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It is, indeed, a game of inches: Giants 1, A's 0

The Lincecum-Duchscherer matchup came exactly as advertised: both offenses looked entirely overmatched all game long. The Giants scratched out a run against Duchscherer in the 4th on Barton's E on Winn's grounder (though the run would have scored even if Barton had fielded it cleanly) -- and Duke shgould be extremely thankful to Hannahan that the Giants didn't scratch out another couple runs.

The 4th was the only inning that Duke didn't look masterful -- and there still was only one ball hit hard off of Duke: Durham's double off the wall in RF over Patrol Craft's head.

Lincecum pitched nearly as well as Duchscherer. Even though he gave up 5 hits and 3 walks, the A's weren't really hitting much better against Lincecum than the Giants were against Duke. The A's really only hit three balls hard all night: Zook's double leading off the 8th, Crosby's GIDP smash to end the 1st, and Patrol Craft's liner to right that Winn was just able to get back on in time to catch.

Sure, you can talk all you want about the various little turns of fortune and misfortune and 50/50 decisions that went the wrong way. But to me, the game turned on the half-inch (or less) in placement of the ball on the bat on Durham's double vs Patrol Craft's double-that-wasn't. This wasn't a game that could have been won with a little more willpower or grit or savvier decision-making of the kind that can only be done while sitting on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry's. This was a game with two matched top MLB pitching talents slicing through two equally matched collections of indifferently skilled batters. The A's didn't lose this game because they didn't execute with runners in scoring position; they lost this game because neither team hit well, period (mostly due to the quality of the starting pitchers), and a few flips of the proverbial coin went against the A's.