That was one of the memorable lines by the infamous Harry Doyle from the 1989 classic, Major League, in a losing effort by the Indians. OK, maybe Harry didn’t use “darn,” but you get the idea.
But things are going so good for the A’s right now, all they needed was “one darn hit” in a 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Rays last night.
When your team gets eight hits and you hold the other team to one hit you’d think you’d win the game. But that’s how things are going for the Tampa Bay Rays right now as both teams are polar opposites.
The AL West-leading Athletics (29-16) have won 10 of 11, outscoring their opponents 74-18 over the stretch and have the best record in Major League Baseball. The Rays (19-27) on the other hand are eight games under .500 and have lost 11 of their last 15 games and their ninth in the past 10 at home.
In the second inning, the A’s scored twice taking advantage of throwing errors by Rays’ shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Sean Rodriguez and a pair of walks. Reigning AL Player of the Week Brandon Moss hit a solo home run in the fourth inning for the A’s only hit.
The homer by Moss, his sixth in the last 16 games, was the first off Erik Bedard since Sept. 16, 2013, breaking a homerless streak of 49 1-3 innings.
The Athletics franchise has accomplished the one-hit victory feat twice in the past.
In Game 4 of the 1974 ALCS against the Orioles in a classic pitching combination by A’s Hall of Famers Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers, the A’s registered just one hit and still got 2 runs to clinch the AL Pennant. In the fifth inning of that game Sal Bando walked and Reggie Jackson stroked a double off the left-field wall to plate Bando and in the seventh Gene Tenace drew a bases-loaded walk scoring Bando again.
In 1914, Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics won a regular-season game with just one hit.
Last night was the 11th time since 1914 that a major league team won, scoring three or more runs with one hit or less. The A’s are the first team since the White Sox, on June 22, 2006, to win with a homer as their only hit.
Ironically, both the 1914 and 1974 one-hit A’s victory teams went on to appear in the World Series those years. Could this be an omen?