I'm glad I went to the game tonight. Not only did I see an A's win, but I saw Trevor Cahill be the very best he can be; he gave the 43,000+ in attendance more than a glimpse of the future pitcher many predicted that he'd be. Facing an Angels lineup that checked in tonight from 1-8 at .307, .303, .317, .303, .302, .299, .295, and .310--almost unbelievable numbers in succession--Cahill shut them down like they were...well...the A's. Cahill finished his night at 97 pitches, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, and zero runs. Considering his opponent, that's having a night.
It all started so innocently. Cahill had two walks in his seven innings, and they came on the first and second batters of his night. But he turned things around in a hurry with a strikeout, a pickoff and a ground out to end the inning, and he put it in cruise control the rest of the game. Cahill allowed a two-out single to Vlad in the fourth, and a leadoff double (that didn't score) in the sixth.
Had his performance been any less impressive, Ervin Santana would have had a night of his own. At the very least, he probably wished Ryan Sweeney had stayed home. Sweeney put in a bid for the cycle tonight with a single, triple and a homerun, and was responsible for the A's two runs; enough to win the game. Sweeney homered in the second to give the A's the early 1-0 lead, and he tripled and scored on a Barton single in the sixth. Wuertz (eighth) and Bailey (ninth) wouldn't need the insurance run. Bailey allowed a perfectly-timed bunt single to Torii (Bailey fielded the ball, but did not throw, and something about this motion sent the trainer out), but got Vlad out to end the game, and to give the A's a well-earned win.
Worth noting was a web gem that can only be described as awesome; as it sent A's and Angels' fans alike to their feet. Suzuki hit a ball up the middle that the second baseman Izturis fielded from a prone position and flipped to the shortstop Morales, who threw to first for the out. It was incredible in person.
But the defensive momentum and the rally monkey were not enough to get the Angels off the deck in this one, as the A's rookie pitcher just dominated the likely playoff-bound Angels in every way possible. From the third batter of the game on, Cahill was in control, and if this is a preview of 2010, I like what I see.
Tomorrow's game will be slightly earlier at 7:05; will feature Tomko vs. Bell, and will be hosted by the talented 67marquez. See you then!