Harden trade paying dividends already

By Jason Wojciechowski on July 12, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Everybody already knows that Sean Gallagher pitched a marvelous game, striking out seven in his seven innings while giving up just two runs. Yes, this wa Anaheim, which has an underachieving offense, but it's still a great performance. Here's MLB.com video of Gallagher's day. (It's actually the entire package of highlights from the game, but it leads off with Gallagher's performance.) Note especially the tremendous bite on his breaking pitches, and the fact that his fastball was in the mid-90's. With Harden's velocity falling off in the last two starts, the A's were down to exactly zero starting pitchers who could bring the heat. But they're back to one now.

You should also check out Emil Brown doubling to left to score Jack Cust. (a) Juan Rivera really made an atrocious play out there, trying to slide in front of the ball. I'm not sure if he was attempting to catch it or just stop it from getting past him, but he accomplished neither. (b) Jack Cust really unhitched the trailer, scoring on a slide just ahead of the relay to the plate. Wow.

Anyway, as for the rest of the returns on the trade: Matt Murton only went 1-5, but the hit came on an 0-2 pitch from Jon Garland with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning. It's hard to call any hit key in a seven-run win, but at the time, the score was 5-2 A's, and getting Murton out in that situation would have left the Angels in a much better situation. Instead, he drove the single to right field, it was a five-run game, and Jack Hannahan capped the scoring in the next frame.

Meanwhile, Eric Patterson flashed the power-speed combination that's the entire reason the A's picked him up in the trade, hitting his first Sacramento homer and his stealing his first Sacramento base, though the River Cats ended up losing on a three-run homer off the bat of Sean Rodriguez in the bottom of the tenth. Landon Powell and Brooks Conrad also homered for Sacramento -- for Conrad, it was his 19th of the season, though his overall hitting stats are unimpressive: .230/.315/.464. That's a great ISO, especially for a utility guy (he played left field last night), but you'd like a little more contact ability from a 28-year-old in AAA.

Finally, for Stockton, Josh Donaldson had a couple of RBI singles, although he also struck out swinging three times and made an early throwing error. The Ports pulled out the win despite all five pitchers giving up at least one run.