"My wife has a drinking game based on my strikeouts today, swing at this Twinkie!" (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
|Final - 7.31.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Brandon McCarthy (4 - 5)
LP: Carl Pavano (6 - 8)
Several relievers pitched in todays game: Andrew Bailey, Grant Balfour, Craig Breslow, Matt Capps, Phil Dumatrait and Joe Nathan all took the mound. None of them had anything to do with this game which was a battle between Brandon McCarthy and Carl Pavano. A battle that McCarthy handily won.
McCarthy who came into today's game with a 5.7 K/9 instead pitched at a more Fautino De Los Santosesque 13.5 K/9 today striking out nine in his six innings of work, without walking a soul. He featured pinpoint control in the game throwing 109 pitches but only 24 for balls. After a tough first inning where he was victimized by bloops, seeing eye singles against a shift all the sort of unfortunate hits which he was been unlucky against all this season - he let in two runs. Following that he battened down with the only blemish being a third inning solo shot to Thome (#597 on his career).
Carl Pavano on the other hand came in with terrible numbers and left with them even worse, going four innings, while striking out just one (Jemile Weeks on a very questionable strike three looking as the first out of the ballgame) walking two and allowing a mere, seven earned runs on nine hits (seven of which came as a part of a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back hit sequence). The other notable aspect of Pavano's performance was his and Drew Butera's complete inability to stop the running game as Coco Crisp stole three and Jemile Weeks one off the battery mates. If the A's had sent Josh Willingham or Hideki Matsui there is still a good chance they too could've stolen third with the way these two held runners on.
Overall, the A's offense looked really good against Carl Pavano but really bad against everyone else managing just two hits off the other Twins hurlers. The A's did not manage a single home run so elcroata wins one point in his favor for saying HR's don't matter as much as an overall high SLG or wOBA does and that 5 $20s does get you $100 - today at least.
On the defensive side of the ball career second baseman Scott Sizemore looked even better at third than we have seen as he made some nice picks. He was aided by Conor Jackson who often looked equally improved digging some balls out of the ground and handling short hops well to preserve the outs on Sizemore's snags.
A's win the series and everyone else in the AL West has lost, meaning the A's find themselves in third place 11 1/2 behind the Rangers, 9 1/2 behind the Angels and 3 1/2 ahead of the M's who we see next in the Pacific Northwest.
Thank you everyone for my first Sunday! It has been fun and I appreciate the support and the highlighting of my being an idiot who can't link things well. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. LETS GO OAKLAND!