Don't get me wrong, I don't like going down 2-0 at home. The A's are now officially the underdogs in the series no matter how you slice it, having simply been outpitched, outhit, and outfielded in two home games, off to face their nemesis, Kenny Rogers, in less friendly confines.
But tonight's game was a microcosm of why there is hope for the series as a whole. Tonight, the A's looked like they were cooked only to rise up and get Milton Bradley to the plate representing the tying run, only to go a step further and get Frank Thomas to the plate representing the winning run. Perhaps the series will follow the same script and the A's have some rising yet to do.
Tonight, it was April and May, with Frank Thomas juuuuuust missing pitches he knows and you know he can drive, stranding runners who could have been tying runs and winning runs. Perhaps the series will follow the same script and the June-September portion of the series is still ahead.
Right now, I feel like 10 really smart guys sat in a room over the weekend and outsmarted themselves, chickening out on throwing Harden twice and then planning to do it anyway, opting to relegate a "big-game pitcher" to only one guaranteed start, and going with the "known quantity" in Esteban Loaiza, who is mostly known for two things over his career: a lack of consistency and a lack of comfort under pressure or in the spotlight.
The bad news is that 10 really smart guys may have outsmarted themselves and helped to put the A's in a 2-0 hole (they had plenty of help, as the players did their part). The good news is that Rich Harden and Danny Haren pitch the next two games, and I feel good about that duo in any park.
The A's are down, but they're far from out. Frank Thomas hasn't hit his last high fly ball yet. Let's hope his last one has the distance.