I'll See Your Ten Strikeouts, and Raise You Two Homers
From the very beginning of tonight's game, it had disaster written all over it. Javier Vasquez struck out the side in the first, and when Justin Duchscherer took the mound, the White Sox's Dewayne Wise led off the game with a home run. Us? Strike outs. Them? Home run. We were quickly down 2-0, and it appeared insurmountable, with Vasquez continuing to make the A's look ridiculous, with seven strikeouts through the first nine batters, and nobody reaching base.
But as quickly as he fell behind, Duke stopped the bleeding, and a few big hits by the A's turned the game around. After Suzuki was the first A's player to reach base, via the hit by pitch, Cust delivered a powerful blow, seeing his bat rise at a 45 degree angle, lifting the ball out of the ballpark, and tying things up. Donnie Murphy, a sub for the hamstrung Crosby, followed suit in the top of the fifth, giving the A's a one-run lead.
Given the "issues" over the last few games with the A's pen being about as reliable as Twitter's uptime of late (it's geeky, look it up), our collective great fear was what to do when Duchscherer finally had to the leave the game. Fresh off his post this morning, many of us thought the invincible Brad Ziegler would get the call, and were in a state of near shock with Old Man Embree took the mound. But he wasn't there long, for after getting the first batter to retire, he gave up a double, and found himself a warm spot in the A's dugout.
That left Huston "please don't put me out there for two innings" Street with the responsibility of getting the last five outs - something we've seen be a very scary proposition over the last few years. But he seemingly had it going tonight, striking out three, including our former pal Nick Swisher, and Alexei Ramírez, to end the game. The show was vintage Huston. Not the gnaw your nails and hide in a dark room Huston, but the pump your fist and yell at the TV (in a good way) type Huston.
Whether you believe the A's put out a sub-standard lineup or not tonight, you should tip your cap to Vasquez, who held the A's offense relatively quiet, and posted ten strikeouts in a complete game gem. But his two (or three) mistakes were enough to pin him with the loss, and we're not all that wistful about it. We'll take the win for sure.