Well, I was going to toss the Rays a complement and say that they actually look like a good, functional baseball team, but after Ruddy Lugo’s interesting display after his inning, I wonder where I missed the memo that they just won the World Series. Either Lugo has been taking K-rod lessons, or he was trying to show up Swisher, but he should probably try to get his ERA under 9.00 before he acts like he’s good. Just sayin’. (Update: After the game, he was sent back to AAA. Interesting timing, considering that he actually did strike out the side in the inning he pitched.)
And Lugo might have also wanted to check the scoreboard, which reflected a big awesome, fundamental win today that almost erases yesterday’s debacle. Earning a series win is a big step for this club; a successful season isn’t build on the sweep, but rather simply taking two out of three for the series win. The A’s scratched, clawed, and used an unusual amount of power to even their record at .500. If you had told me a month ago that the starting outfield would be Snelling, Cust, and Putnam, I would have wondered what team I was rooting for. But somehow, against all odds, everything is working just well enough to keep us in the race.
The best part about this win was that it was truly a team effort, although Blanton certainly deserves the lion’s share of the credit for pitching into the eighth, allowing only two earned runs.
Although the A’s offense only managed eight hits, they made them count. Doyle! smoothly transitioned into the leadoff spot, collecting a hit and a walk, and someone’s got to say it; it looked awfully good to have someone other than Kendall catching (and 'hitting') today, as Melhuse had some action on both sides of the game. Cust made his Oakland debut memorable with a homerun to pad Oakland’s lead, after Swisher’s absolute BOMB landed somewhere at Disneyworld. He had every right to watch that one go.
<insert your own Crosby comment here>
Normally, I’d pick on Dan Johnson for his play at first this series, but let’s be honest. As critical as I am of him, I simply can’t deny that he’s swinging the bat better than ever, and I no longer cringe when I see him at the plate. He’s had some really nice at-bats lately.
Overall, I am really pleased with the win today. We’re actually a week into May and the world hasn’t fallen apart...yet. But as they say, tomorrow is another day.
UPDATE: I will believe it when I see it, but it is rumored that Milton Bradley should play soon.
Next A’s game is Tuesday (yay for more rest!), at 5:10 PT against the Royals.
And for heaven’s sake, if you aren’t already watching the Warriors, there’s room on the bandwagon, right here at the back. They play in the second round tomorrow night at 7:30. Even if you don’t like basketball, they’re just a fun team. Highly recommend the show.