In an efficient 93 pitches, Gio Gonzalez threw seven brilliant innings of one-hit ball, delivering a share of first place in the AL West to Oakland for the first time in almost a year.
In fact, by Game Score he had an 81, which ranks as his second best start ever, behind an 82 against the Giants on May 22, 2010. And considering that Gio could have easily pitched the 8th tonight if it weren't for the score and the intermittent rain, I'm willing to consider this start as his best yet. His fastball was lively and had tons of tailing action, topping out at 95 mph, while his curveball was baffling hitters all night. He racked up seven strikeouts in all, walking only one. Truly, ace-quality stuff.
On the other hand, Tyler Chatwood's horrible peripheral stats finally caught up with him. He completely imploded today, under the weight of Oakland's offensive attack. In only 2.1 innings of work, Chatwood allowed 7 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out only 1. Replacement reliever Trevor Bell didn't fare any better, as he allowed an inherited runner to score, in addition to adding another to the fire. The sixth inning was even crazier, as Kevin Jepsen walked two in a row with the bases loaded as part of a six-run attack. All told, fourteen runs in all, which is the most the A's have scored since July 10, 2010, when they beat LA 15-1.
The first double in the second inning came from the bat of Mark Ellis, who has singlehandedly created a new dictionary definition for the word "scuffling". But tonight? 3 for 4, with 4 RBIs, including a huge booming double off of the left field wall that would have been a HR anywhere else without the drizzly weather.
Glen Kuiper may have summed it up best: "It is a hit parade tonight!" And for at least a night, that hit parade ended at first place.
2 game series vs Twins @ Overstock.com Coliseum
Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 7:05 PM PDT
Carl Pavano vs Brandon McCarthy
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 60.
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|Thu 05/19||12:35 PM PDT|