For one day the A's actually played like a team that had nothing left to lose. Hanging over the precipice and looking the .500 mark straight in the face, the offense came out swinging and even Dana Eveland looked good early on, attacking the zone and collecting 5 strikeouts in just over 4 innings (including 2 against All World talent Josh Hamilton). Of course, the wheels fell off for Eveland precipitously in the 5th inning after he hit Milton Bradley on a 2-strike pitch and opened the flood gates for a 4-run inning...but even that seemingly-ominous turn of events couldn't deter the A's who had built up a 6 run cushion on the back of a Sweeney single and a Cust homer in the 1st, a Bobby Crosby walk and a Jack Hannahan RBI double followed by an Eric Patterson walk and a monster Kurt Suzuki 3-run shot to the bleachers in left in the 2nd. That original lead would be preserved, largely due to the player(s) of the game: the entire A's bullpen.
Of course, the story of the game is Brad Ziegler, who burst through the gates of major league history and captured the all-time major league record for most consecutive scoreless innings to begin a career after he pitched a scoreless 7th inning (via strikeouts to Michael Young and Josh Hamilton no less) before reinforcing his own record by pitching another scoreless inning in the 8th. CONGRATS Ziggy!
But even before Ziggy made his place in history, Jerry Blevins did a fantastic job limiting the damage in the wake of Eveland's implosion in the 5th and then went on to grab the win by pitching a scoreless 6th, setting up Ziggy's heroics. The much-maligned Huston Street even got into the party and threw a (gasp!) 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 18th save.
I won't look too much into this win, even though it was much needed and it was great to grab the "W" on Ziggy's day. It's folly to think that a team this young and inconsistent could ever grab momentum from any single win, but for once more good things happened to the A's than bad things, and whenever that happens, I'm usually a happy fan. So there ya go...and yeah, it's only one game, but Eric Patterson certainly looked well-suited in the leadoff spot, don't you think?