A good old fahioned pitcher’s duel. That’s what an estimated 36,000 fans were treated to in the Bay Area last night. Unfortunately, it ended up with the Good Guys being down 2-1.
Joe Blanton pitched six strong against a tough Red Sox offense. In characteristic Joe B. fashion, he put the ball over the plate (giving up 7 hits, walking only 1) and worked quickly (game duration 2:39). Blanton also struck out 3 Red Sox hitters, but in the end, he was no match for Dice-K who mowed down 9 Oakland hitters on the night while only giving up Jack Cust’s solo shot in the 2nd.
Both bullpens pitched well, only yielding 2 base runners a piece. Papelbon looked strong in his second save of the year, striking out Buck, Ellis, and Barton to end the game.
The A’s bullpen didn’t look bad either. Casilla retired all 6 batters he faced and was throwing some gas, while Keith “I’d love to close again Skip!” Foulke shut out the Sox in the 9th.
The A’s fall to 1-2 on the year and will send Rich Harden to the hill against Lester at 3:35EST today. If Rich throws like he did over in Japan, the A’s will have a good chance to pull back to 0.500 this afternoon.