Well, that was fun. No, actually, it was a LOT of fun. Think back to last week, when the A's won their first game of the season on last Wednesday night. Fast-forward six games, and six wins to tonight. Posting over 2500 comments, five game threads, including a new thread an inning during the really fun part; winning seven games in a row, winning this series and sending the division-rival Angels to the cellar as Houston beats Seattle for the second consecutive night, the loud "Let's Go Oak-land" cheer from Anaheim while Brandon Mossome runs amok through the ninth game of the season? Seriously, what's not to like?
Believe it or not, this was once a close game, although the final score of 11-5 won't tell you that. The A's held a one-run lead early, and a one-run lead in the fifth before they completed their six-run domination of Joe Blanton, and their five runs evisceration of the Angels' bullpen. Although Brandon Moss led the charge with his 3-4, 2 BB, 5 RBI day (he needed only a double for the cycle), every A's starter had a hit in this one as the A's racked up 16 hits and 7 walks to back up their 11 runs. Smith also went 3-4, and Sogard, Donaldson, and Jaso had multiple hits on the night.
For a team that started out the season scoring zero and one run in their first two games, the A's have now scored 6, 8, 8, 6, 9, 9, and 11 on the seven-game win streak to lead the Major Leagues in runs. They also lead the Major Leagues in home runs, as Moss added another one tonight.
The A's played a little bit of small ball early, as Coco Crisp singled to lead off the game, and promptly stole second. A groundout moved him to third, and also scored him for the A's first run. Tommy Milone would start the game as un-sharp as possible; a sign of things to come. He allowed a single to Callaspo and a double to Pujols (who would awesomely go 4-4 in the loss). The Angels would tie the game on a sacrifice fly by Josh Hamilton, but wouldn't get any more. We will say that a lot in this recap. Milone would allow another single and a walk in the second, but no runs.
Meanwhile, the A's started the third with a Sogard single and would score on a Jaso single. After Lowrie singled, Brandon Moss tripled to bring in two more A's runs, giving the A's a 4-1 lead.
Things began to unravel a tiny bit for Tommy Milone in the bottom of the third. As determined as the offense was to score runs, the starting pitching seemed just as determined to give them back. A one-out single by Pujols and a double by Hamilton put more Angels runners on the bases (and it could have been worse had Donaldson and Moss not combined for an amazing play to get the first out), setting up a ground ball deep in the hole for Lowrie. Hamilton being Hamilton, rounded second base far enough that Lowrie really should have thrown behind him to get him in the run-down, but he threw to first and got the error, allowing another Angels run to score. But Milone would wiggle out of the inning with no further damage.
The A's would add their 5th run in the 5th on a homerun by Moss, increasing the A's lead to 5-2, but Milone nearly gave it all back in his half of the inning. The Angels announcers claimed that Bob was leaving Milone in to get the win, but there very nearly wasn't a lead to hold. I think with the bullpen taxed last night, the A's had to get 5 innings out of him. And they did. Milone finished with 5 innings, 7 hits, 3 walks, 4 runs, and the win. I feel like I should throw a couple more runs at him for good measure, but when all was said and done, he won his second game of the season, started and continued the current winning streak, and is 2-0. Hard to argue with that.
With the A's clinging to a 5-4 lead, Eric Sogard led off the sixth inning with a single, knocking Joe Blanton out of the game. A's fans were only sad for a moment. Mark Lowe got Crisp to fly out, but allowed a Jaso single and walked Lowrie to load the bases. Yoenis Cespedes, who is not swinging the bat well at all, worked out a pretty good at-bat to walk in a run. Lowe was replaced with Dane De La Rosa, who promptly walked Brandon Moss for another A's run. That was fun. After Chris Young struck out, Seth Smith singled in two more runs. Also fun. And to put the cap on the lovely inning, Josh Donaldson got into the action; singling in the A's fifth run in the inning, and tenth overall. Most. Fun. Ever.
Strangely, nothing really happened in the game after that. Resop and Blevins held the Angels scoreless through the sixth and seventh, Moss would single in the A's 11th run in the seventh, Neshek would allow an Angels' run in the eighth, and Scribner allowed two hits, but pitched a scoreless ninth.
So the A's keep rolling; they are dating Miss .778; only the Atlanta Braves have a better record in the first nine games of the season. This is an amazing start.
We do it again tomorrow night as the A's go for the sweep; 7:05PM. Griffin vs. Vargas.