By Jason Wojciechowski on April 16, 2012 at 11:45 PM
A win against Felix Hernandez should count as two.
This win belonged more to Bartolo Colon than the A's offense, though, as King Felix still held Oakland to two runs in seven innings despite not looking his sharpest and having his defense fail him a little bit (Dustin Ackley's range is suspect, and Chone Figgins mishandled a ball in left field that may have allowed the A's to score a run they wouldn't have otherwise).
The A's did add a couple of insurance tallies against the Seattle bullpen, though, including one on the ever-present (as in, I'm pretty sure he pitched every A's-Mariners game) Tom Wilhelmsen (though it was charged to Lucas Luetge, who permitted Josh Reddick to reach via single before Wilhelmsen issued a walk and saw a passed ball and sacrifice fly bring the A's right-fielder home).
Jemile Weeks hit another homer! His homers are like Ichiro homers, in that he's running hard out of the box, still taking that line-drive-oriented swing, but he just gets a lot on the ball and sees it carry right out of the yard. They're kind of pretty in their own way.
By my count, Colon's seven innings of shutout baseball saw nineteen balls in play, just four of which went on the ground. Five whiffs and one walk, though, and included in those fly-balls were some pop-ups, bloopers, and other such balls that aren't anywhere near the same as hard liners into the gap.
Yoenis Cespedes made a fantastic high-risk catch to start the bottom of the seventh, diving to take away a hit from Kyle Seager on a sinking liner. His body was positioned in such a way that had his glove missed the ball, it surely would have skipped past him and let Seager run for days. Fortunately, though, Cespedes got his leather under the ball, and replays showed the ball bouncing into his glove, leading to an A's TV booth debate about whether the bounce had been on Cespedes's glove or the grass. I was fortunate enough to be getting very good HD picture on my MLB.tv for one of the replays, and my best guess is that it was in fact his glove that was under the ball, not the grass.
The play, by the way, does illustrate why instant replay will not be a panacea, though I'm not someone to argue against a fifth umpire in the booth. I think it's sensible and will help matters far more than it slows down games, and the occasional play that can't be determined in 45 seconds of video review ... well, it's the same result as if there hadn't been review, but with a more honest attmept to actually get the play right.
I would rather see Ryan Cook not needing 23 pitches to get through an eighth inning.
I am, however, a fan of Cook pitching the eighth inning. We bash on Brian Fuentes harder than he deserves, but he's so unappealing to watch as an A's fan that I'm entirely ok with lowering the average leverage of his appearances in favor of someone who won't give me quite so many palpitations.