Encouraging signs abound in the A's 6-1 victory this afternoon. First off, what a fantastic way for Dana Eveland to start his A's career as he gets the win today after putting up this line:
7 innings pitched, 1 run allowed on 6 hits, with 7 K's and 1 walk
Dana was really able to keep the Tribe off-balance all day, spot his off-speed pitches well and dial up his fastball up to 94 consistently. Even the hits he gave up were of the lucky variety: weakly hit and bloops that just evaded the grasp of the A's defense, which, not coincidentally, played a solid game to back the starter.
The offense exploded for 12 hits from up and down the order and some clutch hits to boot! As per my prediction, Emil Brown fared well against Sabathia by going 2-for-3 against the lefty, with an RBI single in the 1st that scored Barton who had TRIPLED to start off his 3-for-5 day. The offense took off from there, with key contributions from Cust (1-for-2 with a two-run double that he stretched into a 3-base hit in the 1st to go along with 2 walks) and Ellis who busted out of his 1-for-17 start to go 2-for-5 with a homerun and a two-run single in the 8th. Even Crosby and Denorfia got into the act, as Bobby had an infield single and several well-struck balls, while Denorfia was able to lay down a pretty good sacrifice bunt to set-up Ellis's single with the infield drawn-in.
All in all, the game was about as flawless as you could hope for with this young team, with one key exception...while both pursuing a lazy fly ball into left field in the 3rd inning, Jack Cust and Donnie Murphy had a brief, grazing collision. Cust would stay in the game, but Murphy would be replaced by HanRAhan in the bottom of the frame, as Donnie suffered what is likely a strained middle finger. For a team already dangerously thin on infielders, this is not the greatest news. Hopefully, Murph's finger injury is mild and he'll back on the field by the road trip next week. I'll be crossing my fingers, because I can...take that Murphy!
Tomorrow is Joe Blanton vs. Cliff Lee...same place, same time as today. Let's bring out those brooms!