It has been a long time coming for win number 2 in the Major League career of Travis Blackley, but tonight it finally happened. The Australian southpaw wasn’t dominant, but was sharp enough to be able to minimize the offense of a largely punchless San Diego Padres lineup. He tossed 6 innings while allowing 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks, along with 3 strikeouts for his first win in the Show since July 1, 2004 for the Mariners against the Texas Rangers. He wobbled at the outset, allowing a run to the Padres in the 1st, but the A’s offense had a counter punch that was ultimately a knock out blow with a 5 run 1st against Anthony Bass highlighted by a 2 run triple from Josh Reddick and another home run off the bat of red hot Brandon Moss. The A’s would tack on a few more runs as the game carried on, taking advantage of scoring opportunities and Padres miscues on their way to a 10-2 victory. Collin Cowgill and Cliff Pennington had banner nights as well, reaching base 7 times between the two of them. It was a night that the Padres demonstrated they were better at being the A’s than the A’s.
Off the field the big story of the day was the release of Manny Ramirez. Having not been called up when he had deemed himself ready to return to the Major Leagues, he requested his release from the Athletics. It marks the end of the Manny era in Oakland before it ever really began, which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, I think the play of Brandon Moss has really caught the attention of Billy Beane and co. so they wouldn’t have wanted to disrupt him, and his production eliminated some of the immediate need for an injection of offense into the A’s lineup. On the other hand, I was really kind of excited to see the circus act that Manny had become. This is not a team that is expected to make any major impact this season, so having Manny around to well… be Manny would have been interesting if nothing else. Alas, it’s a moot point as Manny Ramirez will either fade away into retirement or will somehow catch on with another club with an immediate need for a 40 year old DH whose career is literally running on fumes.
The A’s are riding a 4 game winning streak that has the team creeping ever so cautiously near the a realistic shot at reaching the .500 mark again. The A’s will have to emerge victorious on the big stage in a marquis matchup of aces tomorrow afternoon…. okay maybe not. The A’s will send Tyson Ross (2-6, 6.51 ERA) in place of Brandon McCarthy against newly signed innings eater Ross Ohlendorf (1-0, 3.38 ERA) at 1:05 PM PST. The A’s have seemingly grown confident at the plate over the last 4 games, and it would serve them well to attack the ball when Ohlendorf releases it tomorrow because right now the hits are falling in or flying out. The A’s are in a unique position where the team they are playing is in a more vulnerable state than they are, and they need to take advantage of that fact to try and salvage 2012.