OAKLAND -- Stephen Vogt got the pie in the face and the Gatorade bath, but in the wake of his greatest baseball moment ever, he was quick to remind who the real hero was.
"Tonight was Sonny Gray Night -- that's flat-out," said the 28-year-old rookie catcher. "That's flat-out. Matching Justin Verlander pitch for pitch and zero for zero. He didn't rattle, he kept his composure the whole game. It was just outstanding."
But as a second feature, Vogt was pretty outstanding himself. He called nine shutout innings, eight of them by Gray. He made a critical strikeout/throw out play that ended a Detroit scoring threat in the fifth inning. He had an epic 10-pitch duel with Verlander in the seventh, and even though he struck out, it helped get the Detroit right-hander out of the game at the end of that inning.
Oh, and there was that bases-loaded hit in the bottom of the ninth that won the game for the A's 1-0, a shot to left-center on a 1-1 pitch that turned the Coliseum into pure bedlam.
Vogt couldn't remember what kind of pitch it was or its location.
"I was just looking for something over the plate and try to hit it back up the middle," he said.
What was going through his mind as he was running up the first baseline?
"Everything," he said. "It's the moment every kid dreams of. I remember playing in my front yard with nobody else, imagining getting a walk-off hit in a playoff game or a World Series. It's just everything you can dream of and more. I'm so happy right now."
Vogt said he couldn't even feel his body as he rounded the bag and was mobbed by his teammate between first and second base.
"I didn't feel anything," he said. "There was so much emotion and so much feeling, I kind of blacked out for a second."
The A's, to a man, will tell you the outcome couldn't happen to a better guy.
"What a great story -- a 28-year-old rookie, more than put in his time and paid his dues," said reliever Sean Doolittle. "For him to have that night on both sides -- offensively and defensively -- that was awesome."
Working in tandem with Gray may have been the most crucial part, if not as dramatic as his Verlander at-bat or his game-winner.
"We came to Sacramento together and threw all year there, so it was nice to have him back there tonight," said Gray. "Stephen just knows my strengths and those are the fingers he puts down."
They teamed up beautifully in the fifth to escape the toughest jam they faced all night -- first and third with one out and Austin Jackson at the plate. Jose Iglesias, the runner at first, took off on a 3-2 pitch to Austin Jackson. Jackson swung and missed, and Vogt fired a missile to second to easily nail Iglesias to end the inning.
"Sonny's always quick to the plate," Vogt said. "That's just another thing I love about him as a pitcher. He's going to give you a chance to throw a guy out. I had a good feeling (Iglesias) was running there 3-2, and fortunately he made such a great pitch. That was such a huge momentum swing for us just to get us out of that first-and-third one-out jam."
And then there was the confrontation in the seventh with Verlander, one for the ages that almost was separate from the game.
Vogt fouled off the first pitches he saw, took a ball, fouled off another, took a second ball, then fouled one more time before finally taking a mighty swing and striking out.
"It was awesome," Vogt said. "It was a great at-bat. He made such good pitches and I fouled off a few pitches. I expanded the zone a little bit at times, but I wasn't going to go down looking."
Verlander seemed to enjoy it, too, and said so afterward.
"It was one heck of a battle," said the Detroit standout, who threw the last 10 of his 117 pitches to Vogt. "I felt I like I was giving him everything I had and he was putting good swings on everything."
Follow Carl Steward on Twitter at twitter.com/stewardsfolly.