I had a thought in the back of my mind after Monday night’s ugly 9-6 loss by the Athletics in Boston versus the Red Sox. That thought was that the A’s needed to vent some of the frustration of their sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays and the aforementioned loss in Boston. It’s still extremely early in the 2013 season, but the last thing you want to see happen is for a losing streak like this to continue to snow ball and erase all the good that the A’s hot start had created. In this case though, the A’s needed to not just win a game to snap that streak, they needed to do it in emphatic fashion. And that they did.
While there is no mercy rule in MLB, you might say that Mother Nature put her stamp on this game as the rain came following the 7th inning, stopping play, and ultimately ending the game there with the A’s winning 13-0. This type of game is the perfect medicine for an ailing team like the Athletics after losing 4 straight, with not much to take away as an encouraging sign.
Bartolo Colon was dominant in what amounts to a 7 inning complete game 3-hit shutout. Honestly though there’s no reason to think he couldn’t have finished off the entire 9 innings had the elements not gotten involved. His performance was particularly useful considering the workload of the bullpen lately, giving the entire group a full day off will prove vital for the rest of this week that does not have a day off for the Athletics.
The offensive attack was fueled by 3 for 4 nights from John Jaso and Brandon Moss, a 3-run homer by Seth Smith, and 2 for 4 nights from Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick. Every member of the starting lineup reached base one way or another, only Chris Young and Eric Sogard failed to record a hit though.
It seems silly to call any game at this point in the season a must win, and I’m not about to start doing that. But to win this game, and even up the series going into tomorrow’s rubber match, and do so in convincing fashion may do wonders for this team’s confidence. It may be a virtue of playing against his old team, but seeing Josh Reddick start to get into the hit column and drive in some runs is slightly encouraging. I’ll start to believe he’s coming out of this slump if he hits against Baltimore this weekend. As for tomorrow though, Brett Anderson returns to the mound after pitching just one inning in his last start due to an ankle sprain, he’ll be opposed by an equally talented lefty in Jon Lester. On the surface it has the makings of a pitchers duel, which probably will mean we’re in store for a major Fenway slugfest in the freezing cold and rain. I’m sure the A’s can’t wait to get back to California.