Two sinking fastballs, two strikes. Then Orel stepped off and started wandering around the mound, so I went out to him. Orel thinks so much and can do so many things with a baseball that sometimes he makes things difficult for himself—and he was doing just that with two outs and an 0-and-2 count on the pitcher. We went back to sinking fastballs, but then Orel gave him a tough curveball for a called third strike. It was a good low-risk opportunity to find the feel of his curveball, and it established the curve in the A's minds for the next time around the order.
No runs, no hits, no errors. Dodgers scored five runs. LA. 5, Oakland 0.
With our five-run lead, it helped having the top of the order up right away to keep our concentration. We tried to take advantage of Lansford's first-ball hitting and threw a changeup out of the strike zone. He didn't bite. At 2 and 0, our five-run lead changed the situation; Lansford was taking all the way—which he would not have been doing in a closer game. Orel threw one right down the middle with no movement, no nothing. At 2 and 1, Orel got away with another bad pitch, thigh-high and over the plate, but Lansford fouled it past third. Then Orel threw him a sinker that dropped a foot. Lansford chased it for strike three.
The second time around, Orel began to change speeds and unveil his curveball. He threw a great curve for a strike to start Henderson off. Anytime a good pitcher gets his curveball over on the first pitch, the batter is on the defensive. The pitcher really has the upper hand; besides having control of the count, he has now opened up a wide spectrum of pitch selection. We went with an even softer curveball for strike two. This at bat was as good as over. On the next pitch, Orel just missed with a good sinking fastball away. Then we went back to the curve-ball out of the strike zone, and Henderson struck out swinging.
Orel threw a sinking fastball away for a ball, then a fastball for a called strike. But when he tried to go up and in at 1 and 1, he didn't get it up or in. If Canseco hadn't been pitched so well before, he'd have hit that pitch to Pasadena. Instead, he fouled it back. Orel then threw a curveball that rolled out of his hand and over Canseco's head; it was such a bad pitch that Orel actually started laughing as he turned away. But when he turned back to look for the sign, he was all business. Sinking fastball on the outside corner. Checked swing, strike three.
No runs, no hits, no errors. Dodgers scored once. LA. 6, Oakland 0.