Way back on March 26th of this season Emil Brown squared-up a Jon Lester cut fastball and deposited it into the left-field bleachers in the Tokyo Dome for a 3-run homer that gave the A's an early lead that they would not surrender, en route to a 5-1 victory. Tonight's game began similarly to that Tokyo evening as Emil took a clone of that cut fastball from Lester and blasted it over the Green Monster to give the A's an early 2 run lead. However, in the March 26th winning affair the A's had Rich Harden on the mound...tonight they had Dana Eveland...that being the main difference between that game and this one.
Eveland took the mound in the bottom of the frame, and promptly gave the Red Sox the lead back - plus a couple of insurance runs for good measure - via a Kevin Youkilis 2-run homer and a Jason Bay monster 3-run shot. Fosse called it "demoralizing" for Eveland to fail to shut down the Red Sox lineup after the A's offense jumped out to an early lead...I called it "more of the same" from Eveland. He went on to record a scoreless 2nd inning but then get pounded again for 4 more runs in the 3rd, after which he was lifted for Lenny DiNardo. It was by far the shortest outing of Eveland's season and was an apt punctuation of his month-long tailspin into complete ineffectiveness. As we discussed in the Game Thread, it's probably not worth it to option Eveland to Triple-A at this point in the season, but it's definitely worth it to at least move him to the bullpen and bring up Dan Meyer to take his place in the rotation and see if Meyer has anything to offer this organization before he's Rule 5 eligible this winter and out of options.
The aforementioned Lenny DiNardo chewed 6 innings and saved the A's bullpen tonight, which might have a positive impact on this team's fortunes tomorrow if Dallas Braden finds a way to hand a lead to the pen at some point. And the Big Hurt put a couple of nice swings on a few Lester offerings, collecting two opposite-field line-drive singles in his first 2 at-bats of the game. It's possible that he wasn't BS-ing as much as I thought when he proclaimed that he didn't need any Triple-A at-bats before he could help the team.
In other news:
- Geren indicated before the game that Jerry Blevins and Ziggy might get save opportunities at Street's expense sometime down the stretch. I like the idea for the long-term, but if Beane wants to move Street sooner rather than later and for something of value, then it would be wise for Huston to remain the top-option for saves in the short-term.
- Something to smile about: every loss gets the A's a higher pick in next year's amateur draft. Yippeeeeeee!