The bad news? He allowed two home runs in an eight inning complete game loss, allowing four runs in all.
Four runs isn't terrible but tonight, it was far too much. He was up against Jason Vargas, and Vargas was ON. Ten strikeouts, no walks, one run...it was a masterful effort. Vargas was fantastic, and the A's couldn't do much about it.
Vargas allowed his first and only run of the game about five minutes after his first pitch, as red hot Jemile Weeks launched a double to left field to leadoff the game. Hideki Matsui drove him in with a single two at bats later.
But finally, with Vargas out of the game in the 9th, the A's got up. Coco Crisp singled to lead off the inning, then promptly stole 2B and 3B to accomplish two things: extend his now-22 steal streak without getting caught, and tie Brett Gardner for the American League stolen base champion at 48. Hideki Matsui struck out, then Josh Willingham grounded out to drive in Coco. With two outs, Scott Sizemore shot a booming double down the right field line to bring the tying run to the plate. Kurt Suzuki stepped into the batter's box, glanced at the pitcher, prepared for a battle...and plopped the first pitch into the ground for the final out. Oh, Kurt.
But all in all, Brandon McCarthy had enough of a cushion to hold onto his FIP title's lead, and while he finishes 2011 on a down note, it's still one of the greatest seasons ever to come in an Athletics uniform. Congrats, Brandon. You've earned it.
Mariners lead the series 1-0
WP: Jason Vargas (10 - 13)
SV: Brandon League
LP: Brandon McCarthy (9 - 9)
|2 - 4 loss|
|Wed 09/28||7:10 PM PDT|