Other Than Pitching, Hitting, Defense, A's Play Great (Lose)

Just a wild guess here: In 40 years, the likes of Seth Smith, Cliff Pennington, Brian Fuentes, Eric Sogard, and Kurt Suzuki will not be lining up to shake the eager and awed hands of a new generation of Oakland A's.

You know that leaping catch against the wall Joe Rudi made that is shown again and again on reminiscing replays? Yeah, Josh Reddick didn't do that tonight. He did, however, leap over a catchable drive in a key 8th inning misplay that cost 2 runs, which then turned into 3 when Fuentes uncorked a wild pitch moments later. And so it goes with this rendition of your Oakland A's.

You want a positive? It's more of a non-negative: Brandon McCarthy, clearly pitching without his signature command, walked 3 and scattered 10 hits in 7 innings yet gutted his way through with just 2 runs scoring. Pedro Figueroa also made his major league debut and tossed a scoreless 9th: groundout, walk, 3-6-3 DP.

Early on, the A's hit in bad luck, right down to Eric Sogard's 2nd inning laser beam aimed right at SS Jason Donald with runners at 1B and 3B and only one out. But after the first couple innings, Oakland settled into more of a "routine outs" groove that was less "Sal Bando and Gene Tenace" and more "Keith Drumright and Ricky Peters". The A's lone run came in the 6th when Pennington led off with a double and came around by tagging up on two fly balls, the second one a sacrifice fly by Yoenis Cespedes.

But mostly, tonight's game was characterized by poor defensive efforts -- Weeks taking a Shelley Duncan one hopper behind 2B, with an easy play to 1B, and flipping a throw to Pennington who was neither on the bag nor ahead of the runner, Jonny Gomes taking a circus route and then appearing to trip over an elephant as the ball clanked off his glove, Cespedes racing back for a line drive before realizing it was actually hit in front of him, and Reddick's game-changing misplay in RF.

All in all, not the greatest way to celebrate the first of 3 consecutive World Championship teams or to woo back a solid crowd of 25,000+. Tyson Ross can't even get the A's back to .500 tomorrow; all he can do is try to avoid a series sweep.

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