First thought: OH YEAH, THERE WE GO!!!
Second thought: Oh my goodness; the poor, poor Orioles.
If last night's game was the one where the A's did everything right, today's was the one where they did everything wrong early, but thanks to a little ninth inning magic and a huge hit from Ryan Sweeney that tied and won the game, the A's snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and take the third game of this series with a wild 9th inning comeback.
True to form this early season, the A's once again found themselves in a game with little margin for error, and they made a costly one. Daric Barton's sixth inning error opened the door for Baltimore's game-tying two-run rally to erase Justin Duchscherer's 5 2/3 innings (7H, 2BB, 5K, 0ER).
The A's scored single runs in the fourth and fifth to take the 2-0 lead; a double by Suzuki (he is still looking rather lost at the plate) opened the fourth inning and after he was thrown out at the plate on a fielder's choice, Rosales (who was 2-4 on the day, continuing his hot hitting) doubled in Gabe Gross for the first run of the game. Rajai reached on an error in the fifth, was balked to second, and inexplicably, Barton sac bunted him to third with one out. IN THE FIFTH. DARIC BARTON. OY. I will never, ever agree with that call. STOP GIVING AWAY BARTON AT-BATS! Sweeney would hit the sac fly to score the run (for the first RBI of his 3-RBI day).
The O's took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Ziegler was brought into the game with the go-ahead run on third. He allowed a sac fly (a perfect throw may have got the runner), but nothing else. Blevins pitched a perfect ninth, setting the table for some home-team heroics.
The sac bunt would rear its ugly head again in the ninth; as Rosales started the inning with a single and although Pennington worked the count to 2-0 against an incredibly wild Johnson, he bunted anyway. You can argue that the bunt gets the runner into scoring position, but Johnson was so wild in that inning, all I see is another wasted out. But it's not likely to be noticed, considering what happened next. Even though Rajai Davis swung at a ball that ended up in the stands for strike 3, the ball did end up in the stands, and before you could blink, Rajai was at first and Patterson (pinch-runner) was at third with one out. After another wild pitch sent Rajai to second, Barton was walked, setting the table for Sweeney.
Ryan Sweeney worked the count full and then smashed a single that scored two runs, and sent the A's fans home delirious. The A's have started 9-4 on the season; their best start in a long time, and are in position to take the four game sweep with a win tomorrow, before they send Baltimore off to someone else. The A's need one more win before they welcome in the Yankees.
We do it again tomorrow; LET'S GO OAK-LAND!
Athletics win the series 3-0
WP: Ben Sheets (1 - 0)
LP: David Hernandez (0 - 2)
|6 - 2 win|
WP: Dallas Braden (2 - 0)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: Kevin Millwood (0 - 2)
|4 - 2 win|
|Sat 04/17||4 - 3 win|