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A Hollow Victory, But A Victory Nonetheless

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Don't get me wrong. I'll take a win, and a 4.5 game lead in the division, any day of the week--even if it takes more walks and balks than you'll find in a Dr. Seuss story. It was not a pretty victory for the A's, who needed six consecutive scoreless innings, and 10 consecutive stranded runners, before they could finally add on to the 5-spot they were gift-wrapped by that wild and Casey guy, Mr. Fossum.

One more run and Chad Gaudin would have come in to finish up, but as the A's were not able to shake the Devil Rays as they climbed back into the game, and instead of Gaudin, Macha went to Duchscherer and Street, each for the second day in a row. That probably renders Duke unavailable on Sunday, and leaves Street's effectiveness questionable for a Sunday save the A's hope he has the chance to try to get. Perhaps tomorrow takes care of itself, hopefully in a good way. But this was not a win for the scrapbook.

What is was, however, was a win for the scrappy. Fossum was wild, but the A's also had a lot of good at-bats--notably Mark Ellis, who saw 7, 8, and 9 pitches in three of his ABs, Milton Bradley, who reached base each of his first four plate appearances, and Marco Scutaro, who stands out from Crosby in his relaxed, non-anxious approach with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Blanton continued to do what he has done consistently since June 1st, 2005, and that is win baseball games. Don't look now, but Cupcakes is now a 13-game winner, which puts him on pace to win 18 games this season.

So the A's continue to do a lot right and while they're still leaving a lot of runners on base, it is partly because they are actually getting a lot of guys on base. You could do worse that to be the A's right now. A lot worse.