Preface: Obviously, everyone on AN is extremely concerned about the state of Brandon McCarthy. Whatever you can do; thoughts, prayers, love--he needs it right now as he continues to heal.
Tonight's game was really summed up by my earlier game thread comment, "We're through 5 innings, and by "we", I don't mean Felix Hernandez." You guys, you'll never guess what happened! The A's--the same A's that were destroyed by the Angels earlier this week--hung a loss on King Felix Hernandez, knocking him out of the game before he could even finish five innings.
To be fair, A.J. Griffin barely got through five innings himself, but he was impressive even while he struggled, and a few nasty curve balls were pretty fun to watch, as well. The difference in the two starts? Felix gave up 11 hits (leading to 6 runs, 5 earned), while Griffin gave up 6 hits (and one lone run). Both pitchers only walked a single batter; Felix struck out four, while Griffin struck out seven, but the blow of the game was its only homerun, a huge 3-run shot off the bat of George Kottaras.
Just when it seemed as if the A's would never hold a lead again, they scored first tonight on a Seth Smith single and a Yoenis Cespedes single that would be misplayed into an A's run. Griffin's only run allowed in the game came off the bat of Brendan Ryan with two outs; he can't hit a baseball unless it's against the A's, and it tied the game. The A's had a golden chance to score in the third as Cliff Pennington opened the inning with a single (his first of four hits on the night), and Smith singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but Reddick struck out and the A's didn't add on.
But their 2012 magic would reappear in the fourth as Donaldson walked and Drew singled, so they were on base for Kottaras' blast. Staked to a 4-1 lead, the A's would never let the Mariners back in the game. Blevins would replace Griffin to finish the sixth and pitch the seventh, Cook would replace Blevins to finish the eighth, and Doolittle would close it out.
The A's would add on in the fifth. With one out, Cespedes and Moss both singled. Donaldson would drive one in with a double, and Drew the other with a single.
This win cannot be overstated. The A's badly needed to get back in the win column, and with the Angels (who just walked off), the Rays, and the Orioles nipping at their proverbial heels, every win is of vital importance. The A's did gain a game on Texas, but all the A's can worry about is themselves right now. Brett Anderson will start tomorrow (6:10 start) as the A's try to win the series.
Let's Go Oakland! (I'm off to gamble...bye from Vegas!)