In what could end up being a microcosm of the coming 2009 season, the A's and Angels battled this afternoon, matching play for play, hit for hit, run for run and miscue for miscue, until the very end, when Aaron Cunningham (first-pitch swinging like a champ) sent a single into center to score pinch-runner Cliff Pennington from 3rd in the bottom of the 9th. Non-roster righty Kevin Cameron got the win by pitching the final 3 outs for Oakland in the 9th.
The game started well enough when, after Dallas Braden committed one of two throwing errors to 1st base and then wild-pitched a runner-in, the A's came back to pick him up in the 2nd with 2 runs off Joe "Colonel" Saunders to reclaim the lead. Braden would finish his game in the 3rd on-top as he pitched a 1-2-3 3rd inning to keep the A's in front 2-1. Despite the two throwing errors, Braden pitched well, getting ahead of hitters and not fearing to pitch inside to the righty-heavy Angel lineup. He wound up with 3 K's and only 2 hits and 1 walk allowed.
LA/Anaheim/Santa Ana would reclaim the lead by adding a run apiece in the 4th, 5th and 7th off of Casilla and Jerome Williams, the latter of whom seemed to get victimized by a couple of mis-plays en-route to giving up 6 hits in his 3 innings. Not to be outdone, though, the A's would take advantage of the Angels defensive miscue (errant throw by Aybar) in their half of the 7th after a botched double play. Before the inning was out, Ben Copeland would tie the score at 4-4 by blasting a homerun to deep right.
Springer and Cameron would keep the Angels off-the-board in the 8th and 9th to set up some late inning heroics. Gregorio Petit got on-board the bottom of the 9th via a walk and got to 2nd on a Corey Wimberly sacrifice bunt that was almost stretched into a bunt-basehit. Then Pennington, pinch-running for Petit, was moved over the third by a Ben Copeland groundout to 1st. Cue Aaron Cunningham, who just loves to jump on that first pitch fastball. Game over! Exciting stuff, ladies and gentleman...it's definitely getting me psyched to re-witness those types of late-inning, mid-summer nail-biters of old between the A's and Angels.
- Crosby made two plays at 3rd and seemed fine, although he didn't fare so well at the plate
- Giambi had what I believe was his 1st multi-hit game of the spring with 2 singles
There was plenty of off-field news to report on as well during the game today. AN member Zonis was the darling of the Buan broadcast as several of his questions were answered by Buan, A's Player Development Czar Billy Owens and even Susan Slusser. Speaking of Susan, she's got some nice things to say about Michael Ynoa's eyes after seeing him for herself in a mini-workout today before the game. Czech it out...