The A's bench tonight was Bobby Crosby (bad calf), Scott Hairston (bad quad), and Nomar Garciaparra (bad body). That's it. Two guys who can't run or play the field due to injury, and one who can't run or play the field due to the fact that he retired two years ago but nobody can find the paperwork.
Now it didn't help matters that in the top of the 1st inning, with a runner at 3rd and one out, Mark Teixeira hit a one-hopper to third and got an RBI thanks only to the worst Kennedy decision since Chappaquiddick. Yet a 6th inning Cust HR and 7th inning "tremendous AB" RBI single by Mark Ellis would get the A's to within 3-2 in the 7th, and that's when a 3-man bench called "Cripples Row" caught up to the A's.
Two on, two out in the 7th, Phil Coke in the game to face Ryan Sweeney, and the A's couldn't pinch-hit because they didn't have a single player available to play the OF. Sweeney bounced weakly to 2nd.
Two on, nobody out in the 8th, and Nomar pinch-ran for Landon Powell. That's right, Nomar Garciaparra, pinch runner. After Everidge bounced into a 5-3 DP, the A's couldn't pinch-hit for Cliff Pennington because they didn't have a player available to play SS. Pennington popped out to LF.
That's right: The A's played a game in which they literally only had defensive replacements possible at 1B and C (and that meant giving up the DH, which the A's ended up doing), in which they couldn't pinch-hit for anyone, and in which they had to put a gimpy player with chronically bad hamstrings in as a pinch runner because he was the most mobile of the three players on the bench.
I'm thinking maybe Cunningham or Buck or Patterson might have been ever so slightly useful tonight, but apparently Bobby Crosby is far too valuable to lose for 15 days and Nomar needs a roster spot because perfect pinch runners are hard to find.
I've volunteered at assisted living centers where there was more mobility than you could find on the A's bench tonight.