The A’s certainly showed Angels how it’s done tonight. What exactly they showed them probably isn’t what most fans would have liked. Tonight simply wasn’t the A’s night, in any facet of the game. CJ Wilson dominated the A’s for 8 scoreless innings only allowing a single hit and a couple of instances of “lawyerball” (walks). Graham Godfrey pitched a rather uninspiring 3 innings, giving up 4 of the Angels 5 runs including a rare 2012 home run to Albert Pujols. Cliff Pennington made a throwing error not long after Ken Korach did his best Glen Kuiper impersonation by praising Pennington’s “Gold Glove caliber” play at shortstop so far this year, and Josh Donaldson defied the advice from Little League coaches across the world and let the ball play him instead of playing the ball.
TURNING POINT: The first pitch of the game from Graham Godfrey was an 87 MPH fastball for a called strike to Mike Trout. The turning point came with the second pitch, an 89 MPH fastball for a ball, followed by 3 more out of the strike zone. Maicer Izturis singled to right to move Trout to 3rd, and Albert Pujols drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Three batters into the game the Angels would have all they needed to win this game. Godfrey would ultimately escape the 1st with 3 runs scored, the final 2 outs of the inning being recorded when Mark Trumbo was tagged out by Anthony Recker after perhaps being too aggressive off 3rd, and when Collin Cowgill threw Howard “Don’t You Dare Call Me Howie” Kendrick out at home on Erick Aybar‘s single. Not exactly how you want to impress the suits in your return to the show Graham. Perhaps this will be a short stint in Oakland.
ON THE HILL: It’s hard to imagine this is the same Graham Godfrey that out dueled Tim Lincecum last year. It’s not like we expected him to be anything more than a back of the rotation starter, but this season so far every time he’s taken the mound the expectation seems to be that he’ll struggle, and struggle he has. He posted a line of 3 innings, 6 hits, 4 ER, with 3 walks and 2 strikeouts, his ERA now sits at a “Lincecum-esque” (zing) 6.16. Travis Blackley continued to impress in outlasting today’s starter Godfrey by going 3.2 innings and giving up an unearned run on 3 hits with no walks and 3 strikeouts. Blackley’s strong pitching kept the game within striking distance until the late innings when Josh Donaldson’s error opened the door for the 5th run to score when Erick Aybar was hit by a Jim Miller curveball with the bases loaded. Miller would finish that inning and go one more without allowing a run of his own. Jerry Blevins pitched the 9th without incident, his ERA now sits at 2.33.
AT THE PLATE: So we could probably just skip this section altogether tonight. CJ Wilson took a no hitter into the 5th inning when Cliff Pennington laced a single with 1 out, he was promptly erased by an Adam Rosales double play ball. Walks to Daric Barton and Rosales surely infuriated Wilson, but that was all the resistance they could manage. It may have been a lineup missing Josh Reddick, Jemile Weeks, and Kurt Suzuki, but when you get owned, you get owned.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s still personal for many A’s fans against CJ Wilson, so seeing him dominate the A’s like this just leaves a sick feeling in everyone’s stomach. The Athletics do not have an easy task in attempting to rebound tomorrow in the battle of the Jareds (Jarrod or Jered). The A’s will send out rookie Jarrod Parker who had an extremely rough outing against the Giants last Friday night in San Francisco, hopefully he can gain some command tomorrow. He carries a 1-2 record with a 3.90 ERA against Jered Weaver who is 6-1 with a 2.80 ERA and a no hitter against the Twins to his credit. Runs will be hard to come by for the A’s, so Parker has to be on his game.