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Moneyball A’s Blow 11-Run Lead September 4, 2002

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If you saw the movie “Moneyball” you probably remember how Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) A’s extended their winning streak to 20 games, on September 4, 2002. If you haven’t seen the movie (What are you waiting for? finish reading this post, watch the Youtube video, and then go over to Netflix and get it!), or in case you saw it and forgot, here’s what happened.

The A’s were three games under .500 at the start of June. Then they started to win. On August 12 after losing a game to Toronto, their record stood at 68-51. They trailed Seattle in the AL West by 4.5 games. Then they won 19 games in a row. That brings us up to September 4 when they hosted the Royals in front of 55,528 at Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland.

In the first inning the A’s were off and running, scoring six runs off of the Royals Paul Byrd. Then Kansas City brought in Darrell May who pitched five innings of so-called relief. May gave up four runs in the second inning and one in the third before “settling down” for two scoreless innings.

Meanwhile, the Royals rallied in the fourth, scoring five runs on five hits off of the A’s Tim Hudson. There was no more scoring until the eighth innings when the Royals scored five more runs. What had been an 11-0 blowout for the A’s, was now an 11-10 game.

The A’s went down quietly in the bottom of the eighth, and in “as you can’t make this up,” the Royals tied the game in the ninth on two singles and a bunt. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Scott Hatteberg (played by Chris Pratt in the movie) hit one over the fence in center field, giving the A’s a 12-11 win and a 20-game win streak.

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