In preparation for this game, last night I watched the movie The Rocker, starring Dwight from The Office. Indians fans would have done better to watch that movie, one of the few that, oddly, celebrates Cleveland, rather than watching their dismal failure of a franchise play tonight. The A's did their best "Fish" leg kick to the groin of the Indians, taking the first game of the three-game set 3-0.
Brett Anderson is back. He followed up a masterful comeback performance against the Twins with a dominating, 7 shutout inning, 95 pitch display. The A's offense did enough, scoring all three runs off Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona, née Roberto Hernandez), who left in the 4th inning with an injury. Josh Reddick hit an encouraging solo home run; he seems to have taken to batting 6th. Cook and Balfour completed the A's 12th shutout of the season (seven of them outside of the fouly confines of O.Co).
The Indians got little and less going against the A's still young, but not still chubby left hander. Out of the nouveau big three of Anderson, Cahill, and Gonzalez, Brett Anderson was always the one widely viewed as having "ace" potential, but injuries kept getting in the way. With Tommy John surgery in the rearview, perhaps us A's fans will be treated to seeing Anderson blossom into the Cy Young candidate that we all expected. He certainly looks like he is on the way, and just in time for a playoff run.
Stephen Drew is looking like a legitimate MLB shortstop, as well as a solid #2 hitter, filling one of the lineup's black holes and beginning to recapture his previous success in Arizona that earned him his current contract. Unfortunately, that black hole he replaced has moved to second base, continuing to commit errors and flailing at the plate. However, Jemile Weeks is tearing it up in AAA, and it looks like the writing is on the wall for Cliff Pennington. The team is beginning to take shape, and I have to give credit to Billy Beane for attempting to address every single shortcoming this team has had, all season long.
The Indians are now 14-28 against southpaw starters, last in the AL. Left-handers Tommy Milone and Travis Blackley pitch tomorrow and Wednesday, respectively. It's time to embrace our new identity as legitimate title contenders and bury this flailing Indians team.