Okay, this is getting out of hand. The A’s have won in walk off fashion now for the 10th time this season thanks to Brandon Moss‘ first pitch RBI single in the bottom of the 9th inning. It’s getting to a point that it’s almost expected that the A’s will find some kind of 9th inning rally and send all the fans home in a happy frenzy. But tonight’s game was a tale of two stories, the obvious late inning drama and the masterful pitching performance of Tommy Milone. For the second straight night a rookie hurler for the A’s stared down the mighty New York Yankees, and wasn’t the slightest bit worried about it. Milone dominated the Yankees over 7 innings and handed over a 2-0 lead to the bullpen that they were unable to lock down. While it’s exciting to see the A’s win like this, this was a game that should have been in hand much earlier on.
TURNING POINT: The Yankees had to be thrilled to see Tommy Milone exit the game tonight, and Russell Martin acted on that happiness by homering against Jerry Blevins in the 8th inning. With the game much tighter now, the A’s needed to score again to give Ryan Cook a cushion in the 9th. After Eric Sogard (Up from Sacramento after Cliff Pennington was placed on the 15 day DL) tripled the desperately struggling Kurt Suzuki came to the plate needing to make decent contact to get that insurance run in. Suzuki grounded to a drawn in Derek Jeter who got threw home and got Sogard in a run-down, Suzuki was able to make it to 2nd base but Sogard was retired. Coco Crisp drew a walk, but Jemile Weeks was unable to come through with a base hit with the insurance run at 2nd base. So onto the 9th we went, and we all know how that turned out.
ON THE HILL: It was all about Tommy Milone tonight, his stellar numbers at home are no secret to A’s fans, but his fearlessness against the New York Yankees tonight was really eye opening. Milone struck out 10 Yankees in his 7 shutout innings, he gave up 5 hits but didn’t walk anyone. Jerry Blevins allowed the home run to Russell Martin and hit Mark Teixeira with a pitch in his 0.2 innings of work. Evan Scribner threw 1 pitch to Alex Rodriguez and got him to fly out to end the 8th. Ryan Cook allowed a home run for the second straight night, this time to Robinson Cano, that was Cook’s only blemish tonight. It should also be noted that the AL’s best pitching staff held the Yankees to less than 3 runs for the first time in 43 games, this is incredible stuff.
AT THE PLATE: Brandon Moss is the star tonight for walking the A’s off in the 9th, but Yoenis Cespedes is nuclear hot right now. Cespedes was 4-5 tonight with a run scored, his AVG now sits at .304 for the season. It’s becoming clear that Cespedes’ talents don’t stop at hitting tape measure home runs, this guy can flat out rake. Brandon Moss was 2-5 tonight with a run and an RBI. Josh Reddick did his best to help add some insurance, going 3-5 tonight but didn’t touch the plate or drive any runs in. Biggest shocker of the night, 2 hits came from the 7-8-9 spots in the order! Brandon Inge drove in the second run of the game with a double, and Eric Sogard tripled in the 8th inning. I feel real bad for Kurt Suzuki, I like the guy, but he’s just completely flabbergasted at the dish. Perhaps a case of “elbow tendinitis” might be to blame?
FINAL THOUGHTS: The A’s are on a roll like we haven’t seen in many years, and it’s even more exciting because the stakes are high now. The A’s managed to keep pace with the Detroit Tigers and stay just 1/2 game behind them for the 2nd wildcard. They remain 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels who beat the Texas Rangers tonight, they are now just 6.5 games behind the Texas Rangers. I still don’t expect anyone to pass the Rangers, but the simple fact that they’re this close to one of the best teams in baseball is pretty amazing. The A’s have guaranteed themselves at least a split in this 4 game series, but now is the time to go for the jugular. The A’s can make a real statement by taking 3 of 4 from the Bombers, or even sweeping the series. Jarrod Parker (6-4, 3.16 ERA) tries to carry the torch for another night against the once highly regarded prospect Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.22 ERA) tomorrow night. Parker needs to pound the strike zone like AJ Griffin and Tommy Milone did before him, Parker has the ability to absolutely dominate any lineup provided he stays out of his own way. The excitement continues tomorrow at O.co, I’ll be in attendance and hope to see many fellow A’s fans rocking the Coliseum to its core. And for your viewing pleasure… the mauling of Brandon Moss. Let’s Go Oakland!
Tags: AJ Griffin Brandon Inge Brandon Moss Cliff Pennington Coco Crisp Derek Jeter Eric Sogard Evan Scribner Jarrod Parker Jemile Weeks Jerry Blevins Kurt Suzuki Oakland Athletics Phil Hughes Robinson Cano Russell Martin Ryan Cook Tommy Milone Yoenis Cespedes