Trevor Cahill has seen better days than this one. He started the game just fine, getting a strikeout, a flyout and another strikeout against Matt Kemp, Brad Ausmus and Andre Ethier. Then in the 2nd, after the A's had come up short in their half of the inning, Trevor fell behind a few guys, hit a batter, walked a guy, let a slow roller turn into an infield single and then gave up a run-scoring double to Matt Kemp. Before the damage was contained, Cahill had given up 4 runs on 4 hits. Cahill would regroup in the 3rd and get a 1-2-3 inning before calling it quits for the day.
Cahill was almost an afterthough come the 4th inning, when the A's would send 15 batters to the plate in a marathon rally that saw them pick Trevor off the "Loss" line and put up 9 runs against a parade of has-been Dodger "relievers" the likes of Jeff Weaver, Steve Randolph and Shawn Estes. The A's used the whole book in the rally, getting back-to-back hits from guys like Buck and Garciappara, walks, hit-batsmen and even some situational hitting courtesy Bobby Crosby, who got good wood on a pitch and actually knotched a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and 1 out. Travis Buck would add a solo homer in the 5th to close out the A's scoring.
The game was effectively over after the initial A's outburst, as A's relievers Mike Wuertz, Jerry Blevins, Henry Rodriguez and Andrew Bailey would throw 4 innings of scoreless relief, before Andrew Carignan would lose the strikezone temporarily in the 9th and give the Dodgers 4 courtesy runs back before closing it out.
The story of the game, besides the A's phenomenal 3rd inning, will likely be Trevor Cahill's percieved "downfall". I don't see it that way. Yeah, he struggled in the 2nd inning, but by and large the hits he gave up weren't well-hit (excepting Kemp's double) and he showed some gusto by going back out there in the 3rd and shutting the Dodgers down. His performance today was a nice learning experience and I bet he's still with the team tomorrow, well into next week and the week beyond that as well. He might not be quite ready to be that top-of-the-rotation starter he's long been regarded as, but the guy can compete at the major league level right now. Everybody gets one mulligan during Spring Training, and thanks to the A's offense, Cahill just used his today without even knotching an "L" by his name.
Stay tuned for the 2nd part of Blez's interview with Jason Giambi coming later this evening!