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The Element Of Surprise

The element of surprise is huge in the chess match known as a major league baseball game, and the A's mastered it tonight. Jermaine Dye was so sure no one would run on his excellent arm on such a shallow fly ball that he caught Nick Swisher's lazy fly ball flat-footed. Eric Chavez, neither he nor his team exactly known for their derring-do shenannigans, sprinted home with a crucial run.

And how about Huston Street, freezing Paul Konerko on a 3-2 fastball following 6 sliders? Mike Krukow calls it the "paralysis fastball" and it is aptly named, as Konerko appeared to arrive in the clubhouse before the pitch hit Kendall's glove--Konerko knew it was a strike, but his body was stuck in quicksand waiting for a slider.

Bradley's second big steal in as many games, and alert dash to third on Thomas' bouncer to SS, followed by Payton beating out a sure DP ball, didn't hurt either. Tonight, the A's used speed, moxie, and the recommended combination of solid starting pitching and stellar relief, to show that only one aspect of A's baseball is predictable these days: winning.

Oh, and pitching to Vlad? Not really such a great idea, Buck.