Not much could have gone better for the A’s tonight: they blew out the White Sox 11-0, won their sixth game in a row, and to top it all off, blared the George Michael classic “Careless Whisper” before Josh Reddick’s at-bats.
It probably is the first time anyone has used “Careless Whisper” as a walk-up song, so Reddick must be commended for having absolutely no shame. But when you go 2-for-5 with a two-run homer to cap off a four-run inning, nobody really cares what your walk-up song is. In fact, the fans booed when no song was played before Reddick’s final at-bat.
It was just that kind of night, because the fans really had no other reason to boo. This game was the A’s in a nutshell – great pitching and timely hitting from every part of the lineup. Five different players knocked in runs, and nine players recorded hits.
Brandon Moss, however, has to be given the chunk of the credit. He had five RBI on the night, starting things off in the first inning with a run-scoring double, and putting the cherry on top in the eighth with a two-run homer to right-center. In between, he smashed a no-doubter in the sixth that put the A’s up 9-0.
The hitting may have overshadowed the pitching on this night. Drew Pomeranz, who started the season in Triple-A, replaced Dan Straily in the rotation and has been phenomenal. He has not allowed a single run in two starts this season, and pitched another clean five innings tonight, allowing just three hits and two walks. Pomeranz and the A’s bullpen combined to notch the team’s fifth shutout of the season.
– Why are the A’s this good? Because they have unselfish players willing to take on a platoon role. Case in point, John Jaso and Derek Norris form arguably the best catching duo in baseball. Norris is batting .365, while Jaso is at a crisp .306 (Jaso was the DH tonight while Norris was behind the plate). It’s such a luxury to be able to match up against a certain pitcher on any given night, and the A’s have certainly benefited from the platoon.
– Speaking of platoons, Craig Gentry started his sixth straight game tonight in place of the injured Coco Crisp, who is still out after crashing into the outfield wall making a catch last week. Gentry has picked up right where Coco left off, hitting .285, including another two hits tonight to raise his season average to .293. Again, it’s the willingness of a player like Gentry to take on that fourth outfielder role, and give the A’s a more-than-viable option when one of their starters goes down.
– Erik Sogard was the only A’s player in the starting lineup who didn’t record a hit. He went 0-for-4 and is now hitting just .186 on the season.
– Back to Pomeranz. He struck out a career-high eight batters despite throwing only 82 pitches and five innings.
– Remember, the A’s traded Brett Anderson to the Rockies for Pomeranz in the offseason. Well, Anderson is 0-2 in three starts with the Rockies, and is on the disabled list (again) with a broken finger. Meanwhile, Pomeranz is 3-1 with a 1.14 ERA. I don’t know how Billy Beane keeps working his magic.
– And here is Reddick walking up to the plate to “Careless Whisper,” with Sean Doolittle feeling the music in the bullpen: