Remember when the A's were winning the game at one point? That was fun.
I feel like I've said several times in recaps already, but it was a night of frustration for the A's. The A's left 12 men on as team, received 9 walks on the evening, hit into 2 DPs in the 1st 2 innings, and still only managed 2 runs. Indeed, as Ken Korach remarked on the radio feed, it's like getting the leadoff guy on was the WORST thing that could happen. Finally, however, in the 7th and 8th inning, the A's came through with 2-out singles from the Killer C-squareds: Collin Cowgill and Coco Crisp. Ironically, it was Crisp, relegated to the 8th spot in the order, who came up with 2 hits and a walk today for a +.210 WPA. Boo yourself more often, alright Coco?
Jarrod Parker did his part to keep the Twins off the board, but was a little less sharp than in his previous outing. He walked 4, struck out 4, and allowed 4 hits over 6 innings and 105 pitches. Again, however, it was the bullpen that would meltdown nuclear reactor-style. Jerry Blevins and Grant Balfour did their jobs, but Brian Fuentes was the designated goat of the game. Fuentes made it interesting first by allowing the first two baserunners to get on. Then, however, Denard Span managed to botch a bunt and Mauer grounded into a fielders' choice to get 2 quick outs. With Willingham up, however, he did what Josh Willingham does best. He launched an "ultimate" 3-run homerun, sending the Twins faithful into a tizzy and the A's faithful questioning their choice of pasttime.I have to say, this bears a striking resemblance to last year's 10 game losing streak, not to mention the timing. Offensive frustration, decent pitching, and some supremely bad luck combined to send the A's into a season-long tailspin. While Cespedes and Manny figure to rejoin the team in Kansas City, by that time, the A's may be trying to avoid a double-digit losing streak. It's times like this that make me wonder about the psychological impact of walkoff losses, especially to a team widely considered to be the worst team in baseball. Will the A's carry this one around with them as emotional baggage, or shrug it off and play angrily?
Join baseballgirl for morning baseball tomorrow to find out. It'll be a quick turnaround, as the A's play a 10:05AM PST start. Josh Donaldson figures to get a start behind the plate, and Tyson Ross will continue on his quest to throw the ball below belt-high. Two wins in a row, maybe? We should be so lucky.