Verlander? I barely know 'er!
It's a good thing they don't play baseball games on paper, partly because today the paper would have disintegrated in the rain and partly because it would have shown a mismatch of Trevor Cahill vs. Justin Verlander. It took a couple hours to get started today, and when they did apparently they started the game Justin time, greeting Verlander with a Rajai Davis single, a Barton RBI double, and a Sweeney single helping the A's to a 2-0 lead before Cahill's first pitch.
Cahill would pitch 6.1 IP, walking 5, and allowing the leadoff man to reach in four of the first five innings, but he always had the "money pitch" -- be it a DP grounder, a strikeout, or a liner to Rajai -- to keep the Tigers off the board...with an assist from Gabe Gross, who gunned down Brennan Boesch at home plate to end the 5th following Brandon Inge's sharp base hit to LF.
Things got contentious in the 7th, as the A's tallied their 3rd run off of Verlander. Verlander thought he had Kevin Kouzmanoff struck out twice, but didn't get the ball-strike calls, before Kouzmanoff delivered an RBI single. After he was yanked by Jim Leyland, Verlander seemed intent on discussing equestrian waste with home plate umpire Laz Diaz.
The A's 4th run? That would be a patented "Rajai run" in the 8th: single, steal 2B, steal 3B, score on a FC. As Rajai goes, seemingly, the A's go, and both went today with Davis scoring twice and the A's scoring the 4 they need to practically guarantee a win.
Is Cahill being lucky or good? A little of both, I'd say. He's battling and not wilting, but he's having to battle because he's putting an awful lot of guys on base and relying on some awfully good defense. Still, when that's your #5 starter you're doing ok. And the 1st place A's are doing ok.