Bradley had two homers and four RBIs against the Tigers on Wednesday, but the A's lost Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, 8-5, and are in a 2-0 hole as they head to Detroit for Friday's Game 3.
Bradley had a brilliant game in defeat. He homered from each side of the plate, the third person in postseason history to do it, along with Bernie Williams and Chipper Jones. He had previously put the A's first run on the board with a broken-bat RBI single. And in the bottom of the ninth inning, he extended the game by beating out an infield single.
"That's a dream game for a guy in the playoffs, to hit a home run from both sides of the plate," said A's outfielder Jay Payton, "He had a phenomenal game. He did everything possible to give us a chance to win this game."
"[Bradley] had an incredible night," said Frank Thomas. "I'm happy for him; he really set the tone all night. That's the type of player he is."
Phenomenal performance -- just not for Bradley.
"It's encouraging when you win," he said. "We're not a team that is going to put up a ton of runs. We do it with pitching and defense. You can't give up eight runs and expect to win a ballgame."
When Bradley was asked if he was encouraged by his production at the plate, he responded with: "No, I'm good. That's what I do."
Bradley didn't want to compliment himself, and didn't say too much about the Tigers, either.
"We lost two in a row, so what does that tell you?" asked Bradley, when he was asked about Detroit's pitching.
Homers from both sides of the plate in playoffs
|A's right fielder Milton Bradley became the third player in Major League history to homer from both sides of the plate in a postseason game and the first in League Championship history when he accomplished the feat on Wednesday.|
|Bernie Williams||NYY||10/6/1995||ALDS G3|
|Bernie Williams||NYY||10/5/1996||ALDS G4|
|Chipper Jones||ATL||10/4/2003||NLDS G4|
|Milton Bradley||OAK||10/11/2006||ALCS G2|
|Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau|
Bradley's first homer came from the left side on a first-pitch changeup from Justin Verlander and landed in the right-field stands to put the A's up, 3-1.
Bradley has been an extremely streaky hitter all season for the A's, and has six hits in the A's last three playoff games. He looks to be on the same kind of roll he was when he came off the disabled list on July 14, and hit .406 for the month.
Bradley's second homer was a no-doubter from the right side against reliever Wilfredo Ledezma to cut the Tigers' lead to 7-5.
His quickness to first base in the ninth extended the game for Thomas, but the Big Hurt flied out to center to end the game with the bases loaded.
The A's will be climbing uphill for the rest of the ALCS, and Bradley realized that without a win Friday, the A's will be in the worst of positions.
"It's now or never," Bradley said. "We need to put together good at-bats. We gotta do whatever it takes."