May 20, 2006

Barry and the Giants Break Through

The Giants and A's were back at it in the second game of three at the Oakland Coliseum this afternoon, and unlike yesterday's contest, which saw the A's prevail 1-0 and hold Barry Bonds hitless, the Giants prevailed 4-2 in extra innings, sparked by Bonds' 714th career home run that tied him for second place overall with the legendary Babe Ruth.

Although all of us A's fans love to boo Barry, and did through each of his at bats, we also respect history, so when he took a pitch from Brad Halsey and deposited a rocket into the right field bleachers, we stood and applauded, even through two separate curtain calls for the man who has been posting stellar statistics for the better part of two decades, even through scandal.

The A's had their opportunities to win this afternoon's game, which would have presented the ultimate story, coming home with both a victory and to witness something special, but it was not meant to be. Despite leading 1-0 early, the team fell behind 2-1, unable to break through stellar pitching by Giants ace Jason Schmidt, who labored through 130 pitches in a solid effort.

A one-run 9th inning rally to tie the ballgame was stopped cold when Giants third baseman Pedro Feliz speared a lineout double play from the bat of Jason Kendall, which caught Bobby Crosby for the final out in regulation. Had the ball gone through, it'd be a whole different story, but instead, we saw A's reliever Kiko Calero load the bases to the Giants in the top of the 10th, and the team came around to score two unanswered runs. Though Eric Chavez came up in the bottom half with a chance to win the ballgame, his outfield fly didn't have enough to clear the fence, and we returned home losers.

I'm really on the fence, if that's possible, about Barry. I yearned and hoped that he hadn't taken steroids, for the cleanliness of the game. I read the stories about his brusqueness with reporters and teammates, but have also seen tenderness and dogged determination. Today, we cheered his accomplishments, and understand its significance. But let's hope the A's can emerge victorious overall in the series by posting a victory tomorrow. We'll be there watching.

Listening to ''Secrets & Lies (Activa Remix)'', by Blank & Jones (Play Count: 1)

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