The A's got a very good outing from Tim Hudson and the ass end of the batting order provided some oomph kick the Angels down a notch to leading the Wild Card spot.
Tim Hudson set the tone early, only needing 8 pitches to get a 1-2-3 top of the first and punctuated with a strike out of Tim Salmon.
Hudson pitched 7 1/3 innings striking out four. Hudson threw only 101 pitches leading to speculation that the A's may go to a 3-man rotation for the AL Division Series.
Hudson's counter part, former Oaklander Kevin Appier was his typical crybaby self. After not getting a call against Scott Hatteberg in the 1st it looked like he was going to start throwing a pouty tantrum on the mound. Homeplate umpire Rob Drake warned ½ of the Brothers Molina (Bengie), though it didn't do much good. Appier had walked A's leadoff man Ray Durham on four pitches. Not to mention the pitch he was griping about was high AND outside. If it's high or outside, then, yah, sure, complain. But not when it's both. Appier lost his cool and would eventually take the loss
Durham went to second on a fly ball to right. Tim Salmon and most the Western Hemisphere did not expect a sac fly in the 1st. The replays showed that Durham might have been out. But, with Appier bitching to Drake, guess what? He's safe. You just don't show up an umpire.
The six-seven-eight-nine hitters for the A's went 7 for 13 yesterday with four runs and four RBI.
Terrence Long's two run homer broke open the game in the 6th. How did it happen? Dunno, because he took a pitch to start the at-bat? It sort of negated the double play Terrence hit into in the second. T Long swung and missed at the first two pitches in that at-bat.
Billy Koch came in and pitched a 1-2-3 9th for his 41st save and to break the Oakland A's record for appearances in a season. It was Koch's fifth working day in a row. Wednesday night Koch became the first pitcher to ever have 40 saves and 10 wins in the same season. A few moron TV analysts laid the claim that when Koch blows a save the A's still seem to win. Ugh, no, it's because he's worked in almost 80 games this year. Koch is 41 for 47 in save opportunities and with 79 appearances, you're going to rack up non-save decisions. Now if Koch had 10 losses, too, then you can make some lame arguments.
Koch broke Buddy Groom's record. Groom gets paid about the same as Koch, about $2.5 million a year. No real insight here. Just thought it should be mentioned.
A's Playoff tickets go on sale Saturday at 9:00 am.