By Jason Wojciechowski on April 11, 2004 at 4:18 PM
This is all Tim Hudson. He threw an 86 pitch complete game yesterday, leading the A's to a win over the Mariners. He only struck out two, but he gave up no walks and got 18 ground balls to just 7 fly outs.
To have a game like that, the pitcher has to be on, but the offense has to be jumping at balls all day, too. It looks like that describes perfectly what the Mariners did yesterday. Ichiro hit the first pitch of the game for a double, and it was off to the races from there. John Olerud had a six-pitch at-bat in the first inning, and there were a couple of five pitch at-bats, but no Mariner managed to work a long at-bat against Hudson. Hudson's pitches by inning: 15, 8, 10, 10, 7, 10, 7, 12, 7. Basically, he had a whole afternoon of Keith Foulke-like innings. Obviously, this was a gem, and you can't expect this every time out, but if there's perhaps evidence of a strong understanding of pitch conservation here, Hudson and the A's should be in good shape this year.
On the offensive side, things were still not great, as the A's got just enough going to score two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Billy McMillon started the game in left field, giving Bobby Kielty a rest, and picked up a single, but he was also thrown out trying to steal (it looks like it was a double play, though, so I'm guessing it was a failed hit-and-run attempt). Adam Melhuse also started for Damian Miller, but when 0-3. Marco Scutaro was the offensive star, with two hits, including the A's only extra-base hit of the day, an RBI double in the fateful seventh.