The Athletics started the new month off on a outstandingly positive note by beating the Cleveland Indians 5-1, largely on the back of brand-new A, Aaron Brooks.
Aaron Brooks may be my favorite story on this bleak, bleak A's team so far. Before the Ben Zobrist trade, it was legitimately impossible to find any scouting reports information on the guy. That's how much of an unknown he was - the internet didn't know about him. Prospect lists that went 50 deep didn't have him. It was a huge surprise when the A's traded for him and immediately stuck him into the rotation.
I guess there's a reason the front office gets paid so much to do their job. Aaron Brooks looked good. Genuinely like a major league ballplayer. That's incredible, for a guy who was supposed to be AAAA depth to ensure the A's don't physically run out of bodies down the stretch.
Brooks threw 91-94 with pretty excellent movement, an ~86 MPH changeup with excellent downward movement and run, and a curveball that was usable. The stuff was pretty okay, but the star of the show was the command. He had excellent command of all of his pitches virtually all game. He didn't walk anyone - he didn't come close to walking anybody. He's never walked anyone in his MLB career.
We really should've known this was coming- if there's anything Beane is good at, it's finding undervalued, written-off pieces from the scrap heap and turning them into contributors at the MLB level.
Brooks's onlymistake came in the 5th inning. He threw Lonnie Chisenhall a two-seamer that caught too much of the plate, and Chisenhall hit it a mile. Beyond that, he was just about the best you could hope for. Good job, kid.
Meanwhile, the A's actually scored runs! Honestly, anytime the A's don't get no-hit in the next two months I'll be happy.
The first run came in the 2nd inning, when a Billy Butler single and a Ike Davis ground-rule double set up Mark Canha for the RBI groundout. A couple more runs scored in the 5th on a Little League play - Sam Fuld singled to right, Marcus Semien tried to score from second while Eric Sogard went first-to-third. Carlos Santana cut off the throw, tried to get Sogard sliding into third and... threw the ball into the stands. Two runs scored on the play.
Marcus Semien homered for the first time since July 8th in the 7th inning, and Butler drove in Fuld on a single in the 8th.
But really, the story of the game was Aaron Brooks. His mom crying in the stands after he got pulled with 7.1 stellar innings was potentially my favorite moment of the season thus far, and is a great reminder that sometimes baseball's really, really cool.