Hero of the game.
The A's win! The A's win! The A's win! Tonight is a happy recap; Lord knows we need more wins around here. And since I'm fully taking responsibility for the last two wins, I'm going to keep this a celebration thread. That means we'll talk about Fuentes another time. Did I mention that the A's win?! Well, they did! Also, I love Jemile Weeks.
Would you like to know what happened?
Josh Outman earned a real win tonight, and when I say he earned it, he truly did. Outman out-pitched Luke Hochevar--who didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning--for seven strong innings, showed incredible restraint by not strangling his set-up man or his offense, and calmly collected the "W", a rare as a World Series' trophy around these parts lately.
Outman finished with 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, and 2 K's, a truly impressive performance on a night the A's needed it most. And the A's loved him right back; the offense managed to rouse itself out of its perpetual slumber to score two runs for the win, jump-started by the exciting and slightly reckless on the basepaths, Jemile Weeks. Take my word for it; nothing happened until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Landon Powell singled to lead off the inning. Weeks bunted (it's hard to say if it was called, but he was running like it was a base hit) and may or may not have beat it out. (Okay, he was tagged out, but honestly, I couldn't care less. I'm all for MLB charity; I think we've earned it.) This put two runners on with no one out.
Murderous rage almost ensued as DeJesus bunted; everyone and their dog knows that Powell can't outrun Benjie Molina, and it was no surprise when the lead runner was forced out at third. But it might not have been the worst thing that ever happened, as it cleared the basepaths for Jemile Weeks, who stole third. Cliff Pennington drove him in with a solid single, and moved another runner to third. The A's decided not to test Francoeur's arm (a wise move) on Matsui's subsequent fly ball, so DeJesus didn't score. Clinging to a one-run lead, the A's headed into the seventh inning.
Outman battled through the seventh, with no one to blame but himself; he threw the ball down the line for a 2-base error, and walked a runner to put two on, but an exciting pop-up between third and shortstop led to the third out. The A's would tag another run on courtesy of a Swingle (Sweeney also made a game-saving catch over his shoulder), a sac bunt, and an RBI single by the much-maligned Daric Barton.
Fuentes allowed a run in the eighth. I can't be positive, but I think he was going home with the Royals had he allowed one more.
Now clinging to a 2-1 lead, the A's turned to Andrew Bailey for the rare save opportunity. He retired the Royals in order, which would lead me to a long lament of how much we missed him early in the season if this wasn't a happy thread. HAPPY THREAD!
A's win, and believe it or not, have the chance to get the series win tomorrow at noon. I KNOW!
LET'S GO OAK-LAND!