Sorry for stealing your thunder, Tony. But I can't help but love this kind of game. Excellent pitching, key hitting by Nick Swisher and Mark Ellis and a quick time elapsed on it. Two hours and ten minutes. Blanton pitches eight strong and Embree closes the door.
I mentioned before the game how I loved how Geren moves the lineup around based on who is hitting well and it worked out perfectly tonight as Ellis, who is hitting .323 in June and has an OPS of 1.002 for the month, came up to bat at a crucial point in the game. The A's still win without the three-run bomb, but it makes the decisions less crucial. You can leave Blanton out there for eight full without having to have a quick hook if it's a 3-1 game at that point.
And I have to mention Travis Buck. The kid is having an amazing season and is one of the big reasons the A's have performed as well as they have in 2007. He's hitting .284 with an .884 OPS for the season. And he's been a good defensive player as well. It's good to see that Beane's belief that he had another Andre Ethier in Buck is coming to fruition. It also eases the pain of Milton Bradley's many ailments.
Blanton did a good job in shutting down a team who is 11th in baseball in runs scored. Course a lot of that I imagine would have to do with their home ballpark, but still, the Reds never really had a huge threat. Blanton worked quickly and effectively, it was almost like watching Mark Mulder, especially with his curve working. The A's won the first one in the last series too. Let's hope they reverse the trend and win the next two in this one.
And it appears as though the A's could soon be getting both Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer back. Harden will probably be back sooner than Duke, but it will be nice to get two of the best back in green and gold soon. Milton Bradley will also be returning any day now.
Now we turn our eyes towards Anaheim and watch Houston's bullpen continue to blow the five-run lead they had. It's now down to merely two runs. Ugh.