Phew, did you panic a little when Crosby committed that error in the ninth? I know I did. Granted, Street looked like he was dealing, but I was afraid that with the door cracked, a team that's been winning as often as the Tigers was going to kick it in.
Good job by Huston for coming back and slamming it shut.
Course, the Kuiper and Fosse were saying that the Crosby hit with two outs to take the 2-1 lead was a momentum builder for the A's. I personally think the game was won on defense tonight. Mark Ellis made the key stab on Guillen, and it was absolutely crucial. The Tigers would've only been down 5-4 if that gets through and there is only one out. Chavez then follows up on a nice play to get Marcus Thames out. Duchscherer faced the meat of the order as well in that eighth, so it was what you would call the high leverage inning tonight. It's nice to have Duke back. That's how the bullpen is supposed to work...hopefully Duke will be able to go back-to-back very, very soon.
Jay Pay deserves all the credit in the world for that three-run shot as well. When the Tigers took the lead at 3-2, I figured the A's were done with the way the offense has been going lately. But Chavy wound up with a key single and Frank Thomas pulled a Thomas and walked to set up Jay Pay's heroics.
Blanton was really solid tonight against a team that abused him earlier this year, which is always good to see. It means that he made adjustments in realizing how to better pitch to the hitters. Our Little Joe is growing up.
It was especially important to get this game tonight with the A's facing Verlander tomorrow and he is one of the rising young stars in baseball. The A's were able to tag him for one of his four losses in April this year (he has 10 wins), but his last time out he three-hit the Astros over eight innings.
So this was a perfect recipe for starting over as the first game in the second half of the season. Game 82 was a win, only 80 more like these to go.