A’s 7, Rays 6

Well, the A’s bullpen managed to hold on tonight, and it was a good victory for Oakland. They got some timely hitting early on, and a great starting effort from Brett Anderson for his first major league victory.

But I was really shocked that Anderson got such an early hook tonight. He had thrown just 80 pitches when Bob Geren pulled him after a leadoff double in the seventh and the A’s leading 7-3. I know hindsight’s 20-20, and it’s easy to look at the three runs that scored after Anderson left and say that it was almost a very costly decision.

I look at it this way: Anderson is a young kid who was spinning his best major league start yet. I know he had given up two homers, but staying in to protect a four-run lead at that point would have been a great test. And I know Geren was making his decisions knowing that every victory is precious right now. But I just think leaving Anderson in to try to finish that inning was a challenge that young guys like him and Cahill have to be allowed to conquer.

Anyway, it worked out for the A’s in the end. …

–Despite Santiago Casilla allowing a run on a wild pitch tonight, I actually liked what I saw from him. He was pumping his fastball consistently a 94,94, topping out at 96 (according to the stadium gun). That’s two straight outings where Casilla has looked sharp, and more importantly, carried himself with confidence on the mound. Each of the last two seasons, he’s gone downhill in the secodn half. The A’s need the Casilla that showed up Tuesday and Wednesday for the long haul this season …

Joe Stiglich