In a season of short-term hope, long-term frustration and the heartbreak of seeing some of our hometown favorites leave, the story of Brad Ziegler has been something to hold on to, something that had us looking forward to each new game to see if he could do something special. From day one, Ziegler has been "one of us" - an ego-free player who shared his thoughts on rising through the minor league ranks and reaching the Big Show here on AN. We were elated when he was called up to Oakland, and we shared his jitters during his first outing, and seeing him go inning after scoreless inning has been a shared feeling of pride, as he's part of the AN family.
Achieving 39 consecutive scoreless innings is tremendous, period. To do it as a rookie is amazing. To do it from your very first pitch - unprecedented in the history of baseball... of all friggin' time.
And though today, it came to an end, the AN family stops to applaud you, Brad. Congratulations on doing something nobody has ever done before, even if people who didn't bleed green and gold may never have before known your name.
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Oh! And there was a ballgame! What a ballgame! 12 innings of thrills and spills. And while the A's ended up on the short end, once again, we had 4+ hours of entertainment.
We had the early pitching shakiness from Gallagher and Meyer, followed by surprisingly good pitching from Embree, we saw Ziegler finally give up a run, Street pitching impressively, and then... finally, the wheels came off with Casilla. But we also saw a two-run double by Daric "Staplehead" Barton, a two-run home run by Gonzalez, and ninth-inning heroics by Frank Thomas.
We even battled back in the 12th to make things interesting, before falling to the A's nemesis, the double play.
Did we win? No. Did we battle? Yes. And for the first time in weeks, literally, the A's scored more than 4 runs, so at least that barrier has gone bust. The next barrier has got to be winning a series, as the A's have lost their last nine. The White Sox come to town tomorrow. The question is, do the A's play the role of aggressor or that of victim? We find out tomorrow night.