Diamond Dallas Braden was great tonight as he led the A's to a 2-1 win over the Costa Mesa Angels. He needed to be as the A's offense, as is expected, could only muster a Daric Barton solo home run off of Jered Weaver and the winning run was a wild pitch that plated, of all people, Big Frank Thomas. The only blemish on Braden's night was an opposite field bomb to Mike Napoli.
There was some discussion in the game thread as to whether or not to leave Braden in for the eighth inning because he had only given up seven hits through seven innings and no walks. My feeling was that A's have these excellent assets in Devine and Ziggy, so why not use them and let Braden walk away knowing that he pitched well and get a confidence boost for next time?
Any way, it always feels good to beat the Angels, even if the A's are not playoff contenders. And better yet, I like how Braden is pitching. Yes, he's not only of the higher profile A's prospects, but he could be a fill-in guy until some of those higher profile pitchers are ready. Course Braden didn't have to face Vlad tonight and that will weaken any lineup.
Any victory for this team is good at this stage in the season because it shows that they aren't just rolling over, but it's especially sweet to knock down the Angels.
Oh and don't forget, I will be posting the second part of my Lew Wolff interview tomorrow morning around 7 a.m.