Parker's Brilliant Start Overshadowed By Yankees' Walkoff

Well, I'm not going to lie. That was a disappointing loss, but I feel better than I did in the ninth inning. The A's simply were outmatched, outplayed, and outpitched by CC Sabathia for his eight strong innings, and they had no business even being close to staying in the game. Bonus baseball? Truly. The only reason they didn't lose in nine innings was the pitching prowess of Jarrod Parker, who matched Sabathia's eight strong innings, striking out 7 to Sabathia's 11. The only difference; Parker allowed a run; Sabathia didn't. Also to blame is Josh Reddick in the third spot, where he crushed the A's tonight; striking out four times and flying out in the biggest moment of the game; the one time the A's had the bases loaded. Basically that spot has become a black hole itself, and it cost the A's dearly tonight. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the offense was no better, but that was a glaring 0-5.

Jarrod Parker would have recorded the win against any other pitcher, and it's equally disappointing that he had to face Sabathia. But there was something about the ninth inning that conjured up the "never-say-die" A's of the summer that took me from positively depressed in the ninth to mildly crushed in the tenth. A tremendous pinch-hit homerun by Brandon Moss put the only run on the board for the A's with one out in the ninth inning; aside from the walkoff, the Yankees' only run came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

You could probably tell how the game was going to go as early as the third inning. Ichiro got the first hit for the Yankees as he hit the ball back to Parker--where it got caught under Parker's jersey. Parker couldn't fish it out, nor could he throw himself on the bag fast enough. Who does that happen to? The same team that also had a bad break as Collin Cowgill slid into first base (FOR THE LOVE; STOP DOING THAT! THE UMPIRE CAN'T SEE YOU AND THE BALL AND THEY WILL CALL YOU OUT!) safely and was called out. He would have been the A's second baserunner--Gomes walked in the first.

The Yankees put runners on first and third on singles by Swisher and Rodriguez in the fourth, and an amazing swing by Granderson on a ball he had no business touching brought the first run of the game across the plate via the sac fly. The A's only chance to score in this game--and I mean that sincerely--was the eighth inning; a Drew single, a Cowgill single and a Gomes HBP loaded the bases with two outs. I'll be brutally honest; I was pissed when Gomes was hit. Gomes with two on for the tie? Reddick with the bases loaded for the tie?I think we know what we really wanted. To his credit, this was the only at-bat in which Reddick did not strike out; he flied out, leaving three runners on base.

Parker finished the eighth inning, looking to be the hard-luck loser, but Brandon Moss extended the game, and gave the A's another chance to win. Moss simply blasted a terrible pitch from closer Soriano fifty feet back into the stands to tie the game, and take Parker off the hook. Soriano walked Norris and Drew (intentionally) after the homerun, but pinch-hitter Seth Smith couldn't replicate Moss' magic--he struck out instead. Doolittle breezed through the ninth inning, allowing only a single to A-Rod, but Melvin got a little greedy extending him to two innings, and he gave up the game-winning homerun to Russell Martin (yes, I know.) Make no mistake; games like tonight's are what we live for in September. It was a terrific, hard-fought game, and we represented very well. We just didn't win.

Not too much time to dwell on this one. The A's/Yankees hook up tomorrow at 10AM. The Orioles have already won, all we can do tonight is root for Seattle and the White Sox to take out the Rangers and Angels.

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