Although the final score will show 9-5, this one was over long before the A's ever forced the Angels to bring in Justin Speier instead of the arms they were trying to get by with (at one point, the Angels were so desperate they threw St. Louis Rams QB Marc Bulger to the mound). Still, it was a moral victory, if there is such a thing that the A's forced the Angels to use Speier and came close to forcing them to using Goggle-Rod.
It's a mystery why Usher, I mean Santana, pitches so well against the A's and assumes the position for the rest of the AL, but there are going to be pitchers like that. Santana gave up a mere two hits to the A's, both being harmless Mike Piazza singles. At the same time, he gave up five walks and while walks are nice, it usually takes a hit to plate those walks. The A's couldn't seem to do it.
Gaudin struggled and I'm still convinced that he is a bit worn down. Perhaps it is just the inconsistencies that come with a guy who is pitching his first full season in the big leagues, but he has just looked different to me the second half of the year.
The good news is the A's are still 8-6 against the Angels this year. It might be a small victory in the bigger picture, but I just can't stand those clowns in red.
Finally, I might as well let you know what I did today. I sat down with Billy Beane here in Orange County for a good long interview. I will be transcribing over the next two days and hopefully will have the first part of the interview up by Thursday, which is the next A's off day. I think it's definitely one of the best talks Billy and I have ever had, so stay tuned.