The Oakland A's won their eighth in a row on Saturday night, defeating the Red Sox 7-1 behind rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin.
That's the good news.
The bad news, however, is that the team later learned infielder Brandon Inge will be forced to undergo surgery on his problematic right shoulder and will be lost for the season as a result.
If you recall, Inge originally injured the right shoulder while making a diving back-handed play in Oakland's Aug. 11 game against the Chicago White Sox. Upon hitting the ground, the shoulder was dislocated. Of course one would assume that ended Inge's night right on the spot, but he instead calmly called timeout, popped the shoulder back into place right on the field, and continued on.
Two batters later, Inge started a critical double play by making a strong throw with the injured limb. And then in the next half inning he delivered a go-ahead RBI single.
I think that pretty much proves he's tougher than me (and possibly you, too).
In case you need further proof, take another look at the injury:
Despite Inge's toughness and willingness to play through the pain, the A's elected to put him on the disabled list on Aug. 14. He returned to the A's lineup on Saturday night, but lasted only three innings before the shoulder started to become unstable again on a throw across the diamond. He again remained in the game to take one more at-bat — since he's more comfortable hitting than throwing — and cracked a two-run double.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser, that still may not be Inge's last plate appearance of the season. If an opportunity arises to use him before the surgery takes place, it sounds like Bob Melvin would be open to it. But obviously once it does occur, that will be it, and the A's will be forced to replace a bat that contributed 52 RBIs in just 74 games since joining the team on April 30.