Ramon Laureano may have few words and emotion in his interviews, but behind closed doors, he is the A’s vocal speaker who really knows how to hype up his team when they need it, especially against his former team.
Before the A’s came back from a 7-4 game, the mood in the A’s dugout was flat. Laureano sensed the teams vibes and wasn’t going to accept a sweep from his former team, the Houston Astros.
Chad Pinder, who brought in four of the A’s nine runs in the 9-7 win on Wednesday, said you could feel the energy was down and had a flat feeling that Laureano wanted no part of. He wouldn’t say what exactly was said thst it was somewhere along the lines of:
‘This ain’t it. This ain’t over. This isn’t our last game. We’re not gonna let it be our last game. We have gone through too much and had too many good things happen throughout this season to leave here getting swept. We just have to keep getting to the next day.”
“Right before that inning, Ramon got everybody up and got everybody fired up saying this wasn’t it. We kinda talked yesterday about how the momentum when we scored, it seemed like they scored back and punched us back and we hadn’t been able to respond and Ramon kinda nipped that in the butt and had an incredible at bat by Simy and another great at by Tommy and just put us in that position. It was awesome.”
Pinder said he had the chills when he spoke of the center fielder and what that moment did for him and the team:
“That was a pivotal moment for us, for sure. Not even what I did at the plate but what Ramon did in the dugout and I just keep getting chills all over my body because that is huge. We needed somebody to step up in that moment to do that and he did and he let it out and that just speaks to the competitor that he is and how much he cares about our team and our season and what we are trying to do.”
Laureano doubled in the eighth inning when the A’s took back the lead. He hit a line drive double to right center and pushed for second, diving full force, head first on a well-hit ball that most would have settled with a single.
Pinder spoke on the inning:
“Grossman draws a big walk and then Ramon comes up with a big hit to put two runners on in scoring position and then I believe next up is Murph with the sac-fly. That is just really good baseball to close out the game there situational hitting and it was big. For him to do what he did in the dugout, to rally us all together and then come through with that double, it just shows in the big moment he is going to be there and he is going to pull us out when we are a little down.”
A’s closer Liam Hendriks said he wasn’t in the dugout when Laureano made his speech but was not surprised at all to hear it was him. He explained the passion that comes from his teammate and his eagerness to win and do whatever it takes to win, except cheat of course:
“Obviously there is history. One, being traded from that organization. Two, with everything that happened earlier in the year [Astros coach disrespecting his mother and causing benches cleared brawl] but not at all, am I surprised. He is a very emotional guy, he kinda vibes off of just that tight line of being aggressive and energetic.”
Hendriks thinks those are the things that help get Laureano locked in and thats just what he does. Laureano was 0-for-2 with a walk before his speech and quickly contributed with a double after.
Before the game on Wednesday Jake Lamb said the team was lacking energy in the dugout:
“That is kind of part of baseball. When you’re not getting those hits and they are coming through getting those big hits, leaving the yard, theres going to be times where it’s a little down in the dugout and thats what we have to focus on today. Obviously focus on the play in the field but for those who aren’t playing we got to be loud and rowdy in the dugout.”
Laureano was able to focus on his play in the field while being loud and rowdy in the dugout. His teammates needed it and Lamb called it. The A’s will play game 4 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium and will hope to see another day just one more time.