Whew! Thought I was gonna have to break out that broom picture again for the second time in a week. This time it wouldn’t have been for the Green and Gold though. Luckily, Rich Harden pitched well, the bullpen was magnificent, and Mark Ellis did his best Marco Scutaro impression in the bottom of 12 on Sunday. The A’s lost the series 1-2 but won big on Saturday to the tune of 7-3.
Harden started the game in electrifying fashion by striking out the side in the first. Oh yeah, on nine pitches. It’s been said all along that this guy is filthy. If he gets over this problem of having controls problems one inning a game (the 4th inning today) then he will continue to roll along for the A’s.
The bullpen was a whole other story. Taking a page out of their early season book, they rolled 6 straight innings of shut out ball and Brad Ziegler got his first major league win. I really like the way that kid throws and he seems to be there mentally.
Mark Ellis played the hero with the walk-off Grand Slam (damn I want some Denny’s now) in the twelfth. Chavy had another good game after his return from the DL and the young outfielder Gonzalez got in on the action. Jack Cust walked 3 times in the series finale. His season total is now 47. For those of you keeping score at home, Jack Cust has now walked more tmes than he has reached via a hit this year (47 to 45) and has struck out at a clip of more than once a game (69 K’s in 63 games). Those are ugly strikeout numbers but I don’t care as long as his OPS hovers around .850 or .900.
Well, a satisfying win to close an odd weekend. SmoothRon was decent in FWP this weekend. The Celts are blitzing the Lakers in Game Two, Dale Jr. came in fourth (avoiding the dreaded FWP wreck-out jinx), CD didn’t run the Belmont so we’ll let that sit at a wash, and all the obvious ones came to fruition. The A’s stay within 5 of the AL West lead right now and have the Yankees and Giants in their next two series while the Halos have the Rays and Braves. It seems odd to not be worried about the Yankees anymore, but I think we match up well with them. We shall see.
For now, I’m going to enjoy the boys playing well and especially pitching well. This is going to be a rough month for The Exodus. Take a look at the schedule and the entire month of June has the A’s starting play after 9PM EST. This of course excludes day games and Sunday games but it makes for some rough mornings at work, to be sure. We’ll stick with it though and give our best run-down of the action, no matter how grim or joyful it might be. Until then, enjoy the games, enjoy some brews, and if you know where I can get an Eckersley bobble head doll, e-mail me pronto.
Note: Apologies to TGC as he had requested more pictures in The Exodus. I apparently don’t have the Google search skills of one SmoothRon as I could not find one picture of an attractive A’s fan. Actually, the only thing an “A’s fan” search turned up was pictures of babies with A’s hats on their shrunken melons. Creeeepy.