The Baseball Desert

Monday, July 14, 2003

Watched a great game from Oakland last night - a fine pitchers' duel betwen the Orioles' Jason Johnson and he A's Barry Zito. Zito pitched 8 shutout innings, and I was finally able to get a long look at that amazing curveball of his. It really is a thing of beauty - it starts out way outside the strike zone, and then dips perfectly over the plate, leaving opposing batters to admire it as it crosses the plate (even AL batting-average leader Melvin Mora...). Zito was matched all the way by Johnson, who pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings, but Johnson didn't get the help he needed from the relievers, who entered the game in the 8th and 9th innings and proceeded to waste is great outing by giving up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The A's are now nicely set up for the second half of the season - 4 games behind Seattle in the AL West and just one game behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race.