... a bid for a Gold Glove by our second baseman, bunnies who have good at bats, catchers breaking up fights between pitchers and umpires, crowds who boo ace pitchers and A-rod, a homerless drought coming to an end, a first hit celebrated, a surprise Pickin' Machine, a double play that let a run score between the outs, and a 'you had to see it to believe it' double play to end the game.
All that to say, if you didn't see the game, you missed a lot!
First, some pesky orders of business:
A's bought Steve Karsay today from the Indians.
A's put Justin Duchscherer on the DL.
A's break Milton Bradley again, some more.
The A's <gasp> stole three bases today! (And in the eighth, it looked like they were trying for four!) That is not a typo. Apparently, someone was listening to Nico. They were successful every time they tried; the SBs helped them, and maybe even rattled the Yankees pitchers...just a little bit.
The top story of the day and the no-doubt player of the game was Danny Haren, who pitched an undeniable gem of a game. He was in control from beginning to end, he had the Yankees hitters flailing wildly, and then swinging early and often, just to get a pitch to hit. He looked every bit the part of an ace pitcher and in doing so, he almost single-handedly led our broken and battered team to a much needed win.
And yes, I'm going to type it. Jason Kendall had a great game. He called the best game he could, and he was productive at the plate.
Nick Swisher had an off day at the plate, but had a sparkling defensive play to end the game, and still managed to eek out a walk in the ninth to get on base...and the A's still won, even without his bat! Mark Kotsay more than made up for it, though, with the homerun that gave the A's the early lead, and JayPay's first homer since September gave them some needed insurance.
Bobby Crosby had some amazing at bats today. One in particular, leading off the third inning, gives me great hope. He was quickly down in the count, and then fought off several tough pitches until Johnson hung a pitch and he stroked a solid single to right. It was one of his better ABs. I just wish he could learn to do that with men on base. There's a clear difference in his whole approach, and there shouldn't be. The A's should invest in invisibility cloaks for any men on base during a Crosby at-bat.
If I had any criticism of the game (and there's not much) is the simple fact that with Bradley, Thomas, and Chavez all out of the lineup, there is not much of a long-ball threat left. You just can't lay it all on Swisher. I would have taken the gamble and started Melhuse at DH. Without an offense that can score runs it won't matter who ends up catching the game in an emergency situation. When you're trying frantically to break a four-game losing streak in Yankee Stadium against Randy Johnson, I would think you need all the offense you could muster.
Of course, this point of view looked good up until the eighth inning, when Perez got his first hit, and it was by no means a cheap one. It was a smoked single to left, and anything less than a perfect throw from Bubba Crosby nets him two RBIs. Let's hope he can build on that AB and be a much-needed productive bench player.
But bottom line, great game. Amazing game, just-about-perfect game. This game gave us a little bit of everything, including something we haven't seen all week: HOPE.
And Happy Mother's Day to my mom, who is one in a billion, and to you and yours! :)