Another day, another lineup. Another day, another mediocre offensive effort. Today, however, it is just enough to give the A’s a 2-0 victory against the pale hose. Mediocre doesn’t really begin to describe it, actually, as the A’s managed only 5 baserunners in 7+ innings against Gavin Floyd.
(As I write this, Glen Kuiper has just said "We’ve got ourselves a pitching duel, folks." I laugh aloud, somewhat maniacally.)
Barton walked leading off the 8th, and that would would be the last batter Floyd would face. Indeed, as soon as Floyd was removed, the A’s offensive juggernaut went to work. In a near facepalm move (a Barves moment, if you will), Kila Ka’aihue was announced as a pinch-hitter before Matt Thornton came in from the bullpen. Before Kila hit, though, Melvin lifted him for Kurt Suzuki, setting up the more favorable LHP-RHB matchup. Amazingly, this actually turned out to work, as Suzuki lined an RBI double just barely fair to the LF corner, scoring Barton from 1st. After a groundout to move Suzuki to 3rd, Eric "Keebler" Sogard lifted an RBI single just over Alexei Ramirez’s outstretched glove to provide the A’s with that all-important insurance run. Grant Balfour pitched a relatively uneventful 9th inning to earn the save, striking out Adam Dunn on a perfectly placed 3-2 tailing fastball to the outside corner after Kosuke Fukudome got a 2-out single and advanced on a defensive indifference.
The star of the game, though, was Tommy Milone. After three starts where it was fair to say that he got pretty lucky not to be hit harder, Milone had a legitimately good start: 8IP, 0 BB (1 HBP), 5 K, 3 H on 98 pitches. That’s the kind of guy I think Milone can be: an efficient strike-thrower who doesn’t walk anyone. Here’s hoping for more starts like this.
Tune in tomorrow as the A’s throw Jarrod Parker out for his 1st start as an A. First pitch is 12:35PM.