Talk about frustrating. Apparently, this game was a hot potato. No one wanted it.
Opportunities came and went, but the A's gave it away.
Here are my thoughts:
- The A's will take five innings pitched and two runs surrendered by Blanton every time. With Saarloos in the rotation, Blanton effectively becomes the number five starter.
- This is a perfect illustration of what Billy Beane had in mind when he went about rebuilding the team. He built it from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Eight times out of 10 this year, I think the A's win games that are tied heading into the sixth inning. This was just one of those nights where the offense let the team down. The pen is going to give up a run occasionally.
- I think the heckler may have bothered Nick Swisher. Either that or the two home runs he launched in Baltimore have him thinking about pulling every pitch. Regardless, he didn't seem like his normal patient self tonight.
- The A's have effectively put the thought of the hit and run and stolen base in other team's heads. Kotsay and Kendall at the top of the order could be doing this a lot this season. Oakland has also been aggressive about taking an extra base when the opportunity presents itself.
- Eric Chavez looks very uncomfortable hitting with two strikes. He seemed to have gotten past that last season, but in this game, he looked as though he had reverted to pre-2004 form. He'd probably be the first to say that he had a few terrible at-bats tonight.