For seven full innings, after I had called this team the slugging A's, I was openly mocked by the A's putting zeroes on the scoreboard, lulling me into a level of concern that they had exhausted all their runs for the Spring campaign and that we'd be subject to a series of sorrowful shutouts.
As Jason Marquis tamed the A's bats for three frames, he was matched by A's pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who dared to make us consider the Swisher trade a win for the A's after a single week, as he too shut down the Cubs' bats. But when he departed, the Cubs tallied a single run, which could have ended the A's hot streak, could they not score.
But they did score. Not like they did in their 15-4 laugher over the Padres, or the vindictive shellacking of Mr. Zito and the Giants in their 23-5 rout, but they eked out just enough to win, as Jeff Baisley knocked in the tying and eventual winning runs on a single to right, with the second run coming by what could have been considered an error. It could be said the A's got lucky. Rather than again showing how "good" they were, as they have over the last week, they showed they can use luck and win by the less dramatic score of 2-1.
And les you claim the game was won by those who won't have an impact for these 2008 A's, consider that leadoff hitter Travis Buck went 2-3, and raised his average to .333. Mark Ellis stayed above the .350 mark, going 2-3, and even perennial punching bag and brittle boned Bobby Crosby gained a single and a walk in three plate appearances. (Though his one out, a K, was most memorable to some in today's thread)
Eight games into the Cactus League season, the A's sport a 6-2 mark. But the biggest win of all today? No ambulances were required in today's game. No shouts of pain could be heard, and no players were traded mid-inning. Your Oakland A's, as they stand now, are winners - both lucky, and good.