Hi, I'm Gio Gonzalez for Tylenol PM...
In a contest covered by mlb.com Gameday as if it were being beamed in from Tau Ceti on a clump of space dust, the A's got some strong pitching from the above-pictured Gio, who apparently had a Towering Headache of Death when he showed up to work today. In a bid not just for the 5th starter spot but also an endorsement deal for Tylenol, GG downed a few Ibuprofens and away he went, notching 4 Ks (he did walk 3) and giving up just a solitary earned run in 6 1/3 quite-serviceable innings.
The Athletics got a 3rd inning clout from Coco Crisp after The M's had struck first in the top of the frame, scoring on an ultra-exciting groundout courtesy of future Hall of Famer and current sushi enthusiast Ichiro. Immediately after that the Kouz doubled in Ryan Sweeney and the A's had managed all their scoring for the day... it stayed that way until the 9th, when Andrew Bailey got mashed around a bit, surrendering several loud outs and of course the HR from Franklin Gutierrez (whom I always thought was a tremedously underrated player on both sides of the ball) to seal the deal.
I have no idea what was up with Bailey, largely because the pitch-by-pitch feature of Gameday was somehow pre-empted by Cooking With Snails starring Emil Escargot today... was he up in the zone, down in velocity, what? We tell ourselves that this is just the last tuning up the orchestra goes through before the symphony begins, but when it comes to relief pitching the A's are in danger of being a few violas shy of a String Quartet here if they aren't careful.
At any rate in just 7 days time, we'll be sweating close games like this out for real, and the A's will strike up the band for the 2010 campaign, wounded bullpen or not. There's a few ST games left to go though, starting tomorrow when we take on the Chicago White Sox at 1:05 PM... I'm sure you'll all be joining the esteemed danmerqury for another afternoon of March Madness (the other kind), so we'll see you there =)