I love Nick Swisher. I mean, seriously, I love the man. The A's desperately needed a victory tonight to pull out of a very slowly developing barrel roll that could've been threatening to turn into a mini-tailspin. It also was important with the Angels winning and the Rangers losing. So the Athletics are now alone in first place again despite the two eggs they laid on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Swisher was just interviewed on FSN Bay Area and said that Blanton gave him a kick in the pants last night by telling him that he's been trying to do too much. So Swisher took that to heart coming from his good country buddy and had some great at-bats tonight. In addition to those two home runs that gave the A's a chance to pick up the victory in extras, he also had a great baserunning play to score the run because it wasn't guaranteed that he was going to get in. He slide hard enough to push Torrealba out of the way. That's no easy feat.
Just ask Eric Chavez. How scary was that when our third baseman with the bad shoulder and bad wheels plowed into the Rockies catcher? Still, that's the type of thing that a team leader should do. Crash in and don't shy away from a tough play like that. Chavy may be slumping, but there's no doubt that he's become a leader on this team. I'm not convinced we see Eric make that play several years ago.
And have we learned that Bobby Kielty is the best option right now to play the outfield? He had two hits tonight, including the key hit that brought Swisher home in the 11th. He also made a great play to nail a runner at third on the play that Rouse just missed. So, Bubblegum, can you please leave Ronnie Mac out there for now until he cools down? Sit Payton down a few games.
The pitching was absolutely stellar again. Zito pitched well, despite the four walks. But Street was excellent and Calero had a huge inning by striking out Helton and Holliday in the tenth. Helton killed the A's throughout the series, so it was nice to see him a little dejected.
And I hope we never have to see another sinkerballer ever again. Cook had 17 ground outs in his eight innings of work and only two fly outs. He was just brutal on the A's offense. Then again, everyone else has been lately, why not pile on?
So the A's have tomorrow off to prepare to face the Giants on Friday night...only nine more interleague games to go.
Stay tuned tomorrow for an announcement about AN Day 3. And LET'S GO A'S!!!