I'm not one who normally blames one player for a loss. In 99% of baseball games, there is enough blame to go around. However, I think this was the 1% where I can safely say that the A's lost this game for the sole reason that Brian Fuentes is the A's "closer", because, and I quote, "He has closer experience." You know what? &^%$ experience. That job should be Ryan Cook's. Or Brandon Moss'. Or Coco Crisp's. Just someone, anyone, who is not named Fuentes.I don't really care if they have pitching experience or not at this point. I'm pissed. I gave up almost four hours for this damn game tonight; I deserve better than Brian F'ing Fuentes as my closer. We all do.
The A's had this game in the bag. Backed by a six run second inning, where Tommy Milone flashed his mad batting skills and drove in two runs, the A's were cruising through the game; giving up random runs to the Diamondbacks here and there, but they handed the ball to Fuentes with a two-run lead. Which he promptly began to screw around with. How you can walk a player in the ninth inning to bring the tying run up to bat is beyond me, but Fuentes somehow managed to do it, and in the process, absolutely shattered a hard-fought game by the A's, and wasted two sensational defensive plays and eight runs of offense.
The A's got on the board in dramatic fashion in the second, with a single, a double, a single (by Milone!), a double, a single, a single, and a single; totaling 6 runs. They would add two more later on a Seth Smith homerun. Seth Smith would also rob the D-backs of a homerun, and Cliff Pennington tried valiantly to get Fuentes out of the ninth with an incredible diving play and hard throw, but it was all in vain, and I'm sure no one really cares now how the A's scored eight runs; all that matters is that they lost the game.
Tommy Milone didn't pitch that poorly, but it seemed that every mistake he made was hit about 400 feet. He would leave after five innings, having allowed four runs. Doolittle would give up another two. Balfour and Cook would earn holds for their innings, but again, it didn't matter once Fuentes was in the game.
The D-backs ended with 15 hits; the A's 16. The game also saw 21 strikeouts. But all anyone is going to remember is an out, a gorgeous play by Pennington, an inexplicably stupid walk, a single, and a walkoff three-run homerun that makes even the most stalwart A's fan not want to watch this team until the closer is DFA'd.
What was shaping up to be a great win, and a hard-fought game, and an excellent recap has all turned to dust. I take this as a personal insult from A's management. Brian Fuentes can't close games; are we finally done pretending?