Hahn thrilled to close shutout in 'foreign' ninth
Right-hander spins first shutout of career in series-opener vs. Tigers
OAKLAND -- Sitting at 99 pitches, Jesse Hahn trotted back out to the mound for the ninth inning at the Coliseum on Monday afternoon, readying to face the heart of the Tigers' lineup. The A's right-hander had a four-run lead in hand, but little room for error in the way of his first career shutout.
"If he walked the first guy of the inning, I was going to get him," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Maybe the second guy."
Hahn made the decision easy. He got J.D. Martinez looking on strikes and induced a groundout from Yoenis Cespedes for two quick outs. Though Tyler Collins followed with a two-out single, Hahn remained at just 110 pitches. Only two more were needed to secure the 4-0 shutout, and when right fielder Josh Reddick clasped Tyler Collins' drive for the final out in his glove, "I haven't ever seen Jesse smile that big," said catcher Stephen Vogt.
"He, from inning No. 1, had his sinker going today," Vogt said. "He was throwing it with conviction, with confidence, both sides of the plate, you name it. He was some kind of disgusting with his sinker."
Hahn's four-hit shutout not only marked the first complete game of his career -- he had never completed more than seven innings in 20 prior starts -- but at any level, even college. It also happened to secure the 17-30 A's first three-game winning streak of the season.
"It's a great feeling," said Hahn, who struck out five and walked one. "The ninth inning's been foreign to me … I had so much adrenalin pumping through my veins in the ninth."
Not once did Hahn shake off Vogt, who has known the right-hander since their days in Tampa's farm system. And not once was Hahn shaken by any mayhem behind him.
The error-prone A's committed three fielding miscues on the day, two by third baseman Max Muncy and one by shortstop Marcus Semien, yet Hahn navigated his way around each with ease, compiling three double plays along the way.
"That's what you're looking for. That's what teammates are all about," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "You make an error, and as a pitcher you point to them and say, 'I got you right here.' And, typically, after those, he put the ball on the ground and got two. That's how you get guys confident out there. All the way around, he was terrific."
Added Vogt: "He was calm, cool and collected all day. There were times I went out there just to make sure and right away he was just, 'Yeah, I'm good, let's go.' He was fun to catch today, fun to watch.
"Bob always tells us, 'It's going to turn, it has to at some point.' Hopefully, this is it. Hopefully, we keep playing the way we have the past three days because that's the team we know we have."