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Great Scott! Hairston Slams Mariners As Much As We've Slammed Him

The recap itself is pretty simple: Scott Hairston, AN's favorite whipping boy lately, endeared himself to the faithful with a towering grand slam in the 7th inning that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 win. The grand slam came off a right-hander, reliever Shawn Kelley, and made a winner out of Gio Gonzalez, who had just finished 7 IP and left the game trailing -- only to be returned the winning pitcher. Other observations on the game:

* It was nice to see a classy move on the part of A's fans, standing and applauding in acknowledgment when Ichiro doubled (on the game's second pitch) for his 2,000th career hit in the U.S. The fans were aware of the hit's significance, and were gracious enough to cheer -- fans are not always knowledgeable or magnanimous, and I'm glad our fans were both.


* Gio Gonzalez had a good outing from two points of view: He walked only 2 batters and he allowed only 2 runs. However, one pitch was all too familiar and that was Adrian Beltre's RBI single, off a Gio curve, to break a 1-1 tie in the 6th. Gio is incredibly predictable in throwing the curve as soon as he gets two-strikes on a hitter in a strikeout situation, and hitters know it. I was sitting on the curve there, and so was Beltre. Otherwise, though, we saw a lot of "good Gio" today.


* Eric Patterson cannot catch up to a fastball, nor does he generally swing where it is anyway. Exactly how many at bats do fans want him to get before accepting this? This is a process issue, not a stat based one. I don't care what Eric Patterson is hitting, or what the sample is, because every single time he gets a bunch of at bats, the fact remains: Jack Hannahan can catch up to a major league fastball far better than Eric Patterson can. This is going to change because the sample grows? He will be Eric Patterson after 50 at bats, he will be Eric Patterson after 150 at bats, and he will be Eric Patterson after 500 at bats. Give it up, folks: The guy can run fast, but he can't field or hit. But who cares, because...