Sometimes a game comes along that is so rare, so incredibly dramatic that you just can't even write a headline for it. I mean there's no question that you have to start the discussion about this game with the cycle by MaEl. Take that, MaEl H8ers!! Yep, I didn't think he was going to get another chance at the cycle once the official scorer (was that you, David Feldman?) ruled that he didn't get it in the eighth on a call that could've gone either way. Regardless, it's one of those cases of all is well that ends well as the baseball gods smiled down on Ellis and gave him a broken bat blooper redemption hit in the 10th. It's the sixth cycle in Oakland history and the last one was Eric Byrnes in San Francisco. Course, someone might've debated the fact that Pena's misplay of the ball on Ellis' first hit that led to him getting to third base. I'm really happy for Mark Ellis, who is quickly having one of the more memorable times of his life. From all accounts, it couldn't happen to a better guy. Welcome to history, Ellie.
Any way, I do feel sorry for Danny Haren. I mean, I know wins don't mean squat in terms of how well a pitcher is pitching, but I'm pretty sure that if the season keeps going like this and Haren keeps his important numbers like ERA and WHIP and strikeouts among the top and doesn't get the wins, you're going to hear the dolts that are the "experts" start talking about guys like Beckett for Cy Young. I honestly don't think you can question who should be in the lead for that award right now and that's Danny Boy. Haren did slip a bit back to his old habit of giving up the long ball, but it was with no one on base, so no harm, no foul.
The A's bullpen burped up the lead to the Red Sox, which also taught me that I should NEVER start writing my thoughts on a game before the game officially ends. Well, at least not for the games where the A's only have a small lead. Especially with the A's current pen. That being said, a huge pat on the back for the Pitcher Formerly Known as Jairo Garcia. Kiko Calero and Ron Flores also came through, but Flores came through because of the absolutely picture perfect play by Kotsay and Crosby to nail Pedroia at the plate. And even though I've been pretty critical of Jason Kendall this year, you've gotta love the bitch slap he gave Pedroia as he came to the dish. It was kind of unnecessary, but at the same time, you didn't know if the guy was going to try and run you over and I'd rather have our guy be the aggressor in that instance.
Also, is it me, or does David Ortiz squawk waaaaaay too much? After two pitches that clearly nailed the outside corner he stepped out and had a conversation with the home plate umpire, I started thinking his name was Jeter and not Ortiz. Yes, David, people can actually throw a pitch over the outside part of the plate and it is still called a strike. Quit your yappin and just swing the freaking bat.
It's frustrating that the one game that the A's had a very distinct and clear advantage over the next four days needed to go that long in order to be decided. And that the A's needed to use most of their pen instead of just Haren and an extra pitcher or two, but that's life against the best team in baseball right now.
Finally, and you didn't think I was going to let this pass, congratulations to Eric Chavez who hit his first career walk-off home run. He shook off a bad at-bat in the ninth that could've ended the game about an hour earlier to crush one deep into the Oakland night. It was a great moment for a guy that is often the target of way too much ire of A's fans. I can only hope that this blast will help Chavy the next time he strides to the plate with the game on the line. Take a mental picture of the moment in your mind, Eric. Put it in your back pocket along with the batting gloves, chaw and anything else you might have in there. Pull it out the next time a game is on the line and realize that you can do it. You can be clutch because you've done it and we've all been witnesses.
Wow, what a night.