Corey Lidle wasn't just throwing up zeros last night in Cleveland. He was putting the Indians to bed for the summer and announcing the A's had arrived for the fall. A one-hit shutout extended his consecutive scoreless streak to 31 innings. It also gave the A's their eighth win in a row and 16 of their last 20.
Lidle mixed his pitches well, keeping the ball low and changed speeds effectively. Lidle walked one, struck out eight and didn't make the defense work. There wasn't a close play to be had last night, as most of the putouts were routine. Of the 27 outs recorded 13 were on ground balls. Six, count 'em six flyballs for nine innings.
Lidle was capricious in his post game interviews when asked about his streak:
"To stay locked in for that long a time is pretty ridiculous, I mean, yeah, I'm in 'The Zone' right now -- whatever that is -- but to stay in it for twice as long as I've done it would be hard to do. Very hard. At the same time, though, why not? I feel like I've figured a lot of things out, and if I can stay out of my own way and just let the process of pitching take over, who knows? I'm not saying I'm gonna do it, but I don't think it's impossible. If you've got your best stuff and can stay in the right mental state, it can probably be done. I think about it between every inning; it's in my head now, but I don't think about it when I'm actually on the mound. ... If I ever get to the point where I think about it when I'm out there, that's when it will end, I'm sure of that."
Not that Lidle's performance wasn't dominating, but to be fair, he was facing a Cleveland team that is hollow. They are a shell of the team they were last year and a team worse off than they were 22 days ago. Lidle faced a line up with three veterans hitting below .235 and three guys who are AAA 'tweeners-guys who could still be in AAA. It's kind of nice, though, to watch the young kids play with Omar Vizquel and Jim Thome and pat Grandpa Burks on the head.
Let's Hang Ten for Justice!
The above headline is written because the Justice Served and Justice for All headlines are running more than little a little thin. At the Elephants in Oakland Corporate Headquarters, EOCH (not to be confused with EPCOT), there's a Tick talking action figure dressed in floral Bermuda shorts holding a surfboard. When you press a button on the Tick's back he exclaims, "Let's Hang Ten for Justice!".
David Justice had his second 3 RBI night in as many days as Coco Crisp went horizontal, but missed, Justice's bases clearing drive to deep left center. Justice looked good motoring around second into third.
Is Terrence Long coming out of his season and a half long funk? He singled (gasp) up the middle in the 3rd, hit a monstrous 439 foot bomb (woo-hoo) to right center in the 5th and was robbed of a hit on a hard line drive Omar Vizquel had to go to his right and leap to snare (aww, crap) in the 7th. You read correctly. Long went with a pitch to right...and he drove it. Good for T Long.