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Game #154: Phillies 3, Athletics 0 - Jerome Williams makes history

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Thearon W. Henderson

Jerome Williams becomes the first pitcher in major league history to earn victories for three different teams against a single team in one year by defeating the Athletics 3-0. It was the same nightmare. Did the Athletics leave the bases loaded? You bet! Did they ground into double plays? Twice! Did a reliever that never gives up home runs give up a crushing home run to a batter batting less than .200? Absolutely!

You can only back way up, way way up, to remember that baseball teams do not win every game.

And that's what the Athletics have to remember Thursday. as the recently uneven Scott Kazmir takes on an all-year struggling A.J. Burnett. Win this series. Lose one out of three, and you're usually in amazing shape for the year. Eight games left boys.

Drew Pomeranz did his duty

Drew Pomeranz started this afternoon and performed admirably for Jason Hammel, who was away for the birth of his child. Effectively, Hammel and Pomeranz swapped places this week, with Hammel coming in for long relief in the Wednesday game against the Texas Rangers while Pomeranz waited for his turn today.

The first inning was a high-wire act, however. After striking out Ben Revere, Maikel Franco was given a single on a ball that was deep in the hole to Jed Lowrie after Josh Donaldson was unable to cut it off. Chase Utley then walked. Ryan Howard struck out, but then Pomeranz hit Marlon Byrd. Darin Ruf stepped in and ran the count full. On Pomeranz's 32nd pitch of the inning, he threw a high fastball that caught the upper edge of the 6-foot-7 Jordan Baker's strike zone, and the Athletics escaped the inning without damage.

Pomeranz then reeled off nine more outs consecutively, a walk, and then three more to complete five innings of work. Pomeranz exited the game at that point. Pomeranz had not appeared in a game since September 2, and made no starts since August 27. He did throw some batting practice earlier in the week to stretch him out as far as he did.

Oh no not again

In the second inning, the Athletics started a rally. Unfortunately, Adam Dunn started it by clogging the bases. Josh Reddick worked a one-out single, advancing Dunn to second. And Jed Lowrie hit another single, but the Big Donkey could only advance to third.

Derek Norris was up.

He grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

The frustrating thing about Derek Norris' swing was that it wasn't a particularly great pitch to drive. Bottom of the zone equals ground ball. Take it. Take the pitch. Go to 3-2.

Jerome Williams proceeded to face the minimum in innings 3-6, managing only one more walk and one more base hit in Williams' seven innings, for four hits total.

Oh no not again

Eric O'Flaherty should have had a 1-2-3 sixth inning, but Eric Sogard bobbled a Chase Utley grounder to second. Dan Otero came in to strike out Marlon Byrd, who had struck out 176 times in 608 plate appearances entering today:

Dan Otero stayed in for the seventh, and groundball Dan-O did get Ruf to ground out to Jed Lowrie. Cody Asche doubled to left on a soft liner to left. Groundball Dan-O then got Wil Nieves to ground out to him, and while Asche advanced to third, 8-for-59 against right-handed pitching Freddy Galvis was coming up.

And then there were two strikes.

And then a home run. A home run against a pitcher that has given up three in his big league career.

And after that, it was just a quiet wait for the A's to record outs, to make other teams happy.

This resulted in a lazy fly ball to left:

Fernando Abad gave up a double, and Ryan Cook let that double score on a bloop single.

Happy birthday to Ken Giles, who recorded his first career major league save today. And the Phillies beat the A's 3-0.

Tomorrow

It's another 1:05 PM start on Sunday as the A's try to win their first series against a team playing under .500 since August 25-27 against the Houston Astros. They've played the Astros 1-2 at home, the White Sox 1-3 on the road, and the Rangers 0-3 at home since then. Scott Kazmir faces A.J. Burnett.