Just a couple days ago the A’s sent pitcher Graham Godfrey to the Boston Red Sox as the player to be named in the deal that brought the A’s reliever Sandy Rosario. It wasn’t a surprising move, or a particularly impactful move, but there is something about Godfrey’s time with the Athletics that will live on.
June 17, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcherGraham Godfrey
(65) pitches during the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at the O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Godfrey only collected a single win in his career with the Athletics, he went 1-6 with an ERA of 5.09 in 46 innings of work, he made 4 starts. But it was the circumstance in which Godfrey won that game that is worth noting.
It was just his second Major League start, he had allowed 5 ER against the Chicago White Sox in his debut, and this time he was facing off against the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series. This game was taking place in Oakland, and the right hander would be facing off against 2-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum. No big deal.
Just about anyone who had a clue and was watching this game knew the A’s had no chance to win this game, and would probably lose a laugher in the process. It didn’t quite work out though as everyone expected. Lincecum struggled a bit by his standards of the time, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) in 6 innings of work, and Godfrey was able to outduel Lincecum. Godfrey worked 7 strong innings, gave up just 6 hits and 2 runs (1 earned). Nobody expected Godfrey to deliver like he did, but for this moment he defied the odds and inserted himself into a little sliver of Athletics history.
Godfrey was never expected to be anything more than a back of the rotation type starter at best, so the fact that he’s been moved along in his career to another organization is not any kind of surprise. He may not ever get his number retired, he may not even be remembered by many A’s fans past the end of this article, but his contribution to the A’s battle against the fierce rival Giants will always be a fond memory.
The A’s are all about defying the odds and beating expectations so this performance by Godfrey stands out as a symbol of what the A’s stand for. That said, apparently so does Billy Beane trading everyone away if you ask the casual baseball fan, so it seems fitting then that Graham Godfrey was sent on his way.