If the A's make the World Series, Tommy Milone will be the A's secret weapon. The A's starter came through in a big way tonight, throwing seven innings of two-run ball and smacking two legit singles (off two different pitchers!) to lead the A's to a 10-2 romp over the Brewers.
It was the A's' first game at Miller Park and they evidently enjoyed the surroundings.
Coco Crisp set the tone early, knocking the second pick from Marco Estrada into the right field seats. They never looked back, compiling 19 hits in total. Meanwhile the only blemish on Milone's night was a Rickie Weeks two-run home run, which happened with the A's up 8-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning.
In the second inning, Brandon Moss hit a solo homer, lifting the 900 pound gorilla off his back and giving Milone some early run support. The A's left a few on base here and there but the 5th inning more than made up for any previous failures.
John Jaso lead off the 5th with a single, then alertly moved to second base on a wild pitch. Yoenis Cespedes then hit a ground ball to Brewers shortstop Jean Segura. Jaso had a great break but was committing the no-no of trying to take third base on a ball hit to the left side of the infield. Segura was thrown off; while debating if he could get Jaso at third, Cespedes was rumbling down the first base line. By the time he realized he couldn't get Jaso out (likely because of the angle of the throw) Cespedes had reached first.
That goes down as an infield single in the books (Cespy's slash line rejoices) but it was really a mental mistake on the part of Segura. With runners on 1st and 3rd, nobody out, the party was underway. Jed Lowrie just missed a home run, driving in Jaso with a double. 3-0 A's, and Marco Estrada left the game with a pulled hamstring.
Right hander Burke Badenhop came in to pitch in long relief, but that turned out to be pretty short. Josh Donaldson immediately singled to score Cespedes. After Donaldson was caught stealing on a great throw by Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, Josh Reddick singled to score Lowrie. 5-0.
After a Moss groundout, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke ordered an intentionally walk to Eric Sogard with Milone on deck. Perhaps Roenicke was worried after watching Sogard hit a double in the previous inning. However, it was the number 8 hitter, it was 5-0, and in that situation it seems more advisable to pitch to the batter rather than play silly games. Milone made him pay with an RBI single to plate Reddick, and the rout was officially on. The A's added on two more runs with John Jaso's second hit of the inning. 8-0 A's, and the rest of the game was a mere formality.
Oakland has now won 15 out of the past 17 games, including the last four in a row. Jay Jaffe of SI.com noted that the recent streak has come primarily at the hands of losing teams. Well, the A's don't make the schedule; good teams take advantage of winnable games, but rarely is a team able to accomplish thorough domination of bad teams day after day. So, rather than diminish the recent accomplishments, I say let's revel in the fact that the A's are doing what they are supposed to do and then some. With two more against the cellar-dwelling Brewers, another four against the anemic White Sox, and a trip to badly floundering Seattle, it's time to fatten up. It's a long, unpredictable season.
Prior to the game, I wrote a bit about the Brewers and Bud Selig's impact on the franchise as its founder and decades-long owner, concluding that "I want to crush these Spawn of Selig into oblivion and Josh Donaldson to tag 'Bringer of Rain' on that heinous [Selig] statue on the way out after a 3-game sweep." So far, so good.