Athletics Thump Blue Jays, Eddie Plank Goes the Distance (LWOS All-Time Tournament)

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Oakland Athletics 9, Toronto Blue Jays 1

(This game was the result of a simulation done through What If Sports. It matched the Oakland Athletics All-Time Team against the Toronto Blue Jays All-Time Team. This game did not actually happen.)

 

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Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Eddie Plank pitched a complete game while Jimmie Foxx went four for five with a home run. The Athletics routed the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-1 victory at the Rogers Centre. Plank struck two batters on eight hits. As for the Blue Jays starter, Roy Halladay threw nine strikeouts and four earned runs in eight innings.

Early Lead for Oakland

After Rickey Henderson and Eddie Collins ground out, Foxx came into the batter’s box. He connected off Halladay to the right-center field wall to give the Athletics an early 1-0 lead. Second baseman Roberto Alomar led off the bottom of the half with a ground out. Catcher Ernie Whitt hit a fly ball for the second out. Carlos Delgado hit a single up past second baseman Collins. After his single, right fielder José Bautista left Degaldo on first with an inning-ending fly to left-center field.

Catcher Mickey Cochrane got things going in the top of the second with a single. Third baseman Sal Bando advanced Cochrane to second with a flyout to right field. A runner in scoring position gave Dwayne Murphy a chance for an RBI. Unfortunately, Murphy’s single was enough for Cochrane to be tagged out a third. Shortstop Bert Campaneris left Murphy stranded at first with a fly out to end the inning.

The Blue Jays began the bottom half with third baseman Josh Donaldson. Left fielder George Bell hit yet another fly out to the right field for the first out. Center fielder Vernon Wells reached on a fielder’s choice as Donaldson was forced out at second. Shortstop Tony Fernández advanced Wells to third, giving DH Edwin Encarnación a chance to tie the game. However, he hit a fly to left field, moving on to the third inning.

Both Oakland and Toronto traded 1-2-3 innings in the third. Halladay managed to get DH Al Simmons to ground out and Henderson to fly out. Collins struck out swinging to give Halladay his first of eight strikeouts of the day. As for Plank got both Alomar and Whitt to ground out as Delgado swung out on strikes.

Blue Jays Take Flight

Foxx led off the top of the fourth with his second hit, a single. Right fielder Reggie Jackson made Halladay pay with a double, scoring Foxx to give the Athletics a 2-0 lead. After Jackson advanced to third thanks to Cochrane’s ground out, Bando came up to the plate. He scored Jackson on a wild pitch and hit a single. But, Halladay got Murphy to strike out looking and Campaneris to fly out before more damage was done.

With Oakland up 3-0, the Blue Jays finally had some life to them. Bautista walked with back-to-back singles from Donaldson and Bell. With the bases loaded, Wells had the opportunity to close in on Oakland’s lead. He hit a line drive for the first out. But, Fernández hit a single in an open gap at second, scoring Bautista for the first and only Blue Jays run of the game. Encarnación and Alomar left the runners stranded in scoring position for a 3-1 lead for the Athletics.

Halladay redeemed himself after his dismal fourth inning. With a three-up, three-down fifth, Simmons grounded out, Henderson hit a line drive, and Collins struck out for the second time of the day. Plank responded with a flyout at the warning track from White. He had helped on defense with a spectacular diving stop by Foxx to avoid another single from Delgado. Bautista singled before Donaldson came close to tying the game, only to fly out at the warning track.

1-2-3 Innings from Halladay and Plank

Halladay and Plank exchanged 1-2-3 innings in the sixth. Halladay struck out the side as Foxx, Jackson, and Cochrane fell victim to Halladay’s lethal cutter. Plank managed to get Bell to ground out, Wells out on a line drive, and Fernandez with a ground out.

Halladay got Bando to ground out to begin the seventh. After striking out Murphy for his seventh knockout of the day, Campaneris hit a fly out to end a quick top half. A similar thing occurred in the bottom half as Oakland was hanging on to a 3-1 lead heading into the eighth. Simmons got things going with a single. Henderson went down on strikes for Halladay’s eighth and final punchout of the day. However, he loaded the bases with a walk to Collins and a single from Foxx. Jackson opened the flood gates further as he reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Simmons in the process. Cochrane grounded to first, but the Athletics extended their lead by one. It was another quick up-and-down inning for Plank with a fly out and two groundouts in the bottom half.

Athletics Rally Late

Duane Ward came in to replace Halladay as the pitcher. He fanned Bando to open the top of the ninth. But that’s all Ward could do. Murphy managed to hit a single and steal second as Campaneris came up to the batter’s box. Campaneris scored Murphy on a single to make it 5-1 Oakland. Then, Simmons was hit by a pitch, which advanced Campaneris to second. Next, Henderson notched his first hit of the day, a single, and scoring Campaneris in the process for a 6-1 lead. After Collins walked, the bases were loaded for Foxx. He added to Oakland’s lead with a double, scoring all three runners to make it 9-1.

After Ward walked Jackson, he was pulled for Tom Henke. Cochrane reached on a fielder’s choice as Foxx was forced out at third. Henke ended the top half of the inning with a strikeout to Bando. The Blue Jays couldn’t muster out anything in the bottom half. Plank started with a fly out to Wells before Fernandez reached first on an error. However, Encarnación struck out swinging, and Alomar hit a fly out to center ending the game with a 9-1 Oakland victory.

Looking Ahead

The Athletics move on to the next round of the All-Time team tournament. Oakland will have the daunting task of going up against a juggernaut in the New York Yankees All-Time Team. The Yankees had a first-round bye.

Click here for the All-Time Team Tournament Headquarters page.

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Players Mentioned:

Eddie Plank, Jimmie Foxx, Roy Halladay, Roberto Alomar, Ernie Whitt, Carlos Delgado, José Bautista, Rickey Henderson, Eddie Collins, Mickey Cochrane, Sal Bando, Dwayne Murphy, Bert Campaneris, Josh Donaldson, George Bell, Tony Fernández, Edwin Encarnación, Al Simmons, Reggie JacksonDuane Ward, Tom Henke