For 7 and a half innings, there was little in the way of activity. Bartolo Colon and Dylan Axelrod were locked in the ultimate pitcher’s duel. The game was scoreless into the bottom of the 8th inning when the Athletics finally broke through when John Jaso led the inning off with a double, the returning Josh Reddick came up in a big spot and came through big time with an RBI double to drive him in. That knocked Axelrod out of the game, bringing in Matt Thornton to face the struggling lefty Brandon Moss, but he would walk him. Adam Rosales pinch hit for Eric Sogard and would face Jesse Crain, he laid down a perfect bunt to move both runners into scoring position. The final nail in the coffine for the White Sox came when Coco Crisp lined a two run single to center field. That would be more than enough for Bartolo Colon and the Athletics.
The story of this game without a doubt is the 40 year old Colon. There were questions abound going into this season as to what he would be able to bring to the table coming off a PED suspension. Colon has outpitched his 2012 self so far in 2013, and this may have been his masterpiece.
Colon is known for his ability to command the strike zone, he’s walked all of 5 batters this entire season. Tonight he walked no one of course, and threw 77 of his 106 pitches on the night for strikes. He allowed 5 hits, all of them singles. There is no other way to describe his night than as a simply dominant performance to win his 6th game of the season. The complete game shutout lowered his ERA on the season to a very nice 3.33. He hasn’t allowed a run in 16 innings since turning 40.
Upon making his return, Josh Reddick has had an immediate impact, to go along with the go-ahead double in the 8th inning he made his presence felt in the field as well. Perhaps some time off to heal will do him a lot of good and bring back the productive Josh Reddick from 2012.
The A’s and White Sox take to the field once again tomorrow afternoon as we turn the page to the month of June. Dan Straily (3-2, 5.08 ERA) takes on Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.75 ERA). Straily has had two successful outings in a row against tough opponents in the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants, but it will be a warm afternoon in Oakland so expect the ball to be carrying and we all know how Straily is prone to giving up the long ball. It may be that the A’s will have to bring the lumber tomorrow afternoon, but I’ve said that before and Straily has proven me wrong, hopefully he does it once again.