A's walk-off hero experiences new twist

July 19, 2012, 12:11 am
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OAKLAND -- Typical Oakland Athletics baseball. Fall behind, rally, walk-off, pie, Gatorade, water, rinse and repeat. The only thing that ever changes is that it is a new hero each day. This time the hero was Brandon Hicks. His first career home run, was the blast that gave the A's their Major League-leading ninth walk-off win. After the dust, whipped cream, and cooler remnants had settled, the A's had defeated the American League West-leading Texas Rangers 4-3. "I've been waiting for it for a little while and for it to come like that it was awesome," Hicks said of his first home run. "It's exciting to get that kind of big hit in that situation to win a game."For his troubles, Hicks was rewarded with a pie to the face from Josh Reddick. Not satisfied, Reddick hid behind Kate Longworth and myself, then snuck behind us and pied Hicks again in the clubhouse.Of the nine walk-off wins and subsequent forced desserts, this is the first one that happened in the clubhouse."Who was that Reddick?" Hicks asked while blinded by the frothy can-served dairy product. "I wasn't ready for that one. He's tried to cut both of my interviews short." "Well he avoided me and I got the side of his face, so don't avoid me," Reddick explained. "You are going to get it eventually. It's your first career homer as a big leaguer and it was a walk-off. Why would you want to avoid it?" Reddick is poised to strike with a well deserved pie at any given moment. He is like a viper. He can get away with it because he backs it up on the field. Reddick's two-out two-run game-tying double in the seventh inning gave the A's an opportunity to walk-off in the fashion they did. "This is a fun time," Reddick said. "We just seem to start off slow and kick it off after the sixth inning and make it exciting."Starting pitcher Travis Blackley kept the A's in the game for five innings. He allowed just three runs, and struck out four Rangers hitters. He hasn't allowed a home run in his last eight games. It was a controversial balk call that ultimately ended up separating his performance from average to pie-worthy. "I think guys just like getting cream in their face," Blackley said. "I wouldn't know what it's like to get cream in my face. I guess if I hit a walk-off" Guess again. "Pitch a complete game and he'll find out," Reddick said. It is obvious the A's are a confident bunch in the late innings. They are 17-10 in games decided in the last at-bat. They are so confident in fact that Blackley said he knew his teammates were going to win it in the ninth inning. "I had a good feeling," Blackley said. "I thought I'd come down for the bottom of the ninth and sure enough, first hitter."Oakland has the second best record since June 2 at 25-14. The top team over that span is the New York Yankees who are 29-11. They will be here on Thursday for a four-game series. Get the whipped cream ready.

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