Oakland A's: 3-Run 1st Inning More Than Enough as McCarthy Shuts Down Dodgers

Clarence Baldwin JrAnalyst IJune 20, 2012

Coco and the A's steal the win from Los Angeles.
Coco and the A's steal the win from Los Angeles.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The A's used a couple of timely hits in the first inning en route to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Brandon McCarthy pitched seven shutout innings in his first start since June 7th to win his sixth straight decision. Ryan Cook pitched the ninth, inducing a game-ending double play from Dodgers first baseman James Loney to notch his fourth save.

In spite of the fact that the A's walked a season-high 10 times, they would not score for the final seven innings of the game, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. But it did not matter because McCarthy was brilliant. Of his 81 pitches, 56 were strikes and he surrendered a mere two singles before exiting. Grant Balfour pitched a solid eighth inning for his fifth hold of the year .

Oakland's runs came on a single to center field by Seth Smith that Tony Gwynn Jr misplayed, allowing both Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks to score and advancing Smith to third. Two batters later, Jonny Gomes smoked a single to left field plating Smith for the final run of the game.

Coco Crisp continues to heat up, going 2-for-3 with two walks and three steals, extending his consecutive stolen base streak to 36, an A's record.

Good: Brandon McCarthy. More like awesome. McCarthy was simply in control. He is starting to remind people of "The Gambler" Kenny Rogers at the Coliseum circa 1998-99. When McCarthy pitches at home, the A's win. A few more dominant starts like this and he may very well receive some deserved All-Star Game consideration. He has been that good this season.

Bad: The Athletics' situational hitting. There is no way you walk 10 times and score only three runs. It is fortunate the pitching was great tonight, because that stat could have been disheartening in a loss. It will continue to be the theme of the 2012 season.

Ugly: N/A. Great team victory for the A's against the best team in baseball.

Now 32-36, the A's turn to another solid Coliseum pitcher in Tom Milone, who will face Nate Eovaldi in the second game of this three-game series. First pitch is set for Wednesday, June 20th, 7:05 p.m, PT