This week has been a pretty good week if you play for the A’s, and your name is Brandon. Today it wasn’t another instance of “Ingesanity” but perhaps the birth of “McCarthyism” that got the A’s the W. The right hander who was forced to skip his start earlier this week due to shoulder soreness was simply dominant tonight against the Detroit Tigers. This has to be a very encouraging sign to A’s fans and the organization as a whole who had to be afraid his chronic shoulder issues were about to creep up again. He’s not out of the woods, and this week was a reminder that the history of shoulder problems never goes away completely.
TURNING POINT: Today’s game didn’t feature the clear turning point that the games of the past week did. Brandon McCarthy was so good he was never really threatened by the Tigers. But the biggest moment of the game had to be the RBI triple by Cliff Pennington in the 7th inning, that gave the A’s a 2-0 lead, and a little breathing room. Daric Barton followed up with an RBI single of his own to make it 3-0, more than the A’s would ultimately need.
ON THE HILL: The story no doubt was Brandon McCarthy’s gem, a line of 7 innings, 4 hits, no walks, and 10 K’s will do just fine. Ryan Cook had another relatively uneventful 8th inning (shocking), surrendering only a walk to Andy Dirks. Brian Fuentes came on for the save, and it was a bit of a bumpy ride. Before being announced after the game as the team’s new closer, Fuentes gave up a double, wild pitched him to 3rd and allowed a run ultimately on a sacrifice fly before closing out the game.
AT THE PLATE: There were no remarkable hitting performances tonight, Jemile Weeks was the only player to have multiple hits before exiting the game due to injury. The good news is that those two hits managed to push his AVG over the dreaded Mendoza line, now sitting at .205. The 3 RBI of the game came off the bats of Jonny Gomes in the 1st, and the aforementioned RBI hits from Pennington and Barton in the 7th.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This team is a little banged up at the moment, nothing A’s fans aren’t used to. Jemile Weeks apparently rolled his ankle, but despite the doubts, he expects to play tomorrow. Yoenis Cespedes hoped to play today as well, but felt pain during batting practice and was promptly placed on the 15 day DL, Josh Donaldson is being recalled from Sacramento. Kila Ka’aihue also sat out today’s contest with hamstring soreness, he’s a day to day situation right now. Kurt Suzuki has been banged up over the last couple weeks, seems like common bumps and bruises of donning the “tools of ignorance,” time will tell if those injuries finally catch up with him. Health wise the A’s may be hurting, but they now have a chance to take 3 out of 4 from the Detroit Tigers tomorrow. All they have to do is beat reigning Cy Young/MVP Award winner Justin Verlander (3-1, 2.63 ERA), no big deal. The A’s will send the young righty Jarrod Parker (1-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound. The A’s need to go for the jugular right here, the Tigers have been scuffling all season amidst high expectations and the A’s can really put a bit of doubt in their minds.