The A's win against the O's tonight 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning on Emil Brown's RBI single to center field. The game went to the 10th inning on a blown save from Huston Street after a brilliantly pitched game by A's starter Dana Eveland.
So on a night when two MLB Davids faced off against one another, it was the guy that many A's fans didn't even want on the team in the first place who was the star of the game offensively. Emil Brown scored the run to give the A's the lead and more importantly, wound up with the big single to plate Daric Barton to win the game for the A's.
This game was amazing in many ways and it's sad that so few people are showing up to watch this team play baseball. They say baseball can be a game of inches, well consider all that happened this evening and dare to argue otherwise:
- Early in the game, both Mike Sweeney and Frank Thomas both looked like they hit home runs but the heavy Oakland night air knocked both balls down.
- Jack Cust got four strikes in an at-bat on a mistake by home plate umpire Ed Hickox, who also had one of those wild, completely unpredictable strike zones that led to Mark Ellis nearly being thrown out for arguing a called third strike (Bob Geren jumped in and saved Ellis from being tossed by a millisecond).
- In the seventh inning, Emil Brown just barely avoided getting doubled off second base on a Crosby fly out to center field. He wound up scoring the only run for the A's in the first nine innings on two infield hits by Jack Hannahan and Rajai Davis.
- The top of the eighth the Orioles came so close to tying the game but an excellent play by Ryan Sweeney calling off Mark Ellis on a pop up that would've scored Adam Jones from third had Ellis caught it while moving back into the outfield. Nick Markakis then grounded to Crosby to end the Orioles threat. The infield hit by Payton that inning was questionable as to whether Payton was safe or not. But as I said, this was a game of inches.
- Ramon Hernandez wound up tying the game for the Orioles in the top of the ninth with a ball to Bobby Crosby that could've possibly gone home had Kurt Suzuki stepped out from behind the plate and given Croz that option. For some reason, Kurt seemed to concede that run.
- In the bottom of the ninth, Brown nearly had another A's infield hit to lead off the inning when a ball rolled up the third base line and rolled foul by less than an inch and stopped. Brown still walked, but the A's couldn't get him home.
You could not ask for better pitching from Dana Eveland than the A's got tonight. The guy pitched brilliantly, rebounding from his tough outing against the Angels. He was great in pounding the zone and working the home plate umpire's wild zone. It's too bad that it was all for nothing.
The A's pen was once again great tonight, outside of Street and like I said in the comments, I thought Huston had a couple of bogus calls against him in the Melvin Mora AB, which turned into the tying run. Street looked like he hit the outside corner on Mora twice but didn't get the call and that's when you could tell that both him and Suzuki were trying to figure out what to throw. Street isn't the overpowering guy that some closers are and he needs that outside corner in order to be effective.
But Eveland, Devine, Embree and Brown were all good enough tonight to get the A's the win thanks to a little help from Clutchy McClutch (Emil).
By the way, I've got to admit that I got a few goosebumps in watching Chad Bradford strike out Daric Barton with that frisbee slider of his. It reminded me of good times in the green and gold and he was always one of my very favorite A's pitchers back in the day. It's one of the few moments that I've ever smiled when an A's player struck out.
The A's super duper funkalicious all-righty lineup wasn't nearly as interesting as I had hoped as Garrett Olson kept them pretty much off balance all night. He kind of reminded me of hybrid of Greg Smith and Young Barry Zito (not the abomination that pitches for the Giants now). He's a tough good young pitcher. But I'm not sure how effective this all righty lineup is. They don't seem to be fairing all that well against lefties. Or at least as good as I'd like.
Ultimately, in a matchup of two Davids, it was fitting that Emil Brown, ManGod, was the one who chucked the heaviest stone.