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Apparently "Dog Day" at the Coliseum inspired the A’s offense, because they showed up to help the bullpen secure the win against the Angels in a pretty exciting game. The only damper on the night was a hit-by-pitch from Spier to Scott Hairston in the eighth inning, once the game was all but over. My first fear was a broken wrist, and although Hairston stayed in to run (Holliday promptly ended the inning with a double-play), he was pulled the next inning. Think good thoughts.
The Angels got on the board early with a homerun by Kendry Morales; the only run Cahill would allow in his first four innings. The A’s answered back in the bottom of the fourth, as Rajai Davis doubled with one out, and pulled off a delayed steal of third. Mark Ellis walked to put runners at the corners, and on a 1-2 pitch, Crosby caught up with a hanging curveball and hit a three run homerun. (I know!)
Cahill wasted no time in giving the entire lead back, and it was only thanks to Geren’s hook that the damage was limited to two runs. Cahill had completely lost the strike zone; actually walking in the tying run. Rivera even tried to help Cahill out by swinging at ball two, but Cahill would not be denied his last walk. He would finish with 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB. Brad Ziegler (new middle reliever?) replaced him and although he went 3-1 to the dangerous Morales (batting left-handed, which made Ziegler an interesting choice), he got him to fly out to center.
Ziegler got in trouble again with walking two with two outs in the sixth. He was replaced by Breslow, who walked the bases loaded, but got out of the inning with the game still tied at 3. It’s not often the A’s walk three in an inning, and hold any team scoreless, but they managed. They would give up 7 walks in total, but received 8.
Rajai Davis stole a run from the Angels in the bottom half of the inning to give the A’s the lead. After walking Davis to lead off the inning, Saunders misfired a pickoff throw to first, and Rajai went from first to home on the overthrow. It was a closer play than you would like with no outs, but I can’t blame Gallego; I’ve seen the A’s offense. Rex Hudler said Davis was clocked at 11 seconds, but Hudler also drew on a dog on the teleprompter, so you can take it for what it’s worth.
The A’s would add two more in the eighth on a double by Cabrera, and Wuertz made sure that the Angels never had another scoring opportunity. He added four more strikeouts in 1.2 innings to bring his total to 26 K’s in 14 innings. That’s amazing. Bailey came in to close the game out, and the A’s win.
A couple of notes:
- I’m really worried about Hairston.
- Nomar should not be batting ahead of Suzuki.
- As noted by ptbarnum in the thread and multiple announcers around the league, it looks like Holliday is really struggling hitting the fastball. This is something to keep an eye on. (According to GameDay, the homerun last night was a slider.)
So the A’s even the series, and will take on the Angels again tomorrow at 1pm.