It's amazing what a difference three days makes. Backed by a sold-out crowd tonight, the A's finally put the Giants down on the strength of a seven-inning, one-earned-run outing by Graham "O Student at Hogwarts" Godfrey. On paper, the Godfrey/Lincecum duel looked almost comical; a two-time Cy-Young winner against a virtual no-name, but the game did not play out that way. The A's led from the first inning on, and although the Giants tied it up briefly, the A's put it into cruise control; with lights-out performances from a fired-up Balfour and Andrew Bailey, and the usual quality at-bats (and amazing plays!) from Jemile Weeks, the A's new second baseman.
The A's got on the board in the very first inning; after Coco Crisp led off with a single, Pennington bunted him to second, and Matsui walked to put two on. After Willingham flew out, Conor Jackson singed in the first run of the game. The Giants wasted no time in tying it up in the second on a blast by Cody Ross.
The A's took advantage of Lady Luck (on our side for once!) in the third inning, as Matsui walked, and Willingham knocked a double past Miguel Tejada at third. A folding chair (obviously rooting for the A's) jumped in the way and knocked the ball down long enough for Matsui to score. Taking advantage of this turn of events, Willingham stole third in the very next at-bat, and Not-Buster-Posey threw the ball about 30 feet over Tejada's head; allowing Willingham to score, giving the A's a 3-1 lead.
The Giants would close the gap to one run, after a routine ground ball went through Pennington's legs in the sixth, but unlike big games in the past, the A's weren't fazed. They tried to score a run in the seventh, but Coco Crisp was thrown out stealing second on a 3-0 count. I know, weird.
After Melvin made the gutsy call to send Godfrey back out for the seventh, Grant Balfour took over in the Rated-R eighth and after yelling obscenities at the opposing players, he retired the Giants and went back to the dugout to presumably drink more coffee.
The A's offense decided they'd like Bailey to have a cushion (spoiler: he wouldn't need it), so after a Jackson single, and two groundouts, Sizemore doubled in the A's fourth run. After a nine-pitch at-bat, locked in an epic battle, Weeks doubled in their fifth run (and was thrown out sliding into the third base coach's box); giving Bailey the maximum save cushion. Bailey breezed through the ninth for the win, and "Celebration" rang out through the Coliseum for the third straight day.
This was an exciting game; it was fun to watch, and the A's seem to come back to life a bit. Just watch the dugout during Weeks' try for the triple. Don't look now, but this is a winning streak.
See you tomorrow night! WEAR THE GOLD JERSEYS...THEY ARE MAGIC!
Athletics lead the series 1-0
WP: Graham Godfrey (1 - 0)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: Tim Lincecum (5 - 6)
|5 - 2 win|
|Sun 06/19||1:05 PM PDT|