Rats!

Well, obviously, on the basis of willing the opposing team to fumble a high-leverage double-play ball, Nick Swisher is now far more clutch than Marco Scutaro.

Yesterday the A's scored a key run early when Kelvim Escobar muffed the back end of a sure Swisher GIDP; today, the A's still managed to score 1 run on a bases-loaded/0-out Scutaro grounder, but the DP today choked off the A's rally against Lackey.

Dan Johnson drove a long HR the other way off Lackey to put the A's up by 1 briefly in the 6th, but Kiko Calero (coming on after an uncharacteristically high-pitch-count start by Dan Haren) surrendered 2 runs in the next inning.

Once again, a tight and well-pitched A's-Angels contest, decided by a couple of lucky bounces and flares. Yesterday, the A's benefited from the Angels' poor fielding and a flukey pinch-hit by Travis Buck; today, the Angels turn the DP and Orlando Cabrera gets an even luckier double.

And we also see once again the tragic shortening of the A's pen: with Street having pitched in consecutive days for first time since coming off the DL, and Embree having appeared in 5 of the last 6 games, and Haren pitching himself out of the game relatively early, the last third of the game came down to a full-strength Angels 'pen vs. a seriously depleted A's pen.

Calero, to be fair, didn't pitch that badly; he just didn't pitch very well. (One could even argue that the A's were fortunate to only have given up 2 runs that inning.)

Thanks to Frankie Rodriguez' entirely sensible unwillingness to throw strikes to the 2 A's hitters who could really have hurt him (and Swisher and Cust's patience), the A's at least made it interesting in the 9th.

Here's hoping foir safe trips all around: the A's to Texas, baseballgirl and Blez  back to SoCal, and all the NRAFs in town for AN Day back to their various homes.

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