Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CHEESE & WHINE: The One They Should've Won

A's: 4

  • James Shields. Shieldsy must not have like his report card grade, because he came out and did exactly what an ace should do; he shut down the other team and outlasted his counterpart. Big Game James had a stellar performance; retiring 17 in a row at one point, but didn't get any help from his friends who couldn't find a way to score him a single run. Shields pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing 0 runs on 4 hits, walking 2, and striking-out 5. What else could you ask for?
  • JP Howell. JP came into the game in relief of Shields and inherited 2 runners, but allowed neither to score. Howell recorded 2 innings of work, allowing zero hits and striking-out 1.
  • Aki/Maddon. Maddon takes a lot of crap for some of his hair-brained schemes and outlandish shifts, but last night he had Aki in all the right places at all the right times. It seemed as if Aki was a ball-magnet last night as every grounder found its way into his glove. (Speaking of his glove (and I may be wrong here), but I'm fairly certain Aki started the season with a new glove, but has recently switched back to his old gator-skin glove (black/blue/orangish-ish.) Aki also went 2 for 4 from the plate on the night.


  • Sucking. The Rays were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Wow- way to help out a pitcher who's working his butt off for you.
  • The Beef. Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena were a combined 0-9 from the plate with a total of 4 K's.
  • This team had at least 17 billion chances to score and win this game but blew them all, some of which were detailed in The Hangover at Rays Index.


  • I hate to be an if's and but's person, but if the ump's strike-zone hadn't suddenly turned into a postage stamp while Wheeler was pitching (there were 3 pitches that would've ended the inning had they been called correctly) then Oakland never puts up 4 and Aybar's homer was a walk-off. Sad that such a great "pitchers' game" got spoiled by an ump taking 1 at-bat off.
  • Oakland's starter, Outman, has the perfect name for a pitcher, whereas Tampa's, Balfour, not so much.

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