It’s really hard to see a positive side to games like these sometimes.
Like, I pride myself on being an optimist. I was on #teambarton before it was cool, and after it stopped being cool again. I stuck with Dan Straily and Jarrod Parker through their awful stretches last year. I just knew that Chris Young was a genius pick-up, and he would lead us to a world championship. But after games like this? We’re 10-5, we have one of the best records in the MLB, our rotation is incredible, our offense is really good, and we just won 2 of 3.
But god, don’t you just get the feeling that we suck now?
I’m spoiled, I know. But we blew a 3 run lead, lost in 12 innings, and the entire offense (Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, and Alberto Callaspo excluded) just looked exhausted. After the Angels started to come back in the 7th inning, they played with more energy and conviction than us.
The Angels played with more energy and conviction than us. What the hell? Do you know how much that hurts to type?
This game was essentially two halves. The first half was a pattern we’ve already gotten used to: excellent starting pitching and some timely extra base hits leave us with a lead. Brandon Moss hit a big home run. Callaspo continues to hit like a madman. Lowrie hit doubles. That’s how we’ve won around eight of our ten games so far. It’s a good pattern. It’s something I’d like to enjoy more in the future.
But then the bottom fell out.
The second half was a horror movie in slow motion. The shutdown pen came in and did the opposite of shutdown. Open up. Every inning seemed to include an infuriating defensive miscue, followed by a borderline miraculous play to save us from giving up a billion runs. Every time you think the A's are going to tack on some runs, nope, groundouts. Groundouts groundouts groundouts groundouts groundouts groundouts groundouts groundouts.
One of the Angels relief pitchers only needed 6 pitches to finish an inning, because groundouts.
The fact that we were still leading in the ninth inning was ridiculous, but I was perfectly fine with ridiculous. But Gregerson looked tired, and Mike Trout is good, and he yet again scored a run basically only using his legs.
Dumb Mike Trout. Being good and stuff.
In the extra innings, the horror movie continued. The A’s left several thousand men on base, because groundouts. The Angels left several thousand more men on base, because the baseball gods are cruel and want us to suffer. By the end of the game, it was almost a relief that Iannetta hit the homer. I just wanted it to end.
Good news: the A’s are a very good team. Possibly the best in the American League. We’ve had some RISP problems, but that will come and go unless you have the Cardinals black magic. The bullpen: still very good. The offense: still very good. The rotation: still borderline elite. This is our first loss that wasn’t a result of Felix Hernandez or Jim Johnson.
But I’m going to go ahead and sulk for a while because I’m sleep deprived and sad.
I hate Mike Trout. And groundouts.