Well, that was fun. I mean, if you like fun where you end up under the couch, hiding from the baseball game. But when all was said and done, you'd rather be an A's fan tonight than an Indians' fan, as the A's walked 9 Indians batters, and none of them scored. I don't recommend that course of action; usually the solo home run is better than multiple walks, but it's hard to argue with A.J. Griffin's zero earned run outing. Well, unless you like your starters to go deeper in the game than 5 innings and 104 pitches, anyway.
Griffin was effectively wild today, walking another five batters, and dodging trouble in all of his innings except the fourth. He left one on in the first, one on in the second (and only a double-play prevented further damage), and would have escaped unscathed in the third but for an error.
Meanwhile, the A's jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the very first inning as Reddick smashed a single and Yoenis Cespedes, who is starting to show signs of life of his own, came up to bat and hit a two-run home run to give the A's their first lead of the night.
Josh Reddick was really responsible for everything that happened in the third inning as the Indians struck back. First, with Nick Swisher on first base, Reddick made a cartwheel circus catch to save another baserunner. And then, on the subsequent single, Swisher attempted to take third, and Reddick threw; well, ostensibly to third base, but missed the third baseman, the third base coach, most of the dugout, random ball boys, and the ball ended up hitting the top of the dugout, going out of play and allowed the first Indians' run to score.
Griffin would get out of the fourth inning with his only three-up, three-down inning, and would load the bases in the fifth, but wouldn't allow a run. He would leave the game in favor of Otero, who pitched a perfect sixth. Doolittle would take over for the seventh, and he would throw a steady diet of fastballs. His fastball is great; no doubt, but in order to get the maximum effect, he must mix in some different pitches or it's fastball batting practice. A leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt and a single by Swisher tied the game, and worried A's fans.
But never fear, because Nerd-power is in the house. After Stephen Vogt hit a two-out single, Eric "Keebler" Sogard doubled him in, and all the credit in the world goes to Vogt, for never for a second letting up as he chugged around the bases, steaming for home. We were told that Sogard was tagged out at third, but it didn't matter, because Vogt had scored what would be the game-winning run.
Ryan Cook gave up a two-out double and walk of his own, but got out of the eighth inning, and although Balfour gave up a one-out walk and a single, a lineout to Donaldson, who threw back to a jumping Sogard ended the game in dramatic fashion. This is a game that the A's were lucky to win, but it's a win, and the luck, she is a changin'. The A's win, the Rangers lose, and the A's are a mere 1/2 game behind first place, finally beat the Indians, and the next 40 games are set-up to be as dramatic as possible.
For anyone at the game tomorrow, I'll be there too! The A's take the first one, and look for 3 in a row tomorrow. It will be Dan Straily vs. Ubaldo Jimenez. 6:05 start, we'll have all the action right here!