Brandon Allen...Fail. Daric Barton...Fail. Kila Ka'aihue...Fail. Brandon Moss? "Yeah, right, like that's going to be the answer." All the journeyman 28 year old has done in his first 7 games with the A's is to blast 5 HRs, 2 doubles (both today), and give the A's what they have lacked since the days of a juiced Jason Giambi: Power from the 1B position.
Really the story of today's game was Jarrod Parker, who proved that it is in fact possible to pitch effectively with a 4-run lead. The A's got him 2 in the 2nd, courtesy of a two-run throwing error by 3Bman Jordan Pacheco, and 2 more in the 3rd when Josh Reddick doubled, Seth Smith walked, and Brandon Moss drove home both with his second double of the day.
From there, Parker cruised through the Rockies' order, finishing 7 shutout innings on just 89 pitches, allowing 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 6. Parker's biggest challenge came in the bottom of the 6th, an inning in which following a Chris Nelson lead off single, Rockies manager Jim Tracy elected to leave reliever Guillermo Moscoso in to hit (bunt) in a game that was still just 4-0. The Rockies wound up with runners at 2nd and 3rd and two out for Carlos Gonzalez and Parker got ahead 0-2 with two fastballs, then struck Gonzalez out on a changeup in the dirt. Moscoso pitched just one more inning in relief, making Tracy's decision even more perplexing.
The A's failed to add on in the middle innings. At one point they had 17 baserunners for the game and only 4 runs. But then they put the game away late with 1 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th, including solo HRs by Josh Reddick, his 15th of the season and 1st in the month of June, and by...Brandon Moss, bringing his season slash line to .308/.357/.962 (1.329 OPS). I think he can keep it up.
The A's bid for a Coors shutout was foiled by the devilish Brian Fuentes who, given an 8-0 lead in the 9th didn't blow the lead but did serve up a HR to Marco Scutaro on an 0-2 pitch and also an RBI 2B to Tyler Colvin. Ultimately, though, Fuentes simply proved true the age-old adage, "Give your terrible closer an 8-run lead and he'll get you into the clubhouse with a win."
So the A's head back to low altitude savoring an uplifting series sweep, returning home to face the San Diego Padres with Oakland hopeful that Yoenis Cespedes will be available to DH. If he isn't, and has to go on the DL, there's a DH at AAA who might get some consideration. Your 2012 Oakland A's: Not a great team, but every week there's something intriguing going on...