Gio Gonzalez was simply magnificent today, retiring the last 20 batters he faced and tossing 8 shutout innings on just 2 hits and a walk. The game's only run came courtesy of an unearned run in the bottom of the 3rd, driven in by Coco Crisp's sacrifice fly to medium shallow LF off of Matt Cain, who will probably lose a game 0 to -1 sometime in his career.
No one ever said managing would be easy. Bob Geren was faced with a tough call for the 9th, with Gio at 94 pitches and having mowed down 20 straight, right-handed batters due up in Rowand, Renteria, and Sanchez, and Bailey ready to go. Geren opted for his closer, and while Bailey wasn't perfect -- issuing a one-out single to Renteria and a two-out walk to Sandoval -- Bailey struck out Bengie Molina to earn the save.
Bailey wasn't pitching around Sandoval, who fouled off several two-strike pitches in a 10-pitch battle and took one that missed the outside corner by maybe an inch, but the walk also wasn't the worst thing in the world. Sandoval is the Giants' most dangerous hitter and Molina is a career .300 OBP guy, as well as a right-handed hitter.
And while Gonzalez, Cain, and eventually Bailey, rightly took the spotlight in this 1-0 nail-biter, Adam Rosales played a huge part in the A's win, playing 3B for the first time and looking stellar on multiple plays that weren't routine, as well as reaching base twice and scoring the game's only run.
Was I the only one who watched Bailey battling the Giants' best hitter, Sandoval, and thought of Huston Street striking out Barry Bonds on a changeup to win 1-0? The A's are now 2-0 in the Coco Crisp era and 2-0 in games where Crisp hits a sacrifice fly.
Great stuff today. If it weren't for the Tigers, this might really be a perfect homestand!