Stephen Vogt and Sonny Gray were in a situation on Saturday night that they’ve dreamed about it as kids
But neither player could have imagined when they were playing for Triple-A Sacramento earlier this year.
However, there they were, playing for the Oakland A’s in Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series against the Detroit Tigers, and playing key roles in the game.
Vogt, a 28-year-old rookie who had 34 regular-season hits, got the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning off Detroit Tigers reliever Rick Porcello. The 1-0 win tied the series at one game each. It was Vogt’s first postseason hit, the first time a player has gotten his first postseason hit as a walk-off hit since Carlos Guillen did it with Seattle in 2000.
“It’s the moment that every did dreams of,” Vogt said. “I remember playing in my front yard with nobody else, imagining a walk-off hit in a playoff game. It’s everything you could dream of and more.”
Vogt’s single to left field drove in Yoenis Cespedes, who was on third after his single, a single by Seth Smith and an intentional walk to Josh Reddick. While being interviewed on the field after the game, Vogt got a pie-in-the-face and a Gatorade shower by his teammates for his effort.
Gray, a rookie who made 10 starts this season, was making his first postseason start. He allowed four hits and no runs in eight innings while striking out nine and walking two. Gray battled Tigers starter Justin Verlander pitch-for-pitch.
“He pitched like Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling,” Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera said. “Man, he was good. He was great today.”
Beltran moves past Ruth: St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran hit his 16th career playoff home run on Sunday, moving past Babe Ruth for eighth place in postseason history. He ranks second in NL history, behind Albert Pujols, who has 18.
Another postseason failure for Braves: The Atlanta Braves NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers was just another in a long string of postseason failures. The Braves have lost six straight division series since 2002, along with the NL wild-card game last year against St. Louis.
Since the franchise has been located in Atlanta, the Braves have appeared in the postseason 19 times in 48 seasons, with a 1-4 record in the World Series. Their last NL Division Series win was in 2001, a 3-0 sweep over Houston.
Uribe no stranger to big hits: Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe, who hit the go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning of Monday’s 4-3 win over Atlanta that clinched the NLDS, has come through in key situations before.
In the 2010 NLCS with San Francisco, Uribe had a walkoff sacrifice fly, giving the Giants a 6-5 win in Game 4. In Game 6, he hit a go-ahead solo home run in a 3-2 victory that sent the Giants to the World Series. And in the World Series, Uribe slugged a three-run homer in an 11-7 win over Texas in Game 1.
Uribe has two World Series rings, one with the 2010 Giants and the other with the 2005 Chicago White Sox.
StatsWatch: Here are the playoff leaders in batting, home runs and RBIs, through Monday -
Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox, .571 average
Carl Crawford, Dodgers; Pedro Alvarez, Pirates, 3 home runs
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals; Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers; Russell Martin, Pirates; Alvarez, Pirates, 6 RBIs
Quotable: “Dirk Hayhurst…COULDN’T back it…Tom Verducci wasn’t even a water boy in high school…but yet they can still bash a player…SAVE IT NERDS – Tampa Bay pitcher David Price tweeted on Twitter about TBS network commentators’ criticism after he took the loss against Boston in Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday. Price apologized for his comments the next day.
Diamond Notes: New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has chosen to undergo Tommy John surgery. The right-hander will have the partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow replaced, and will be out for the entire 2014 season. Harvey went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA this season…Dusty Baker was fired by the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. The Reds manager guided a team that lost six straight games, including the wild-card playoff game. Cincinnati failed to advance past the first-round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Baker led the Reds to three playoff appearances in the last four years and finished with a 509-463 record in Cincinnati. The former Braves and Dodgers outfielder is third on the Reds’ all-time wins list behind Sparky Anderson (863) and Bill McKechnie (744)…Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez filed a lawsuit last week in New York State Supreme Court that alleges Major League Baseball improperly marshaled evidence “to use to destroy the reputation and career of Alex Rodriguez.” On Friday, Rodriguez filed a second lawsuit against Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad and New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, alleging malpractice for misdiagnosing his left hip injury during last year’s playoffs. Rodriguez is currently fighting a 211-game suspension for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. An arbitrator will make a decision on the suspension.
Copyright ã 2013 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.