...On the 8th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
8 scoreless, Brandon,
7 stolen bases,
6 scoring innings,
5 go-old rings (it's always 5 gold rings)
4 Coco steals
3 different sac flies
2 DeJesus homers
and a road win, about effing time!
First of all, Brandon McCarthy was sensational, snapping off a signature curve, keeping hitters off-balance with cutters and two-seamers that painted the corners, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters, and combining with Fautino De Los Santos on a shutout that rendered all the A's insurance runs gravy.
Meanwhile, the A's got on the board first on a DeJesus HR, got on the board last on a DeJesus HR, and in between used seven stolen bases and three sacrifice flies to "gritty small ball!!!!!!" their way to more runs than McCarthy often gets in a month.
Crisp's four steals were a career high for a game, as the A's took liberties on a catcher, Robinson Chirinos, who did the seemingly impossible: Make Kurt Suzuki look like a good throwing catcher. Besides bouncing the majority of his throws, Chirinos takes longer to get rid of the ball than it takes the A's to get rid of Bobby Crosby.
It's not like the game started out as if the A's would run their way to a win, either. In the top of the 1st, with two out and Crisp at 2B, Josh Willingham singled sharply to LF. Mike Gallego neglected to instruct Coco to try to score or to hold, and a confuzzed Crisp wound up caught off of 3B after rounding the bag.
But from there it was all A's, thanks in large part to McCarthy and Crisp but with significant contributions across the board (for example, Willingham, Pennington, and Rosales each had sac flies, while Matsui extended his hitting streak to 14 games).
Pitching, speed, power, situational hitting: For one night, the A's had it all. They'll go for the series win behind Trevor Cahill tomorrow morning.