Yonder Alonso’s Walk-Off Home Run

I had to attend a meeting in the morning.  I was glad that they gave us some food.  I got through a shortened shift and was happy to leave and go out to Trader Joe’s.  I bought a shredded chicken burrito and after having my late lunch, I boarded a bus to go to the MacArthur BART station.  The afternoon was warm, but I brought my jacket with me, knowing that the nights at the Coliseum can get cold.  The giveaway was a calendar.  The bad thing was that they waited until April 29 to give the calendars to us, so the first page would be useful to us for only one day.  The day was Ron Washington’s birthday.  I went to my seat, and I fell asleep during batting practice.  I did hear the choir practice the national anthem.  I also heard songs like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Proud Mary.”  The game was notable for being Sean Manaea’s debut.  He would get the first batter he faced out, and then give up a single.  Stephen Vogt helped Manaea out by throwing out a runner trying to steal second base.  The A’s had a similar sequence in the bottom of the first inning.  Manaea gave up a home run in the top of the second inning, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead.  Manaea didn’t crumble after this mistake.  He got three outs.  The A’s showed some life in the bottom of the inning with two outs, when Chris Coghlan singled and Coco Crisp followed with a home run.  Manaea started the third inning with a walk, but a 6-4-3 double play ground ball helped him out.  In the fourth inning, he again started off with a walk, and Yonder Alonso’s throwing error was more trouble.  Manaea gave up another walk, too, but he managed to work his way out of the jam.  He went on to have a clean fifth inning, but then got into trouble in the sixth.  He hit a batter in the back with a pitch, and then followed with a walk.  A single tied the game at 2-2 and prompted Bob Melvin to bring in Sean Doolittle.  After getting a batter out, Doolittle allowed a single that gave the Astros a 3-2 lead.  After a strikeout, Doolittle gave up a double that made the score 4-2.  Melvin went to Ryan Dull to get the last out, which turned out to be a strikeout.  After the double the other A’s relief pitchers did a good job holding down the Astros, as they allowed only one hit the rest of the night.  On offense, the A’s wasted a double with one out in the fourth inning.  In the fifth inning, a foul ball off the bat of Billy Burns hit Ron Washington in the leg, making him fall to the ground.  After a few moments, Washington was able to stand up again.  In the sixth inning, Josh Reddick doubled and reached third base on a fly ball, but the scored remained at 4-2.  In the Big Head race, Rollie Fingers finished just ahead of Rickey Henderson.  After a quiet seventh inning, the A’s finally scored more runs in the eighth.  Marcus Semien hit an impressive home run inside the left field foul pole to make the score 4-3.  The fans were starting to feel that a win was within reach.  Billy Burns singled and stole second base, with the catcher’s throwing error allowing Burns to move to third base.  The A’s wouldn’t blow this chance to tie the game, as Led Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-4.  In the top of the ninth inning, Ryan Madson gave up a hit that bounced off the left field wall for a double.  The runner unwisely tried to go to third base, and Billy Burns threw to Coghlan for the out.  In the bottom of the inning, Stephen Vogt doubled but didn’t think about going to third base.  Tyler Ladendorf came in to pinch run.  Mark Canha came in to pinch hit for Coghlan, and he bunted.  Ladendorf moved to third base.  Coco Crisp stepped up to the plate and got the count to 3-1 before he was intentionally walked.  Yonder Alonso came up to bat with a chance to be the hero of the game, and he surprised us all by hitting a walk-off home run.  The crowd was deliriously happy.  We were hopeful that the team would play well for the rest of the home schedule.  A 12-12 record looks much better than 11-13.  I thought that Manaea pitched pretty well.  The score was 2-1 when he left the game.  Coco Crisp and Marcus Semien did well.  I was anxious to hurry home and get to bed quickly so that I would be ready for the next game and the Doolittle gnome giveaway.  The guy sitting next to me told me that he might see me again during the next game.  This game started at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 63, and it ended at 10:20.  The attendance was 20,159.  I went out to listen to the radio postgame show and sit down for some nuts and yogurt.  One good thing that happened was that the Giants lost big against the Mets, 13-1.  They gave up 12 runs in the third inning.  Some of the people who died on April 30 include Eduoard Manet (1883), Inger Stevens (1970), Agnes Moorhead (1974), Lester Bangs (1982), George Balanchine (1983), Muddy Waters (1983), Sergio Leone (1989), Richard Scarry (1994), and Tom Poston (2007).  Today is a birthday for Burt Young (76) and Cloris Leachman (90).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 30, organist Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat & Tears announced that he was leaving the band in 1968.  In 1983, Muddy Waters died following a heart attack at age 68.  Ellen DeGeneres’ character in the television show “Ellen” came out in 1997.  Also in 1997, Frank Gifford was caught on videotape with flight attendant Suzen Johnson at the Regency Hotel in Manhattan.

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