10/02/2003 8:00 PM ET
No rest, no problem for Foulke
Rubber-armed reliever busy through first two games
OAKLAND -- After tossing 51 pitches over three innings in Wednesday night's Oakland victory, closer Keith Foulke's availability was a question before Thursday's Game 2.
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
But once the reliever told manager Ken Macha he was good to go, there was no question about using him in the ninth inning of the A's 5-1 victory.
There was also no question about his effectiveness.
Foulke threw 20 pitches -- 15 for strikes -- in facing four batters in the heart of the Red Sox order.
He started things off by retiring David Ortiz on a popup to left. Kevin Millar followed with a weak tap back to Foulke for out No. 2.
Bill Mueller knocked a basehit to right for the only blemish in the inning, but Foulke finished things off nicely with a easy pop to shortstop Miguel Tejada.
It wasn't a save, but an impressive outing from a guy who's impressed the A's all season.
"I'm sure his thinking was to get me in there, and don't let anything happen," Foulke said, of the rationale for using him after Wednesday's marathon.
After a year where his closer led the AL in saves and converted 43 of 48 save opportunities, that's exactly what Macha was thinking.
"He told me he was fine," Macha said. "That's my best pitcher."
He wasn't 100 percent when he woke up on Thursday morning. "My body was a little tight, but I came out, ran and threw a little and I felt all right," he said.
So while he wasn't feeling his very best, Foulke wouldn't have wanted any other situation.
"I keep telling everybody, it's the playoffs," he said. "I don't think you get days off in the playoffs. Obviously, if I was in pain, I wouldn't go out there and pitch. But I really didn't feel that bad, so I went out there and did what I can to help the team."
Kent Schacht is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.