Despite Ump's Best Efforts, A's Can't Overcome Two Key Mistakes, Fall 2-1

Pretty much this game was interesting in the top of the 3rd and in the 9th. In between a lot of people got out. Bartolo Colon lasted just 2+ innings, because after giving up a single on an 0-2 to Everth Cabrera leading off the 3rd, the portly A's starter fielded Alexi Amarista's bunt, fired it down the right-field line to put runners and 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, and promptly left the game with a strained right hamstring.

Pedro Figueroa took over and did a terrific job, limiting the damage to one run and completing 3 shutout innings to keep the game 1-0 through 5 innings. Jim Miller kept it 1-0 through 7 innings, Jerry Blevins kept it 1-0 through 8 innings, and then Ryan Cook came on with a runner at 3B and one out in the 9th. Cook struck out Cameron Maybin looking, but before striking out Todd Hundley he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the all-important second run to score.

A poorly fielded bunt and a wild pitch: Two mistakes, two runs.

Meanwhile, the A's were baffled all day by lefty Clayton Richard, who blanked the A's for 7.2 IP before turning it over to Huston Street. With one out in the 9th he walked Brandon Moss, then induced pinch-hitter Seth Smith to bounce into what should have been a game-ending 4-6-3 DP. Smith was called safe at 1B on the relay, though replays confirmed what every naked eye but Mike Muchlinsky's saw -- that Smith was out by a 1/2 step and it wasn't even close.

Then Cliff Pennington walked to put runners at 1B and 2B, bringing up Coco Crisp to represent the winning run. On his Chia Pet day. Too perfect. He did single in the A's only run, sending Pennignton to 3B with the potential tying run.

With the tying run at 3B and the winning run at 1B, it was up to Jemile Weeks and in that situation Weeks needs to keep his swing short and look to line the ball up the middle or the other way. Instead, Weeks took swings that were way too huge and struck out to end the game. Even given 4 outs in the 9th, the A's couldn't overcome two key mistakes and have to settle for a series win instead of a second consecutive series sweep. And I really wanted to be able to work the phrase "Street Sweeping!!!!" into the headline. Bollocks.

Programming Note: Come back at 7:00pm for a post about Grant Green, who has changed positions more often than a pros-- Well anyway, just come back at 7:00pm.

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