A’s Fall to Yankees 10-9 in Epic 14-Inning Marathon


September 22, 2012; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Eduardo Nunez (26) is mobbed at first base after reaching on an error that allowed the game-winning run to score as Oakland Athletics losing pitcher Tyson Ross (66) walks off the field during the fourteenth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

There’s good baseball and there’s bad baseball. Then there’s the A’s vs. Yankees game that lasted nearly six hours on Saturday afternoon, concluding in yet another heartbreaking loss for the A’s.

It was a 14-inning affair, with the teams going back-and-forth and the tension rising as each inning went on.

Each team’s bullpen was taxed big-time, as neither starting pitcher performed well at all. Travis Blackley went just two innings and allowed four runs. Ivan Nova pitched 2.1 innings, giving up three runs.

It was 4-2 Yankees after two innings, but the A’s would respond. Stephen Drew homered in the third and Cliff Pennington drove in the tying run with a double in the fourth.

In the fifth, Raul Ibañez came in and hit a pinch-hit homer to right off of Jim Miler, giving New York a 5-4 lead. The A’s would respond with a Chris Carter sacrifice fly in the seventh to tie it right back up.

The game would remain 5-5 until the 13th inning, as both bullpens were nothing short of phenomenal. The A’s eventually got around to Freddy Garcia, who had come in during the 10th inning for the Yankees. Jonny Gomes launched a two-run shot to give the A’s the lead, then for good measure, Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Carter would each hit solo jacks to give the A’s a 9-5 lead.

But, the Yankees found a way to come back yet again. Pedro Figueroa entered to close it out for the A’s in the bottom of the 13th, but did not record a single out. The first three batters all singled, loading the bases with nobody out. Pat Neshek came in, replacing Figueroa, and promptly allowed a wild pitch to score a run and a sac fly for another. Then, Raul Ibanez hammered his second home run of the night, a two-run shot to tie the game a 9-9.

The A’s went down in order in the top of the 14th, setting things up for a tragic and demoralizing ending. Tyson Ross came in to pitch the bottom half of the inning. He allowed a lead-off single to Eric Chavez, who was pinch-run for by Melky Mesa. Derek Jeter bunted Mesa to second for the first out. After an intentional walk to Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez singled to center, and everyone thought that Mesa would surely score from second base. But in a stroke of good fortune, Mesa missed third base and had to go back to the bag. That loaded the bases with one out.

The next batter, Robinson Cano, hit a tapper back to Ross that he juggled and threw home just in time to force out Mesa. Bases loaded with two out, but still not out of the jam.

Here comes the tragic ending…Eduardo Nunez grounded one sharply to Brandon Moss at first. Moss had it go off his glove, and the ball bounced too far away from him to get Nunez at first. Ichiro scored the winning run, and the Yankees walk-offed winners.

It was a memorable game, one that will be remembered for years to come. Neither team gave up, and was able to recover from deficits to keep the game going.

The A’s now fall a full two games back of the Orioles for the first Wild Card spot in the AL.