The A's showed resiliency to the extreme today. Down 4-1 and their ace pitcher King Richard suddenly dethroned with an injury, this team came through big time.
This past offseason, so much was made here and everywhere else of the A's acquisitions of The Gamer, The Big Hurt and Mr. Loaiza. But in typical Billy Beane fashion, it's the under-the-radar acquistion who has been having a huge impact on the team. Ballsy Brad Halsey was just remarkable today, pitching three scoreless innings, striking out two. Because of Harden's injury, the already taxed bullpen was going to get a workout. The A's finally won a series in large part to the A's bullpen. Granted, Calero gave up the grand slam to Mench, but look at their numbers over the Texas series: 12 1/3 innings, two earned runs and 13 strikeouts. Of course, the most valuable player for the A's over this series may very well have been Texas closer Francisco Cordero who already has five blown saves.
Now, all attention suddenly suddenly shifts to the well-being of Harden. This seems like what Billy Beane referred to last year as his low point of the year last season when Bobby Kielty hit that home run off K-Rod and he learned that Crosby and Harden were going to be out for a while. The A's now have injuries to Street, Harden, Bradley and Loaiza to worry about. Crosby is apparently back, and hopefully for a while this time. His slumbering bat awoke today to the tune of two hits, including a very key home run to pull the A's within one. Speaking of slumbering bats, Frank Thomas finally had the kind of game A's fans have been waiting for with three hits including a solo shot. Is he finally coming to life?
Speaking of coming back from the dead, a big AN salute to DJ who made the win possible. It was only a matter of time before this guy came around and made the necessary adjustments.
But I celebrate this win today with the same hesitation that Beane had in Anaheim last season. At least until I hear about the severity of King Richard's injury. The A's are better equipped to handle injuries, but they aren't ready to handle injuries to their closer, ace pitcher, starting right fielder and Loaiza all at the same time. Few teams are.
Thankfully a trip into Kansas City looms and the A's finally won a series. The tide may turn, but until Harden takes the mound again, I'm not going to jump for joy.