OAKLAND -- After further review, A's center fielder Coco Crisp came much closer to stealing home in the eighth inning on Friday night than White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski thought when he made his diving tag in front of the plate.
"I saw the replay," Pierzynski said before Saturday's game against the A's. "It was a lot closer than I thought it was. I thought he was easily out, but it was a couple inches. It was exciting. Safe or out, that's like the most exciting thing I've ever seen on one single play, just because of all that was involved."
There were two outs in the eighth with the White Sox leading, 4-3, when A's pinch-hitter Conor Jackson came to the plate to face lefty Matt Thornton. After Jackson fell behind 0-1, Crisp took off for home as Thornton went into his windup.
"As a catcher, you always peek at the runner to see what he's doing," Pierzynski said. "A lot of guys deke all the time like they're coming, but he didn't stop. I was just like, 'Oh my gosh, hurry up and get me the ball as fast as you can because he's going to make this.' This was the first time I ever had somebody try to do that. Thornton got me the ball, threw it in a good spot where I could handle it.
"The only thing I was thinking is just lay on top of the plate, so if he's going to get there, he's going to basically have to go through me. He had to go so far around. I think he might have actually touched the plate, but after I had already gotten to him."
Pierzynski gave Crisp credit for making such a bold attempt.
"He's a good player. He takes chances like that with his legs, and he has the ability to pull them off a lot of times," Pierzynski said. "It's fun. It's fun to see guys do that and dare to do stuff that's a little bit outside the box."