Jun 25, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Tommy Milone (57) delivers to the plate against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Milone Conquers Road Woes, A's Shut Out M's

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Pardon me if my words don’t make sense in this recap, I’m still a little groggy after falling asleep watching this game.  Needless to say if you wanted to convert a non baseball fan into a fan, do not use this game as an example under any circumstances.  Despite the uneventful nature of the game tonight, we did witness perhaps a major turning point in the development of one Tommy Milone.  As has been discussed by anyone and everyone, Tommy Milone has been a completely different pitcher on the road versus at home.  But this time the Milone we have all been fortunate to watch at the O.co Coliseum made the trip up to Safeco Field in Seattle, and it was a treat to watch.  The fact of the matter is this, the A’s got 3 hit by the Mariners tandem of Erasmo Ramirez and Tom Wilhelmson, and they still won because of Tommy Milone.

TURNING POINT:  There was not much in the way of major turning points in this game, but the biggest moment has to be the Seth Smith home run for the simple fact that it accounted for the only run either team scored.  Erasmo Ramirez had all of his pitches working and the 22 year old impressed everyone tonight, but Seth Smith wasted no time in sending the first pitch he ever saw from Ramirez well over the center field wall.  No more than 5 batters ever came to the plate in any inning tonight, and that one instance was in the bottom of the 1st for Seattle.  Other than that there were no credible scoring threats on either side.

ON THE HILL:  Tommy Milone was on his game tonight without a doubt.  He tossed 7 scoreless innings while scattering 7 hits, walking no one, and striking out 5.  He is now the first Oakland rookie to tally 8 wins before the All Star Break, not bad considering he wasn’t even the prize in the Gio Gonzalez trade.  Grant Balfour worked a scoreless 8th inning in 1-2-3 fashion, his ERA now sits at 2.68 after a rough start to his campaign.  Ryan Cook who we can now apparently name as the A’s closer according to Jane Lee, walked another batter but struck out 2 in an otherwise routine save.

AT THE PLATE:  Not much you can say for the A’s at the plate when they only register 3 hits.  But the 1 hit from Seth Smith that really counted was enough, the solo shot in the 2nd inning was his 8th of the season.  Brandon Moss and Brandon Inge accounted for the other 2 hits the A’s had, both singles.  Josh Reddick reached base on a walk, but no one else managed to reach first base safely.  Jemile Weeks struck out twice against Ramirez, and once more against Wilhelmson in the 9th.  Everyone else had zeroes all over the place.

FINAL THOUGHTS:  With this win the A’s have gotten themselves back to where they were before the Giants series.  It was a good way to start off a tough road trip through the division, the A’s need to battle to get back to that elusive .500 mark.  The A’s will send Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.15 ERA) to the hill to take on the team he once played for and earned his other career win.  The Mariners will send the pesky Jason Vargas (7-7, 4.66 ERA) who always seems to give the A’s problems.  A victory tomorrow can give the A’s a chance at being even .500 as they travel to Texas for a scary 4 game series.  Blackley’s confidence must be at an all time high right now, and he needs to build off of it and not get caught up in trying to prove himself to his former team.  If he attacks hitters like he did last Thursday against the Dodgers, he will be successful yet again.

 

 

Check me out on Twitter @SeanD25, see my take on everything else baseball at Baseball Obsessed, and follow everything Swingin’ A’s @FS_SwinginAs.


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Tags: Brandon Inge Brandon Moss Erasmo Ramirez Grant Balfour Jason Vargas Jemile Weeks Josh Reddick Oakland Athletics Ryan Cook Seth Smith Tom Wilhelmson Tommy Milone Travis Blackley

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