Many were worried that Yoenis Cespedes was not going to hit enough to negate all of the strikeouts that he piles up. After Wednesday night, that should no longer be a concern.
The Oakland A's benefited from a bloop and a blast in the 14th inning against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. Trailing 4-2, Cespedes came to the plate with Josh Reddick on base. Cespedes connected for his third hit of the game, a game-tying home run.
The A's received three singles in a row after the home run, the last of which was a bloop hit by Kila Ka'aihue that resulted in the winning run.
Ka'aihue gave all of the credit to Cespedes for this win, telling reporters, "That was the biggest at-bat of the game. It seemed like everything took care of itself (after the Cespedes homer)."
Oakland, who still are one of the weakest offensive teams in the league, are 10-10 through their first 20 games of the year. This is an achievement that would not be possible if not for Cespedes.
Cespedes spoke after the game about his home run and the promise that this team has:
I had lots of opportunities to decide games in Cuba. I was only looking to make contact...I can't speak English and communicate with my teammates yet, but we all cheer for each other. This is a young team, and I think we are going to go far.
Although his strikeout totals are high, everything else he does with the bat is worth every penny of the $36 million that Oakland will pay him over four years.
Cespedes has played in 19 games this season and is hitting .269 with three doubles, five home runs, 18 RBI and four stolen bases. In his last nine games he is hitting .324.
There is no ceiling for Cespedes and this team if he can continue to rally the A's to victory.