The game evolved nicely thanks to Darwin Perez. - USA TODAY Sports
It was a "natural selection" to ask Darwin Perez to bat with 2 on and nobody out in the 7th inning of a 4-4 game. Perez failed to line a 2-run triple into the RF corner, but only because he was thrown out at 3B. Perez' 2-run double gave the A's a 6-4 lead that ultimately stood up in a 7-5 Oakland win.
Now make no mistake - this was not a game against the Angels. Apparently, heavenly ghosts don't appear until March, so the Name Impaired Team From Southish trotted out only a whisper of the squad we can expect to see in the regular season.
Compounding matters for the Angels, they sent Barry Enright to the mound but neglected to advise him to get outs. The A's opened the game with a single (Crisp) and two doubles (Young, Smith), aided by some horrific defense in which Vernon Wells impersonated Marcel Marceau's "walking against the wind". I'm actually inferring this from the radio description, as the game was not televised here in
Vegantown Trannyville Berkeley.
By the time LAA came to bat against Travis Blackley, it was 3-0 A's. Blackley worked a scoreless 1st, thanks in part to one of his signature pickoffs, in his only inning of work. The Angels tallied one in the 2nd, then took a brief 4-3 lead with 3 in the 3rd off of Brian Gordon whose nickname, as far as I'm concerned, is "Who??????"
The A's tied it 4-4 in the 4th on a "thacrifith fly" (that's shorthand for "a Seth Smith sacrifice fly), and took the lead on Perez's double in the 7th. But perhaps the most exciting tally -- because it's potentially a glimpse into the future -- came in the top of the 8th when Addison Russell doubled to the LF wall, and scored moments later on a base hit to LF by Michael Choice. I could get used to that.
That made it 7-4 and the A's needed the cushion thanks to a sloppy bottom of the 8th. First, Michaels Taylor and Choice mistook a fly ball for a New Year's Eve celebration and watched the ball drop. Later in the inning, catcher Lou Montz mistook CF for the 2B bag and fired a throw there. However, Oakland skated through the inning with just one run's damage, stranding runners at 2nd and 3rd with a pair of strikeouts: One by Kyler Newby and the other by Blake Hassebrock (whose name actually means something to me).
Other notables today? Daric Barton was 2-2 with a BB, Scott Sizemore had a good day in the field, and James Simmons, the A's #1 pick back in 1873, earned the save with a smooth 1-2-3 9th. Most importantly, no one got injured!!! Except maybe Chris Young, who made a terrific diving catch to save 2 runs in the 1st inning and then left with a cramp in his quad -- but his exit was not considered to be more than precautionary.
So that's my wrap-up, but don't settle for my account of today's game...As part of AN's "Game Recap" contest, look for 2 Fanposts recapping today's game, one by "Evan_TJF" and one by "eastbaywolverine". "Rec" the Fanpost you like best to cast your vote!