A's win 6-5, Gaudin with the win, Street with the save and Santiago Casilla did his best to try and make sure that the A's didn't win. Thankfully, Ruddy Lugo stopped the bleeding.
AN, you should be very thankful that there aren't very many games left in the season because this would get old very quickly. If any of you have any reason as to why I'm drooling thinking about Buck and Barton in the same lineup in 2008, all you needed to do was watch Barton's ABs tonight. He pulled a long double down the right field line leading off the second inning. Then in the fourth inning, he took a pitch that was pitched away from him and on a perfect swing slapped it over the shortstop to the opposite field for a single. My favorite ABs this year were almost always Travis Buck. Not only does he have a fantastic eye, but he did something that always sounds so simple, but very few hitters can do consistently and that's hit the ball where it was pitched.
Barton has that same quality. He has a great eye and tries to hit pitches where they're hit. They're just have a great approach. I've always thought that great defense was often my favorite aspect of the game. It's one of the reasons why Chavez and Kotsay have been favorites of mine for so long. I just think defense is so underappreciated and I love watching those kinds of plays change games. But a close second for me is watching a batter who has a fantastic approach. Jason Giambi is the last A's hitter that I remember having an approach that I just loved. Hatteberg was pretty good too, but with Giambi you had a lot more pop in the bat. I suppose it depends on whether Barton develops power whether he's more of a Giambi or a Hatteberg (I'm thinking probably Hatteberg who is a little better of a hitter). The A's have needed hitters for a while. They have enough guys who are risk/reward types like Swisher and Cust who try to work into good counts and then swing for the fences. They need guys who just have good ABs and can put the ball in play consistently. In other words, I like the idea of an A's lineup with Barton and Buck hitting in and around high risk/reward guys like Swisher and Cust.
Any way, a big thanks to Ruddy Lugo who saved Santiago Casilla and preserved Chad Gaudin's win with two great innings. I thought the A's were going to give it away there at the end, but thankfully, Lugo came through. I'm still hoping the A's can finish the season as close to .500 as possible. If they do, it will have been a pretty successful season when you consider how Sisyphusian this year has been with the injuries.