Greg Smith's 8 innings of 3 hit ball went to no avail as the Angels parlayed two third-inning runs into an LAA win - and a complete game loss for Smith. Final Score: Angels 2, A's 0.
Teams should know better than to flaunt 14 runs in front of the baseball gods - the shutout the next day is practically inevitable. Make no mistake, though, Joe Saunders earned this win with 8 outstanding innings of pitching. That's what we saw on display tonight: Two guys who aren't throwers, they're pitchers. If we can try to remember that once upon a time, we would have been happy to end an evening 17-11, we can be further encouraged at the future of an A's team that saw yet another example of Smith's readiness for prime time.
Smith was only the second best young lefty on display thanks to one problematic inning, in which the Angels scored the games only two runs. A leadoff walk to the #9 hitter, Brandon Wood, was the first mistake, and then following a Figgins double, a wild pitch with runners at second and third and nobody out was huge. It not only plated the first run, but it put Figgins, not Wood, at third base, where Figgins scored on a grounder to third with the infield in - Figgins is surely one of the few runners who scores on that play, in which Donnie Murphy wisely threw to first rather than throw into the runner.
You wonder what would have happened had Smith not uncorked the wild pitch. Realistically, at best the A's probably play on into the 10th 0-0 because from Saunders' excellence to a series of "at 'em" balls, to Barton's drive of K-Rod to the deepest part of the ballpark, to Ellis' and Thomas' 9th inning shots "...juuuuuuust foul" the A's were not meant to score tonight. Stupid 14 runs.