We really haven't had much of these. This game was a tense, taut offensive showing, and the A's squeezed out of the night as victors.
Vin Mazzaro started off great, pounding the strike zone and baffling the Rangers offense for one hit on two innings. Unfortunately, he lost his control in a bad way in the third, as he walked the bases loaded and served up a grand slam on a platter for Vladimir Guerrero. Mazzaro was taken out after walking the first batter in the fourth inning. The A's bullpen had to cover six innings of work, and they performed reasonably well given the circumstances, allowing two runs. Bob Geren has to be given credit--he managed this game near-perfectly, using Craig Breslow, Michael Wuertz, Brad Ziegler, Jerry Blevins (as a LOOGY), and Andrew Bailey for the four out save.
The A's offense followed a remarkably similar story to that of their starting pitcher. They started off hot, banging out five runs in the first two innings on the strength of Ryan Sweeney's first HR of the year, a two run shot to right-center. Amazingly, the offensively inept A's put together a good showing from their 2-3-4 hitters, as Daric Barton, Ryan Sweeney, and Kevin Kouzmanoff combined for a great 8 for 11 showing with one walk. Sadly, Scott Feldman settled down late, and the Rangers retired everybody from the fifth inning on.
But in the end, the A's did a lot of what we haven't seen as of late--offensive outbursts and good pitching in spite of the everpresent poor showing from the starter.
It's an afternoon game tomorrow as Trevor Cahill takes on Colby Lewis at 12:35 PM.
3 game series vs Rangers @ Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
WP: Rich Harden (2 - 1)
SV: Neftali Feliz
LP: Dallas Braden (3 - 2)
|2 - 4 loss|
WP: Brad Ziegler (1 - 2)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: Scott Feldman (1 - 3)
|7 - 6 win|