And so it goes. Another season is now in the books and I think I can speak for the community when I say that I'm kind of relieved that the season is finally finished. We can all now just take one collective breath, look at the good and bad parts of this team objectively and over the next few months outline our solutions to the deficencies on the A's roster. But just for now, take a second and think of a memorable moment from the past 7 months, because memories are all that are left in the A's 2009 season.
The team ended the season on a 5-game losing streak against two of their division rivals in the Rangers and Seattle. Josh Outman pitched well enough today, pounding the strike zone and flashing his upper-90s heater, however he also served up the hits and 4 runs and 1 walk. Outman ends the season with a 4.56 ERA. He's certainly opened some eyes around the organization and while he's definitely hittable, he's also got intriguing potential. He was planning on heading the Arizona Fall League this winter to get stretched out as a starter, but since that already happened this past month, he'll rest up and report to Spring Training with the rest of the A's.
Seattle mounted rallies against Outman and the A's in the 1st, 2nd and 5th, pushing over 4 runs total to squeak by the A's, who scored all 3 of their runs in the 1st inning via a T-Buck solo homer to open the game, a single by Sweeney, a Cust walk and a 2-run RBI double by Denorfia. The A's bullpen, unquestionably the biggest strength of this young team going forward, pitched 2 innings of scoreless ball in relief for Outman who went 6 innings for the loss, as the A's offense failed to come through with men on-base as they twice left the bases loaded in the later innings without pushing over even a single run.
The team finishes the season 75-86, one game worse than last season's record. But hey, look at the bright side, at least this team isn't in as much trouble as the sorry Mariner franchise. I don't envy the good folks at U.S.S. Mariner and Lookout Landing, that's for sure!
- Joey Devine ends the season with the lowest singe-season ERA (0.59) in major league history for any pitcher that has pitched at least 40 innings. That's probably arguably a more amazing feat than even Ziggy's unbelievable scoreless-innings-to-start-a-career streak earlier this seasin. I'm looking forward to seeing Joey closing games next season and for several seasons beyond that.
- Travis Buck sure enjoys his home-cookin! The Washington-state native homered for the 2nd time in the series and added a double and a single. Buck certainly ended the season on an upnote (.300+ average and 4 homers in September) and has certainly played his way back into the A's outfield plans for 2009.
- Daric Barton ended his disappointing season on a upnote as well as he went 6-for-11 this final series. It's tough to get a read on what the team's plans are for Barton going forward. He certainly hasn't helped his cause at all with his terrible eason at the plate.
- Jack Cust walked twice and struck-out once to pad his league-leads in both categories.
On a personal note, I just want to thank each and every one of you who have taken time to contribute to this wonderful site this season. It was a disappointing season on the field for the A's, but it has been an honor and a privilege to do my part to ensure that the greater Oakland Athletic fan base stays connected to the team and each other and remains hopeful for an exciting 2009 season! See you all back in the Game Threads starting February 28th, the first Spring Training game!