Thus concludes the first half of the season, one that while it could have better sure could have been a whole lot worse. And thus concludes a road trip that while it could have been worse sure could have been a whole lot better--consider that to go 6-4 on this trip, the A's merely had to score a single run for Blanton in New York, not implode in the 9th inning in Cleveland, and add on anytime after the second inning in that series finale.
Speaking of adding on after the second inning, that's exactly what the A's did do today, after taking an 8-0 lead and then watching Danny Haren give more than half of it back. Around the 4th inning, I decided that if the A's stayed at 8 runs all game, they would probably lose but if they added on at all they would win. And once they got Cy Villone out of there, Oakland added on. Courtesy of Babe Cust and that not-so-clutch-but-great-insurance agent, AFLAC Chavez, by the 9th inning the only drama was keeping an eye on Andy Pettitte and the lighter fluid to see if Pettitte was inclined to pull a "Proctor".
The A's lineup, touted as bizarre by many pre-game ANers, proved to be both lucky and good. The A's first three hits were two bloop singles and a swinging bunt, but the next two were a screaming liner (Kotsay) and a nice piece of inside-out hitting (Suzuki), and then it was boom-boom-boom by Cust, Chavez, and Johnson. Maybe he can't quite get all the credit, but in the two games Suzuki started on the road trip, the A's scored 24 runs.
In the 7th and 8th innings, Casilla (whose specialty is pitching with a 4-run lead that becomes a 6-run lead) dominated the Yankees lineup--but really he wasn't very good and the Yanks should have had about 10 hits off of him. The game ended with Posada hitting into a DP--did it look to you like Posada was just "going through the motions"? How many shots am I going to take at the pyromaniacal, opposition disrespecting, teammate slandering Yankees? How long ya got?
Bring on the second half of the season! So far I like July just fine.