Well, after tonight’s game started out with, "Hi, I'm Travis Buck, and I’ll be your superstar for the evening", it continued with "Hi, I’m Joe Blanton, and I’m going to suck the life out of a six run lead and try to get the loss in the process. Oh, look, a grand slam!"
I countered with, "Hi, I’m baseballgirl and my new thread mojo is better than your crappy pitching", and Jack Cust was all, "Yeah those are some nasty cupcakes, but watch me clear the bases with a double and clear them again with a grand slam and wind up with seven RBI’s".
As much as baseball is a game that puts individuals together into a cohesive team, there are certainly times when players stand out; Frank Thomas last year, A-rod all the time, and Travis Buck tonight. The first few innings played like the Travis Buck highlight reel, as Travis robbed homeruns, smashed the ball all over the ballpark, and basically just put the energy into the game that this team has been sorely lacking for most of the season.
This game felt different somewhat, as if the extra energy somehow infused the rest of the players. For example, please see every other time the A's have a runner on third with less than two outs, much less the bases loaded; yet the A's scored a sac fly in the first, and many more after that, with Cust unloading the bases with a double, and unloading them once again after Joe Blanton blew a six-run lead.
The A's basically hit for the cycle in the first couple of innings; the homerun provided by Donnie Murphy, who I'm ready to say--small sample size and all--should be the replacement for Bobby Crosby. He did it both in the field and at the plate tonight. Of course; I may be biased...I think Jack Cust would be a good replacement for Crosby.
Buck and Cust put up the monster offensive numbers tonight; Buck was 4 for 5 with a walk, scored 3, and drove in 3. Not a bad leadoff performance. Cust was 2 for 5 with seven RBI’s. Not a bad cleanup performance. And that was enough to overcome Blanton’s horrible start. Of course the rest of the team got into the action as well; everyone had a hit or two except for Kotsay and Swisher (who did walk three times).
The pitching after Blanton did effectively stop the bleeding, after Blanton’s nine earned runs scored. Lugo gave up one earned run of his own, but Brown was perfect through two, and Street his one.
It was one of those games: Elation! Joy! Hapiness! Despair. Anger. Annoyance. Hope! Joy! Rapture! I hope everybody’s okay. We have to do it again tomorrow.
And apropos of nothing, but in the category for 'Who In Their Right Mind Would Volunteer For This Job?!', Joel Zumaya apparently threw for the first time to live batters today. Wait; let me clarify. The Tigers actually had batters stand in the cage while Zumaya pitched to them. And the quote was, "The velocity was there, but the control was not". Are you kidding?! If the A's did this, half of them would be dead!
It’s been fun...now go enjoy your Friday night!