Forget about the standard refrains of "hitters fail 70% of the time." Those hitters never faced Felix, and he was on his game last night. Yes, he's throwing 91-92 now, rather than the 94-96 he had earlier in his career, but he's a better pitcher now. Instead of overpowering guys, his two-seam fastball has more movement on it than some other pitchers' breaking pitches. There are generational pitchers, and he is one of them. Another one pitched here in LA yesterday, as Clayton Kershaw baffled our mutual enemies from across the Bay AND cracked a home run to dead center field. If he could have, I'm sure Felix would have cracked one into the CF camera well. Brendan Ryan would have joined him, and brought one back in his one-and-only cameo appearance playing CF in place of an injured Franklin Gutierrez.
But, I'm not here to extoll Felix's virtues, of which, he has many. I'm here to keep us on the bandwagon, and focus on the positives. It was great to see (and hear!) a sellout on TV, and fans were into it from the moment Brett Anderson pumped strike one to Franklin Gutierrez. In the eighth inning, with Norris pinch-hitting in a key situation, fans rose to the occasion and cheered Derek Norris on with every pitch from Stephen Pryor. Unlike in some places - ahem, Yankee Stadium -- our fans stayed until the bitter end. That also includes us virtual fans, who populated the game threads all night, and the fans who were witness to the events live. It was great to see my Twitter timeline full of great pictures, great food, and A's fans showing their green and gold spirit. On the game threads, we even coined a new nickname for Chris Resop: Reverse Poser. Indeed, it was great to see Resop and Jerry Blevins combine to strike out 5 of the 6 batters they faced.
In reality, if the A's hold their opponents to two runs on five hits, they are winning most of those games that aren't against Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, or Jered Weaver. When the A's face those guys, the margin for error is low. Make no mistake, though: the A's were in this game all the way. The A's have a good team, and tonight it'll be a more human pitcher vs. the A's budding ace, Jarrod Parker. I know it won't be a sellout again, but I hope the Coliseum is packed with rabid A's fans. It's great to see everyone out, sporting the green and gold, and cheering like crazy. Let's keep it going - only 161 left to play!