In case you need confirmation that the A's recent play is not an illusion, I'll give you hard proof. The A's are 11-5 in the month of September, tied with Boston for the best record in the AL.
Combine a whole lot of Rajai Davis with pitching starts like Brett Anderson's tonight and add that to the genuinely awesome A's bullpen, and it's an automatic win. The A's only managed to eke out two runs tonight, but their excellent pitching made sure it was enough.
Rajai Davis stole his 40th base on the season (that is not a typo), and Brett Anderson struck out 10 in his six innings of work to even his record at 10-10 as the A's cruised to a 2-1 victory; their 11th win of the month, and their fifth win in a row.
The A's scored both of their runs in the third inning, as Rajai Davis (who else!) started the inning with a single and Suzuki walked to move him to second. After Hairston popped out, Nomar doubled in the first run. (Believe it or not, he would also steal a base on the night.) After Crosby popped out for the second out, Ellis singled in the second--and last--run of the game for the A's.
Brett Anderson kept Cleveland off the board for his six innings, allowing 4 hits and one walk while striking out ten, obviously a new career high for the rookie. With Bailey and Wuertz unavailable, Gray and Breslow each pitched an inning, and Ziegler came in for the save. He allowed one 9th inning run; the only run of the game for the Indians. Jeff Gray struck out the side, and Ziegler struck out two of his own.
The A's bullpen has been awesome this season and that is not an exaggeration. It is great to watch Brett Anderson come into his own, as he wins his third straight game, and Rajai Davis has been one of the best players in the league over the last few months. Tonight's Rajai Watch stands at .317.
New Guy Matt Carson went 0-3 with 2 K's, but he wasn't alone. Rajai had 2 hits, Nomar had 2 hits, Ellis had 2 hits, and Suzuki had one, but that was the extent of the A's offense.
It's a small consolation, but a good sign for the future; the A's have now evened their record at the Coliseum.
Tomorrow at 1:05 - Sowers vs. Gio Gonzalez