up another single, but got the third out on a 1-6-3 play. In the bottom of the inning, the A’s got only a two-out single from Phegley. Tyler Clippard tried to save the game with that one-run lead, but things didn’t look good when he went to a 3-2 before walking the first batter. He certainly is nothing like Dennis Eckersley. After Clippard gave up a double, the crowd got restless. After he allowed another walk on another 3-2 count, the crowd got furious. Clippard went to yet another 3-2 count before striking out the feared Josh Donaldson. Clippard walked the next batter to give the Blue Jays a run, blowing the save and Sonny Gray’s win. However, Clippard managed to get out of the inning with a 3-3 tie after a strikeout and a fly ball to centerfield. Ken Korach on the radio described the inning as excruciating and a grinder. We watched Clippard throw 40 pitches. In the bottom of the inning, Semien struck out, but Burns walked. After a pitching change, Burns was caught stealing for only the fourth time this year. Vogt singled, but Zobrist struck out, sending us to the tenth inning. Fernando Rodriguez came in to pitch, and he delivered a clean inning, with Lawrie involved in two of the plays. In the bottom of the tenth inning, Butler struck out. Josh Reddick pinch-hit for Smolinski and doubled. He took third base on Lawrie’s ground out to shortstop. Ike Davis pinch-hit for Phegley and had a 1-2 count on him. With eleven o’clock approaching, we didn’t want the game to go on much longer. Davis hit a ground ball to shortstop, and the umpire ruled him safe at first, ending the game, or so we thought. The team was on the field celebrating, and we were hearing Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” through the sound system, but the play was reviewed. The team and the fans stood around anxiously for the decision. The run counted, and the game was officially over, and we could all go home. The game started at 7:09 and ended at 10:56. The game time temperature was 61 degrees. Attendance was 18,823, which seemed low for Root Beer Float Day. The announcement was that the event raised $34,709 for charity. It was cold and windy, so I was eager to get home quickly. I barely caught my train at the station. Back at home, I saw people doing belly flops on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Some of the people who died on July 23 include Ulysses S. Grant (1885), Robert J. Flaherty (1951), Montgomery Clift (1966), Van Heflin (1971), Vic Morrow (1982), Eudora Welty (2001), Leo McKern (2002), Amy Winehouse (2011), and Sally Ride (2012). Today is a birthday for Woody Harrelson (54) and David Essex (68). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 23, Montgomery Clift died of a heart attack at age 45 in 1966. In 1982, the Robin Williams movie “The World According to Garp,” was released. Also in 1982, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” with Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds, was released. In 1999, the Disney film “Inspector Gadget” was released.

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