Thurm: Ten years later, the A’s 20-game winning streak, Scott Hatteberg and ‘Moneyball’

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at Baseball Nation on August 20, 2012:

It started innocently enough.

A Tuesday night game in mid-August between the A’s and the Blue Jays, in front of 17,466 at the Oakland Coliseum. Barry Zito was on the mound for the A’s, facing Toronto’s Chris Carpenter. The A’s entered the game at 68-51 but in third place in the American League West. The Blue Jays were 52-65 and mired in fourth place in the American League East. Jermaine Dye hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to give the A’s the early lead. The Blue Jays rallied, scoring three off Zito in the top of the sixth. Eric Chavez then drove in the winning runs with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. Zito got the win to go 16-5. Closer Billy Koch got the save, his 29th of the season.

Nineteen games and 21 nights later, the A’s had set a new American League record with a 20-game winning streak. We all remember Scott Hatteberg’s walk-off home run to seal the 20th win. We either watched the game as it unfolded, or caught the highlights later. Or we’ve seen Chris Pratt’s version in Moneyball. I saw it all three ways, and again last night while sitting on the outfield grass at the Oakland Coliseum. In honor of the tenth anniversary of The Streak, as it’s called, the A’s had a special showing of Moneyball after their game against the Cleveland Indians. Hatteberg introduced the movie and said something along the lines of: “Art Howe is a good guy. Don’t believe everything you see in the movie.”

Howe’s portrayal in the movie was controversial upon the film’s release last fall, and remains so. Howe returned to Oakland to help celebrate The Streak as part of a pre-game ceremony that included players and coaches from the 2002 team. (Read this post on Athletics Nation for a rundown on what the 2002 team members are doing now.)

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 21, 2012. Last Updated: August 21, 2012.