A's 9, Dodgers 5
Well, the A’s offense got started in the very first inning today, as Rajai Davis opened the game with a triple and scored on an Orlando Cabrera single (he would later leave the game through a mysterious door, prompting much speculation from Buan as to his whereabouts). Garciaparra followed with a single of his own, and after Chavez hit into a force out and Cust struck out, Ellis was hit by a pitch, and Denorfia singled two runs in to give the A’s an early 3-0 lead.
It didn’t last an inning. Brett Anderson, obviously unfamiliar with the concept of a shutdown inning when your team stakes you to a lead, gave up singles to Furcal and Ramirez, a double to Ethier, and a single to Loney, as the Dodgers tied the game at 3.
Undeterred by what looked like yet another starting pitching mishap, the A’s offense came right back in the second; this time scoring four off young Clayton Kershaw (who gave up six earned runs in total). Curtin Thigpen was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Cabrera doubled to drive in his second RBI, and Garciaparra homered. Chavez, not to be outdone, promptly doubled and scored on a highlight-worthy error by Manny Ramirez; Manny being Cust, apparently.
Someone must have passed Anderson a note explaining ‘shut-down innings’, and as a result, even with his less-than-impressive first inning, he pulled it together for an okay line overall: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. Obviously, he was pretty solid from the second inning on (2 H, 0 R), giving hope to A’s fans with regards to at least one starting pitcher.
The A’s added to their 7-2 lead in the seventh, on a two run single by Travis Buck, scoring Crosby (single) and Ellis (double).
The Dodgers made the game interesting in the bottom of the eighth (after Springer exited) as Devine struggled mightily with his control (injury speculation was made - baseballgirl note 4:46PM: [and confirmed, Devine IS hurt, link]), and left after just one out in favor of Blevins, who promptly gave up a long fly ball; luckily a 2-run double instead of a grand slam. Blevins would get out of the inning with the score 9-5.
“Co-closer” Brad Ziegler came in to work the ninth inning, and did not make it interesting; he pitched a perfect inning to end the game.
So we check another game off the countdown; the A’s have a million question marks, and no clear answers, but they have one more week to figure it all out. Because ready or not, next week at just about this time, is the the first pitch of 2009!