Salutations from Phoenix, where the A's won a see-saw battle from the Cubs today 6-5. Early on, it was all Gio Gonzalez, who blanked the Cubs though 6 IP and continued to make a strong case to win Oakland's Opening Day assignment. Kurt Suzuki's second inning 2-run HR gave the A's a 2-0 lead going into the 7th.
That's when the Cubs started playing longball, first with a solo HR off of Gio, then a two-run Alfonso Soriano HR off of Brad Ziegler -- suddenly 3-2 Cubs. In the 8th inning, another two-run bomb, this one by Reed Johnson off of Grant Balfour. 5-2 Cubs
But this year's A's have enough offense to make a 5-2 game still a game, and after getting one back in the bottom of the 8th, Oakland put on more than a tease in the bottom of the 9th. Following a Cust-like error (freeze, take bad route, come charging in and try to catch ball with chest) by Cubs' LFer Fernando Perez, singles by Wes Timmons, Ryan Sweeney, Andy LaRoche, and finally a walk-off double by Conor Jackson, returned the A's winners.
How did Gio look? I'm happy to say I'm not that sure because we missed the first 4 innings thanks to the extreme generosity of Ken Korach, who not only granted emperor nobody an interview, it was a marathon -- a little over an hour -- from before the game all the way through some of Gio's most dominant frames. You'll be hearing parts of the Korach interview for weeks!
Further good news confirmed: I'm scheduled to sit down with Trevor Cahill tomorrow after all, and look forward to reporting back on that, as well as any insights I can glean from the coaches about defensive positioning. All in all, quite a nice day indeed in the Valley of the Sun.