Part of being an Oakland A's fan is perpetually hoping for the best, while expecting the worst, and when things don't turn out to quite be the calamity you had anticipated, you are in a serious state of shock. Surprisingly, after a swath of injuries threatened to tear the team's early season asunder, the club has rattled off a series of big wins, and none more impressive than today's 2-0 thriller in Oakland against division rival Seattle, as the team walked on the precipice of danger before roping in the victory.
After seeing starter Joe Blanton hold the Mariner hitters at bay for a strong eight innings pitched, the A's held a 2-0 lead going into the top of the 9th, but things threatened to fall apart when Blanton allowed the first two batters to reach base, the second of whom had nailed a double, pushing the lead runner to third, all with nobody out. What had once been a promising lead was on the verge of disaster, and Blanton's night was done, as closer Huston Street was summoned to work miracles and wrap up the game.
Yet Huston didn't make it to easy when he plunked the first batter with a pitch, loading the bases, still all with nobody out, and set himself up to face the heart of the Mariners' order. After striking out the next batter, the one following did the same, and Huston convinced the final batter, Carl Everett to pop up to left field, extinguishing the threat, and putting a cap on the A's win, which had only seconds before seemed like all was lost and would be yet another point we could look back on at the end of the season and wonder what might have been. Instead, the team moves on with its fourth straight victory, Blanton gets the win, Street looks like he communes with deity, and the A's find themselves only a half game out of first place, behind Texas, who lost earlier.
As a fan, I loved the outcome, and wonder why the team continues to keep my stress level at a constant high point. Of course, it could be worse. I could have been a Seattle fan. And thanks to SportsBlogs Nation, we can see just how both sides took it.
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