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Game #74: Davis and Joyce Home Run Slappy; Cotton, Pinder Injury Happy

Well, it was a costly win, that's for sure. However, in this Friday night win drought of the last few years, not to mention the A's horrific road record so far this year (hint: not even double-digit wins), I will take any win any way I can get it, even one that loses a near-perfect Cotton start after just 5+ innings in a shutout in which he allowed just three hits, as well as a promising young shortshop with a nebulous left hamstring injury. But A's win!

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

This was a solid win for the A's. I mean, it's not like they can afford injuries to two key players each game, but assuming that the blister on Jharel Cotton's finger heals up quickly and Chad Pinder's left hamstring tightness heals up for tomorrow's game, the A's are off to a terrific start this road trip, winning 3-0 behind a magnificent bullpen who stepped up to cover the four innings following Cotton's departure. I mean, if you can ignore the fact that it was Doolittle pitching the eighth (eight pitches of perfection) and Casilla the ninth (fourteen pitches of sheer terror).

The A's won the game with two home runs, in just five hits; the White Sox racked up seven hits; thanks to the bullpen's effort, they did not score.

Let's cut to the chase. It's unlikely that Pinder will miss just one game. In fact, here's the tweet we've all been anticipating:

On one hand, seriously?!!? First Chapman, now Pinder? It does appear the Cotton's blister is just a blister, so there's that silver lining, and the sheer anticipation of Berreto should now be permeating the entire A's organization.

Onto tonight's game.

This game started out terrifically for the A's. In the very first inning, a two-out walk to Lowrie brought up Khris Davis, who Khrushed a home run out into the Chicago night to give the A's a 2-0 lead. It would have been enough on its own to win the game. However, Matt Joyce added the insurance in the fifth; a solo home run to give the A's the eventual game-winning 3-0 lead. That was the extent of the scoring.

Cotton allowed nothing except a single in the second, which was erased by a double-play, and a walk in the third. He allowed another hit in the fifth, which likely should have been stopped by Chad Pinder, causing a bit of controversy. Pinder, upset at what we now know was his hamstring injury, stood still, watching the ball on the ground, until the runner decided to go for two; Pinder making one last heroic dive, shoveling the ball to second base where Lowrie tagged out the runner. An interesting decision to be sure with the White Sox down 3-0 and in desperate need of baserunners.

The White Sox also lost a player in this fifth inning, along with their manager, as they protested a call that seemed obvious; Maxwell grabbed an in-play ground out right at the plate and tagged out the runner, bringing the fifth inning to a close. Pinder would not return; he was replaced by Rosales.

Cotton would last one more batter; he allowed his third hit of the game, his blister was bleeding and he was pulled immediately. Liam Hendriks ended the inning with no damage, Madson pitched the seventh; allowing two hits, but sandwiched in between a double-play, and Doolittle pitched an utterly dominant eighth inning in just eight pitches, striking out two.

Casilla was called on to close the game, and after he opened the ninth with two hits, he induced a fly ball, and a pop up. Alonso had to run for it, and just as he was turning around to make the catch, the normally sure-handed first baseman dropped the ball. It's worth noting that he immediately picked up the ball and threw the runner out at second for the second out, likely saving the game; no one wanted a bases-loaded, one-out situation. A bit of a heart-stopping fly ball, representing the tying run, ended the game, and the A's collect the win.


Here's to as good of a weekend as the last! See you tomorrow at 11:10, Daniel Gossett against James Shields.