Well, he made this one. He snagged the ball and robbed Fielder of the tying homer.
“Coco’s catch really got them into it,” manager Jim Leyland said. “The key was they play deep. If he had played a normal centerfield, he probably wouldn’t have got back to make the catch. It was a great catch.”
The A’s were still leading, 1-0. It was their fifth lead of the series. If Fielder’s ball had gone out, the Tigers would have done what they had done with those other four A’s leads: wiped it out in the half-inning after Oakland took it.
As the A’s came to bat in the first, the Coliseum sellout crowd was a roaring sea of green and gold. Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez found himself tossed about on its waves before he got an out.
Crisp led off with a single to right. Stephen Drew walked. Sanchez got the ground ball he needed for a double play, but it was a smash right up the middle for an RBI single. Pitching coach Jeff Jones went to the mound with Sanchez seeking his first out.
With runners on first and second, Sanchez struck out cleanup man Brandon Moss looking. Then Josh Reddick grounded into a double play .
After Crisp’s catch on Fielder, Delmon Young and Jhonny Peralta followed Crisp’s catch with singles to put runners at first and second. Anderson got Andy Dirks to hit into a force and rookie Avisail Garcia grounded out.
In the third, Austin Jackson walked on four pitches with one out and Omar Infante got ahead 3-1. On the next pitch, and with Cabrera on deck, Infante grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Designated hitter Seth Smith came up with one out in the fifth. As a rookie in ‘07 with Colorado, Smith struck out against Boston for the final out of the World Series. He didn’t strike out here. He got a 2-2 pitch down and in, where left-handed hitters often like the ball, and he walloped it over the fence in center.