Ryon Healy’s No-Doubt Walk-Off Home Run

I took the 57 bus from the Grand Lake Theatre to get to the MacArthur BART station.  I got to the Coliseum quickly and took my seat.  The microphone went out on the singer performing the national anthem, leading me to wonder if he touched the switch.  Chris Townsend was still doing the announcing, as Dick Callahan was still out.  Kendall Graveman was the starting pitcher for the A’s, and he would do a good job, although the A’s offense was mostly quiet until the last inning.  They did take the lead in the bottom of the first inning when Jed Lowrie walked with one out, and then Danny Valencia walked and Khris Davis singled.  Graveman didn’t get the shutdown inning in the second, as he allowed a double, and the runner moved to third base on a ground out and came home on a single.  In the fourth inning, Graveman allowed a single with one out, followed by a double, and then a ground out that scored the Rays’ second run.  Graveman had a clean fifth inning and allowed only a single in the sixth.  We saw a contest of putting together pizza boxes, and a family couldn’t answer a trivia question about Katy Perry correctly.  In the Big Head race, Dennis Eckersley won again, leading me to wonder if there has been a switch of identities.  Rickey Henderson is short these days.  The Rays scored a third run in the seventh inning.  With two outs, they got a walk and two singles to make the score 3-1.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.”  From the second inning through the seventh, the A’s got one runner to second base and one other runner to third base and had two innings in which they did nothing, and the seventh was one of them.  Chris Townsend forgot to announce Marcus Semien until he was in the middle of his at-bat.  Graveman had a clean eighth inning and looked like he could have a complete game, which would be the first for the A’s in a long time.  At 8:04, the crowd did The Wave, which was extremely annoying with the home team behind in the score.  The A’s again did nothing in the bottom of the inning with two strikeouts, so things were looking bad for the ninth inning.  Graveman pitched another clean inning in the ninth.  That was good to see after a 13-inning game the night before with the use of the A’s big three relief pitchers.  We saw the John Belushi Animal House video clip and wondered if we would see a second consecutive walk-off win.  The bottom of the ninth started well, with Khris Davis drawing a four-pitch walk, which was unusual because this guy swings at anything.  Yonder Alonso came in to pinch hit for Billy Butler, and he struck out.  Jake Smolinski shocked us and the Rays by swinging at the first pitch and hitting a home run that tied the score at 3-3.  Graveman wouldn’t be stuck with a loss.  Semien swung at the first pitch and sent the ball into centerfield.  The crowd had hope, but it was an out.  Ryon Healy, who has had an eventful first week in the major leagues, came up to bat.  He didn’t have as much pressure on him with the score tied as he would have if the A’s were still behind.  He had the count at 3-2 when he took a mighty swing and hit a no-doubt walk-off home run.  The crowd roared.  The game had started at 6:07 with a game time temperature of 72 degrees, and it ended at 8:29.  The attendance was 30,436.  I was glad the game ended so soon, as we wouldn’t have to stick around all night.  I made my way to the gate to the field for the fireworks display that would come.  I got a good look at Healy getting the pie in the face and took a photo.  I listened to the postgame radio show as I waited for them to let me onto the field.  I took my usual place near the dugout, and I saw Eric Sogard come out and take a seat on the grass.  The theme was the Day on the Green concerts at the Coliseum.  They used music from the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Beach Boys, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, U2, and Metallica.  I expected to hear David Bowie but didn’t.  It was a satisfying night of baseball, and everyone was happy except for the Tampa Bay fan who was in the front car of the BART train, expressing his unhappiness to me.  I got home at about 10:30 and waited for the sports highlights.  Some of the people who died on July 24 include Martin van Buren (1862), Peter Sellers (1980), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1991), Virginia Christine (1996), Chad Everett (2012), and Sherman Hemsley (2012).  Today is a birthday for Lynda Carter (65) and Michael Richards (67).

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