There's a reason Kurt is blocking Brian Fuentes' left arm from view. Think of the children!
Tyson Ross wasn't quite as good as his 7 IP, 4 H, 76 pitch gem last week, but the end result was nearly the same, as he flirted in and out of trouble, finishing 6.1 innings in 97 pitches, allowing one earned run. Like most young pitchers, he had stretches of dominance surrounded by his fair share of shaky innings. Thankfully, Ross was helped by fortunate bounces and great defense for much of the way. His new changeup looked very sharp, and he used it as a putaway pitch on more than one occasion.
But in the 7th inning, Ross's run of good luck finally ended, as two groundball singles that touched infield grass put runners on 1B and 3B with one out. Matt LaPorta then laced a solid single to left field to plate the tying run. After Craig Breslow was brought in as a LOOGY, Michael Wuertz proceeded to strike out Grady Sizemore on three pitches to end the inning and limit the inning's damage to one run. He may not always be on, but when he is, that slider is devastating. It's almost closer to Dan Haren's splitter than your average slider.
And then the 9th happened. Tie game 1-1.
Enter Brian Fuentes.
Walk. Caught stealing. Single. Single. Single. Hit by pitch. Single.
Enter Bob Geren.
And yet, we can't even really blame this on Fuentes. Why? Because it wasn't his decision to throw three days in a row. That's right—by his last pitch tonight, Brian Fuentes had thrown 50 pitches in the last three games and 69 in the last five. Why Bob Geren decided to call on a tired Fuentes in a game with literally no margin for error, I have no idea.
But the end result? We're back at .500, in a bizarre AL West where both first place and last place are one game away. I'm not sure which direction tomorrow will take us. But if Fuentes takes off his jacket again tomorrow night, I have an idea.