Unfortunately, the Travis Blackley-Derek Holland matchup proved to turn out much as expected. By the top of the 5th, after run-scoring doubles in the 3rd by Kinsler and Hamilton, a sac fly by Torrealba in the 4th, and a triple resulting from an ill-conceived dive by Josh Reddick, the Rangers held a 5-0 advantage. That would prove to be insurmountable, as HRs from Collin "Moar" Cowgill and Yoenis "Brows" Cespedes only cut the deficit to 5-3 by the 6th. Inge channeled his inner Tiger and would strike out with the tying runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 7th to snuff out the rally, and Gomes ran into a CS in the 8th after drawing a leadoff walk.
Rather than focus on the loss, I want to point out some of the positives of this game:
- Sean Doolittle had a sparkling MLB debut, although probably not the way he had envisioned it last year. Coming in to relieve Blackley in the 5th, he struck out Nelson Cruz on 5 pitches. Then, in the 6th, he blew away Mike Napoli, painted the outside corner for strike 3 on Yorvit Torrealba, and got Craig Gentry to weakly lineout to Kila Ka'aihue. Throwing almost entirely a heavy 94-96 MPH fastball, he really shined tonight.
- Yoenis Cespedes had a good game on both sides of the diamond. He had 2 hits, including his first HR since April 25th against the White Sox. In the 9th inning, he came virtually out of nowhere to make a tremendous running catch against the wall in left center. Definitely a Play of the Week/WebGem candidate.
- Collin Cowgill continues to show that he's probably better than Coco Crisp right now. Granted, that's not a huge hill to climb, but Cowgill is definitely a solid 3rd/4th OF. Now, if Beane can manage to unload Crisp, and start Seth Smith everyday in LF we'd be set.
- Kurt Suzuki had 2 doubles today, and threw out 70-runner Craig Gentry trying to steal 3rd on a ridiculous throw and quick tag by Inge.
- The A's avoided the shutout, and the Giants were walked off by Padres and Logan Forsythe.
Join baseballgirl tomorrow for another 7:05PM start. Bartolo Colon will faceoff against Colby "cheese" Lewis. I believe there is a forecast of raining baseballs in the Oakland bleachers tomorrow.