We found the secret, play the A's. I still wish we could have done this back when it would have mattered, but wins are good. I learned that in grade school. You want the optimistic view? We are 7 games back in the Wild Card, chasing four teams. Only a half game behind Texas. Negative side, 47 games left.
Anyway today's game: It was a lot of fun. AJ wasn't as sharp as he has been and he really seemed to be getting squeezed by the plate umpire. One thing I really hate is umpires chirping back at players. Before the home run AJ gave up in the fifth he felt he get robbed on a couple of calls that at bat and when the ball left the park, AJ vented, but just a bit. He said one thing, then turned away from the ump, but the ump went back at him for at least 30 seconds. Now AJ was pissed and he said something but to me.....if he crosses the line toss him, if he hasn't then ignore. If he turns away, you turn away. Be a pro. The players are supposed to be emotional and the game. Umpires are supposed to make the calls.
But I digress, the A's scored three runs in the second on a walk, a Bobby Crosby double and a Daric Barton home run. I really thought the game was over there. Duchscherer has had a great season so far and, if you hadn't noticed, we don't score much. But in the fourth we got four runs. After two quick outs we got four straight singles from Barajas, Lind, Stairs and Rolen. Then Mac (!) doubles down the line to score two. If Johny Mac hits a double we really ought to win. Anyway we were ahead for about three minutes. Then AJ gave up a the homer mentioned in the second paragraph to tie the game.
Then in the 6th Lind got hit by a pitch in the arm (oh please don't let him be hurt). Mench hitting for Stairs struck out. Rolen walked to give us runners on first and second. Mac walked (!!) to load the bases with one out. Then Inglett took one for the team off the back side. He made a great effort to get out of the way, turning into it. Good job Joe. Then my hero Wilk hit a short sac fly, to score Rolen. It was really to short a fly to send Rolen home, but the throw from CF Gonzalez was terrible.
Cito, thankfully, pulled AJ after the 6th. I was really worried he'd put AJ back out there even with 110 pitches. Cy, Downs and Ryan each pitched a scoreless inning. Where would we be without a lights out pen.
Offensively, everyone hit but Wilk (why the hell would Wilk bat second? Is Gibby back managing) and Overbay. Inglett and Mac each had two hits. And, of course, Lind had a hit and a hit by pitch and two runs scored. Have I mentioned how much I like him?
Jays of the Game? Rolen (.278 WPA) and Mac (.220) and that's not even considering Mac's amazing defense yet again. Honorable mention? The three lefties from the pen Cy, Snakeface and Beej. Suckage Jays? Barajas (-.110) and AJ (-.123). The offense contributed .395 to the win, the pitching .105.
In Jays news Vernon is starting his rehab tomorrow and with any luck will be back with the team Monday. Also, it was announced Cito will be back next year, well at least if JP is around next year. And Travis Snider has been promoted to AAA Syracuse.
Bring on the Indians.