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Chess Match: Don't play for one

Chess Match: Don't play for one

The situation: Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver said if you play for one run, that's all you'll get. The Athletics wanted more after Nick Swisher led off the fifth inning with a double in a scoreless game.

The decision: Oakland manager Ken Macha wanted more and declined to use the bunt even with No. 8 hitter Marco Scutaro up.

The outcome: Scutaro swung away and doubled into the right-field corner. No. 9 hitter Mark Ellis also swung away and hit a grounder to the right side. Scutaro moved to third and scored when Jason Kendall singled through a drawn-in infield.

Speed over power at DH

The situation: Twins designated hitters scored 66 runs and drove in 63 runs during the regular season, the lowest in the American League.

The decision: Manager Ron Gardenhire decided to sit Phil Nevin, his hitless Game 1 DH, and start Jason Tyner, a left-handed hitter who has little power but can run and hit .312 in 62 games this season.

The outcome: Tyner didn't do much either, going 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base while batting in the eighth spot in the order.

Lefty vs. lefty

The situation: The score was 2-2 in the seventh when left-handed hitter Mark Kotsay came up to face right-handed reliever Pat Neshek with two outs and a runner at first. Left-handers hit .244 off Neshek during the season. Kotsay was .278 off left-handers and .265 off right-handers during the season.

The decision: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire brought in left-hander Dennys Reyes to face Kotsay. Left-handed hitters batted .148 off Reyes during the season.

The outcome: Kotsay hit a sinking line drive to center and Torii Hunter missed making a diving catch. The ball skipped past Hunter and went all the way to the fence for a two-run home run.

Needing a strikeout

The situation: The Athletics, leading 4-2, had a runner on third and one out in the eighth.

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The decision: Gardenhire, with No. 9 hitter Ellis at the plate, brought in closer Joe Nathan, hoping to get a strikeout and keep the Athletics from adding onto the lead.

The outcome: Nathan did get the strikeout. But before he did, he threw a wild pitch allowing the run to score.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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