When Stephen Drew drove home Coco Crisp in the sixth inning, Oakland fans were charged up. That charge faded as they saw Drew try to stretch his double to a triple, and get thrown out by twenty-five feet. It was reminiscent of Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS, when Jermaine Dye was gunned down trying to stretch a single into a double (on a play that gave Johnny Damon a concussion), or earlier in that same game when Jose Guillen was thrown out at third after a double.
But these were not those A’s. The 2012 A’s can’t be haunted by 2003 because most of them weren’t allowed to stay up to watch that series, because they were only in middle school. Jermaine Dye was out of baseball before 75% of this roster made their major league debuts. Art Howe is just another Phillip Seymour Hoffman character to them.
This time, the A’s doubled twice in the ninth - and stayed conservative on the bases. Coco Crisp singled, and Terrence Long’s spirit briefly inhabited Avisail Garcia’s body, as the ball squirted under his glove and Seth Smith scored from third. Maybe you can’t have postseason jitters if you didn’t even play a full regular season beforehand. The Oakland A’s may have a postseason curse - but the Sacramento Rivercats don’t.