Tonight’s 5-4 A’s victory in 10 innings included lots of compelling stuff and not enough room to write about it in the newspaper, so here’s some follow-up from the postgame scene afterward.
–Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered the game-winning single off Michael Bowden in the 10th, but the top of the 10th featured one of the A’s best defensive plays of the year. Cliff Pennington made a great stop of Bill Hall’s sharp grounder up the middle and flipped to second, where Mark Ellis made a bare-hand grab, wheeled and threw to first to complete a 6-4-3 double play.
Off the top of my head, Gabe Gross’ over-the-wall catch in Detroit is the only play by an A’s player I can think of in 2010 that’s been better.
“That was one of the best plays of the year,” manager Bob Geren said. “You can look at all the different things that win or lose a game. People are going to look at Kouz’s hit, but that double play could have saved it.”
Said Ellis: “First, Penny made a great play to even get that ball. I just got it and threw to first. He hit that ball so hard, I knew we had time. And we won, too, so that made it better.”
–Dallas Braden gave up 10 hits and four runs (one earned) in 4 2/3 innings, his first start since coming off the disabled list. He said afterward his elbow felt good, and that he felt his fastball had more zip on it in the fifth inning than in the first. Braden wanted the chance to finish the fifth, but he was on a 90-pitch limit, and he was at 94 when Geren lifted him. “Yeah, I would have (liked a chance to finish the inning), but it was a tight game at that point.”
–Nobody came up more clutch for the A’s than reliever Michael Wuertz, who relieved Ross Wolf in a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth and didn’t let a run score.
The A’s didn’t gain ground on Texas, but it was a big win in that a loss would have dropped them to 9 games out. Talk about a potential swing game in regards to momentum. After falling behind 4-0 and getting held to three hits for most of the game, the A’s pulled one out and have a chance to win the series tomorrow afternoon.
That’s all for now …