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Story Told By An Ervin Legend

Ervin Santana silence the A’s over 7 shutout innings, while the Angels scored twice in the first inning and never looked back. Final Score: Angels 4, A’s 1.

The A’s may as well try their hand with Johan Santana, because Ervin always seems to bring his “A-game” to the mound against Oakland. There was simply no margin for error tonight, and by the end of the first inning Dana Eveland had given the Angels all they would need all night. For the second straight start against the Angels, Eveland gave up a first inning run by uncorking a wild pitch with a runner at third. This time he also threw in an RBI single to make it 2-0.

Don’t let the ERA fool you, because one of two things has to happen: either Eveland needs to figure out how to command his pitches or the ERA is going to rise in a hurry. Tonight, by the end of his outing the basic numbers looked good: 5.1 IP, 2 ER. But you don’t have to go very far inside the numbers to see that Eveland allowed 5 hits, 5 BBs, and added a wild pitch, all in just 5.1 IP. The bullpen can bail you out some, a few line drives can find gloves, you can pull a few Houdini acts. But ultimately, it is going to go the way of Kirk Saarloos, 2005, and Joe Kennedy, 2007 – you just can’t keep trying to wiggle out of trouble again and again and again and expect to sustain success.

Meanwhile, one other note about the first inning. For the third time in a week, Carlos Gonzalez overthrew the cutoff man in his zeal to nab a lead runner (tonight it allowed Torii Hunter to take second base following his single that sent Aybar to third). This, along with Gonzalez' impatience at the plate, speak to the "raw" element of his game; hopefully he will make the quick adjustments he has been able to make against major league pitching in general. Did you know that when facing a pitcher not for the first time, Gonzalez is hitting .350? His two doubles tonight were among the few highlights for the A's.

Other than Eveland's lack of command and Gonzalez' one Eveland imitation, not much to criticize or praise because the A’s really had no chance tonight, other than one brief moment when Kurt Suzuki’s bid for a two-run double hooked a few feet foul right in front of the AN Day crowd that was gathered near the left field foul pole. Santana was able to throw his slider for strikes, he buried his slider at other times, and he commanded the fastball at 93-95 MPH. He’s good. Saunders is good. Hopefully, tomorrow Duchscherer will be just a little bettererer.