By Jason Wojciechowski on July 15, 2005 at 7:35 PM
Rich Harden's amazing, isn't he? He carried a perfect game into the eight inning last night against Texas before giving up a single to Alfonso Soriano. He finished the night with a two-hit shutout in which he struck out eight and walked nobody, and did this all while throwing just 81 pitches. With that low a pitch count, Oakland should bring him back on one day's rest to start the finale of the series, too!
Offensively, the A's made sure that even if Harden gave up a few runs, they'd take the game anyway, scoring twice in three different innings. The way they scored was rather funny. Aside from Eric Chavez's solo home run in the second, every Oakland run scored on either an out (two run-scoring ground balls, two sac flies) or an error (Chan Ho Park's throwing error in the fifth). That's not a great way to sustain rallies, but it does indicate that Oakland had plenty of men on base.
The win puts Oakland a game and a half behind Texas in the standings. The A's have three games remaining against Texas in this series. If they win all three, they'll have booted the A's out of the Bay and taken over second place by a game and a half. Unfortunately, a sweep is the only way to take over second. Even if they win two out of the next three, they'll wind up a half game back when Texas moves on.
By the way, I'll have some notes on the Kotsay extension and the trades of Eric Byrnes, Chad Bradford, and Omar Quintanilla soon, as well as a collection of links.