The A's take the first game of the series tonight from the Angels in what was a legitimately exciting game. I did see the game in person and it was worth every cent. In a season where great baseball wins have been few and far between, tonight's was a gem.
Brandon McCarthy earned his first win since April with his 5 1/3, six hit, two run outing, looking every bit as sharp as ever. It took six bullpen pitchers to finish the game, but when all was said and done, the A's came out with the win.
The A's got on the board in the third after Suzuki doubled, Pennington bunted him to third, and Weeks singled him in through the drawn-in infield. After Coco grounded out, Willingham hit an absolute BOMB eight rows deep in the second deck! In a night game! The A's would take a 3-0 lead, but they would need more.
They would add another run (and should have added two) in the fourth after a double by DeJesus and a single by Jackson. Suzuki would single, and Conor Jackson would score, but he was called out at the plate, in what was one of the most egregious calls I've ever seen.
The Angels would stage a comeback starting in the fifth, with a leadoff walk and a single. After a flyout, McCarthy allowed a double, but only one run scored. McCarthy wanted the win; he struck out the next two batters to end the fifth.
The sixth inning was the true adventure. McCarthy got the first out, allowed a single to the next batter, and was pulled for Michael Wuertz. To say that Wuertz didn't have it tonight was an understatement; he walked three consecutive batters to force in a run. Devine replaced Wuertz and threw four pitches, leading to a 3-1 count before leaving the game with an apparent back injury. Bases loaded, 3-1 count, tying run on second; who do you call? Brad Ziegler.
Ziegler gave up a hit to allow the Angels' third run to score, but induced a lefty, of all people, to hit into an inning-ending, game-saving, double-play. Ziegler threw most of the seventh; Breslow pitched to the last batter, after Willingham couldn't come up with a ball to end the inning. Balfour was lights-out in the eighth; Bailey was lights-out in the ninth. The A's would get an insurance run in the eighth on a double by Willingham and a single by Matsui, but Bailey wouldn't need it. If he is being showcased, his value went up.
We play two tomorrow; if it goes half as well as today went, it will be fun. On a side note, if you follow the fabulous Mrs_McCarthy32 on Twitter, you should also follow our newest A's wife, Brooke Sizemore at brookee323. She also tweets about life and the games, so give her some love as well.