The Rangers led 4-3 with two outs in the top of the ninth. Josh Donaldson stood on first for the A’s, and darted away when closer Joe Nathan released a 3-2 pitch. Oakland’s Seth Smith singled into centerfield, which would easily move the tying run to third base. But, wait — Texas’ Craig Gentry misplayed the ball and Donaldson sensed opportunity. He decided he was going home, even though third-base coach Mike Gallegos signaled for him to stop.
For a moment, it looked Gentry’s miscue was going to blow the lead for the Rangers, but a perfect relay, through Elvis Andrus, to catcher A.J. Pierzynski beat Donaldson to the plate by a split second. The throw had to be perfect and Pierzynski’s tag had to be right on — both were. Donaldson was out and the Rangers won.
– Mike Oz, Big League Stew
One of those people was Buster Posey, whom Arroyo was scheduled to meet for the first time. And although the high school shortstop from the Tampa area didn’t mean it, he made everyone feel instantly old when he said, “I grew up as a Buster Posey fan.”
Posey was a college shortstop at Florida State who moved behind the plate, where his average speed wouldn’t be such a turnoff to scouts. Some scouts predicted that Arroyo could follow the same route, since he’s a pure hitter who doesn’t have blazing speed.
But Arroyo hasn’t worn a chest protector a day in his life, and he doesn’t necessarily want to follow in Posey’s cleat marks.
– Andrew Baggarly, CSN Bay Area
Given his late start, everyone’s lack of a training camp, and getting stuck with non-scoring wingers, Gomez really was behind the proverbial eight ball all season, so that one stretch was really his only bright spot all season. By all accounts, though, Gomez was a great player to have in the locker room, passing along his lengthy playoff experience to younger players. Todd McLellan called him an additional coach on the bench, and that sort of thing doesn’t show up on scoresheets.
– Mike Chen, Fear the Fin