Well, that was fun wasn’t it? Some might call it, Inge-oyable! I’ll stop the puns there before I make everyone’s eyes roll back in their heads. The A’s managed to grab victory from the jaws of defeat tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays. Grant Balfour did his best job in the top of the 9th to keep pace with the league wide “closers who can’t pitch” epidemic. Francisco Cordero had other ideas though, Grant had no idea who he was messing with. The only out Cordero registered in the bottom of the 9th inning was the one the A’s gave to him to sacrifice Michael Taylor to 3rd after his leadoff double. Taylor should’ve tied the game when a ball in the dirt got away from Jeff Mathis, but a slight hesitation kept him put at 3rd. Cliff Pennington told him not to worry, he had his back, and drove him in to tie it with a single. Pennington swiped second after Cordero quickly surrendered 3 balls to Josh Reddick, who was then intentionally walked. Jonny Gomes got the same treatment after a passed ball put Pennington and Reddick on 2nd and 3rd. It was up to Brandon Inge at that point, with a 5 man infield all he had to do was put the ball in the air and the A’s would claim a victory. Inge swung almost out of his shoes and drilled a ball into the first row in straight away left field to clear the bases and send all of O.co into a frenzy.
TURNING POINT: One would assume the turning point would be the walk off grand slam to win it, but I think it has got to be the Reddick homer to tie the game in the 5th inning. Ricky Romerosimply has owned the A’s over his career, and was posting zeroes up until that point, so it was looking bleak for the green and gold. Reddick has been a major igniter so far this season, and seems to find himself in the middle of a majority of the A’s rallies and plays solid defense as well.
ON THE HILL: Brandon McCarthy was scratched from his scheduled start tonight due to shoulder soreness from his last bullpen session, not exactly good news, but they say it’s precautionary. Jarrod Parker was ready to step in, and despite major control issues (by major, I mean 5 walks and only 56 strikes in 105 pitches) he limited the Jays offense to 2 runs on just 4 hits in 7 innings. Parker certainly has the talent to overcome major command problems and still get a potent offense out, that is a positive sign among all the bases on balls. Ryan Cook continued to make it look easy, posting a scoreless, hitless inning in the 8th against the heart of the Blue Jays lineup. The Balfour struggles of late continued due in large part to the Eric Thames leadoff triple that gave Toronto 3 chances to cash in the run, which took until the 3rd chance to accomplish.
AT THE PLATE: Yoenis Cespedes was scratched from the lineup with a wrist issue, which put Josh Reddick in center field tonight. It was an adventurous night for Reddick to say the least. Everyone in the A’s lineup reached base one way or another, but up until the 9th inning the A’s were unable to make anything happen aside from Josh Reddick’s home run in the 5th, leaving a staggering 18 men on base today (I had to check that a couple times to make sure). Tonight’s hero Brandon Inge had left 6 runners stranded tonight, he must have felt guilty about that when he came up in the 9th.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The A’s don’t get to enjoy this win for too long, a 12:35 PM start tomorrow afternoon is fast approaching. Tyson Ross takes on Rohnert Park native Brandon Morrow in a start Ross needs to show improvement from his last couple disastrous outings, especially if McCarthy’s injury is worse than originally thought. A short series sweep would give the A’s some serious momentum going into a 4 game set vs. the Detroit Tigers, let’s hope for a little more of that Oakland magic.