OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Tommy Hunter wonders what he likes more, pitching in Oakland or against the A's? (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Coming into tonight's battle in Oakland, your Baltimore Orioles had only lost 12 of 13 against the A's. And tonight for the A's on the mound was Gio Gonzalez. And even though he has been struggling over the last 4 games, the hunch was that the Orioles would be the perfect medicine for his losing ways. Conversely, newly acquired Tommy Hunter was 4-0 against the A's, but as a Ranger. And the Rangers are probably better than the Orioles.
As punishment for getting swept by the Orioles in May, Billy Beane felt forced to fire Bob Geren, who was actually in his wedding. Having your employees in your wedding is the new market inefficiency. Geren was replaced by former Oriole Bob Melvin, who was always viewed as a future manager, though I'm not sure if he was viewed as a fungible manager or not.
So, what actually happened?
In the bottom of the first, Matt Wieters threw out Jemile Weeks, inflicting so much pain as to injure his brother. In the second, Wieters hit his 11th homer of the season, and now has 40 runs batted in on the season. In the bottom of the second, Tommy Hunter gave up a single to Josh Willingham and then a double to David DeJesus that would plate Willingham to tie the game DeJesus would score on a single, but Hunter would battle after that, getting out of none out first and second jam without further damage.
Trouble for the A's was brewing in the 7th, as Adam Jones singled, Vladi singled, and Wieters walks. Out goes Gio Gonzalez, in comes Fautino De Los Santos. Mark Reynolds would crush some souls with a strikeout. But Robert Andino would breathe back in life to the faithful with a 2 run double. Josh Bell would follow by driving in Wieters and Andino with a single. Moldy would strikeout and Hardy would pop out, but the damage was done.
Hunter got into a bit of trouble in the 7th, but was bailed out by Michael Gonzalez. Which I suppose isn't surprising given it's the end of a lost season.
Mark Reynolds homered in the 9th, and Kevin Gregg demonstrated his mentoring skills by not blowing it. I hope 3e1n was watching. Or I don't. Tommy Hunter gets the win, and manages to break the Oakland hex. I'm not quite sure what to think about not losing to the A's. For the night, Hunter went 6.2 innings, scattering 10 hits, striking out 3, walking 1 and giving up 2 earned runs.
Who was the Most Birdland Player for August 15, 2011?
Josh Bell (two-run single, two walks) (12 votes)
Tommy Hunter (6.2 IP, 2 ER) (86 votes)
Mark Reynolds (monster bomb for an insurance run) (4 votes)
Michael Gonzalez (1.1 IP, 3 K, resembled major league pitcher) (5 votes)
Matt Wieters (center field HR, destroyed base runner) (60 votes)
167 total votes