The other night I was watching Game 3 of the NLCS between the Brewers and the Cardinals. Former A Mark Kotsay plays for the Brewers as a fourth/fifth outfielder, but he got the start in Game 3 based on matchups and other guys struggling.
Anyway, Kotsay homered in his second at-bat of the game. It was a solo home run, and as soon as it happened, I started reading tweets about how it was Kotsay’s second postseason home run – and the first that was not an inside-the-parker.
The inside-the-park home run! Ah, yes. We were there for that one! Sure, it wasn’t the big hit of the series, but it was the big hit of Game 2 of the 2006 ALDS and it was Mark Kotsay’s Oakland A’s Moment.
The A’s had taken a 1-0 series lead the day before by beating Johan Santana, and were up 2-0 in this game when Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau hit back-to-back home runs in the 6th inning. The momentum had swung to Minnesota, and we needed a big hit to get it back.
With Jason Kendall on first and two outs, Kostay came to the plate. He ripped a ball to center field that Torii Hunter dove for and completely missed, and that ball rolled forever on the Metrodome turf while Kotsay circled the bases. Kendall scores, and they’re waving Kotsay around third! He slides… he’s safe!
The A’s took control of the game at that moment and went on to win 5-2. And of course, the series was wrapped up two days later in Oakland.
But this will always be the play I think of when I see Mark Kotsay, even as he’s playing baseball in a National League playoff series for a team most A’s fans don’t care about.
Isn’t it fun when the A’s are in the playoffs? I wish the A’s were in the playoffs…