I don't know if any of you have ever tried to "watch" an A's game by using your Blackberry or wireless phone, refreshing the game page through ESPN or any other providers, but I was doing just that this afternoon when Joe Blanton's putting runners on caught up with him - in the form of Aaron Boone. If you have ever followed a game this way, you know any kind of significant delay in updates, despite refreshes, means something very good, or in this case, very bad, has happened. Boone's 0-0 in-game record quickly filled my screen with the wrong kind of numbers... 1-1, 1R, 1HR, 3RBI.
By the next refresh, the game score read 4-0, and the line below followed with 1-1, 1R, 1HR, 1RBI. For those scoring at home, that was when Grady Sizemore sized up Blanton's pitch as home run worthy and took him back to back... and made me much more interested in finding out if I'd missed any e-mail on said Crackberry instead of seeing if Joe could pull out of it.
Being a good A's fan, I didn't stay away long, but it looks like Joe's 2006 roller coaster continues, even as we get Rich Harden and Esteban Loaiza back to resume their roles in the rotation. Fresh off his complete game shutout (albeit against the Royals), Joe didn't fool many in Cleveland today, and his successors didn't fare too much better.
In my mind, the best play by Cleveland may not have been one of the four home runs the team hit, but instead the unintentional intentional walk handed to Frank Thomas in the sixth inning with the bases loaded. Rather than risking a 6-0 game turning to a 6-4 contest, the Indians would much rather face Bobby Kielty with the bases juiced and the opportunity to turn an inning-ending double play.
Ronnie Mac did his part too, although TV replays clearly showed Peralta didn't come anywhere near second base to get the lead runner. With Frank Thomas hitting well in May and June, raising his average 46 points (from .188 to .234) and slugging 9 home runs, the Indians took the A's biggest threat and snuffed it out. That's what good teams do, and the Indians are a contending team in what will be an intriguing AL Central race this year with Detroit and Chicago.
Tomorrow's game will see Loaiza take on Jason Johnson at 9:05 a.m. PDT. Yes. In the morning.