Usually when Brandon McCarthy throws a complete game, he goes 8 innings and gets hung with a tough loss. Today, though, he went 9 innings and earned a complete game win with a sparkling 3-hitter.
Historically, on 3-0 pitches the catagerentonic A's have dutifully watched strike one. Under Bob Melvin, however, Oakland is a tad less predictable and it paid big dividends today in the bottom of the 4th. In a 0-0 game, with two on and two out, Cliff Pennington got the green light and whacked a Michael Pineda 3-0 pitch into the LF corner to give the A's a 2-0 lead. Scott Sizemore's 8th HR of the year, a solo shot in the 5th, completed the scoring.
McCarthy was brilliant, throwing 114 pitches, 78 strikes, going the distance and striking out 10 for the second consecutive start. In a season of disappointments, McCarthy is most certainly the exception. With a 3.41 ERA and 103 Ks against just 22 BBs, he rightfully has A's fans all a-Twitter.
And let's not forget the "play of the day," executed in the top of the 9th with one out, when Jemile Weeks went to his right to backhand a Dustin Ackley bouncer up the middle, and flipped it with the glove to Pennington, who fired to 1B to complete a 4-6-3 single out. Every game is its own season, and while the greater season may not have lived up to expectations, today's "season" was undeniably a success.