The 2005 A's are kind of in that Rosanna Rosanna Danna place where "If it's not one thing, it's another!" It's one of those years where you don't score for Haren, and then you finally score for him...and he's knocked out in the 4th inning...and you still lose. One of those years when you lose 9-7 one day and then you lose 2-1 the next day. One of those years when the Duke is "lights out" until he finally has a bad day...and it costs you a chance to win two in a row on the road...for the first time since (are you sitting down?) the A's first series of the year, in Baltimore.
I think the key moment in the game, ironically, was the moment the A's took their brief lead: Hatteberg's DP with the bases loaded and nobody out. The A's had only one inning where Smoltz was truly vulnerable and they had a chance to break it open. How many times have we able to say this: The A's were one big hit away from winning. Sometimes that hit comes in the 9th inning, as it did in Washington with Crosby's game ending grounder to SS. Sometimes it comes earlier, when you have a chance to go for the jugular. The A's let Smoltz off the hook, and today was that rare day when Duke didn't really have it. And so it goes.
Nonetheless, Chez Nico was a rocking good time. Alleninsf, andeux, batgirl, CheckswingHR, devo, gigglingone, Melody, SecretAsianMan, and zeroindulgence enjoyed (in this order) my dog Poochini, the food (Pad Thai, Panang Curry Chicken, Shredded Papaya Salad, and Sticky Rice with Mango) and each other's company. And then, as the A's were rallying in the top of the 6th inning...who showed up but some truly special guests: Blez, Mrs. Blezita, and Maya! Now let me just say, first of all, that meeting Blez is an awesome, if intimidating, experience. The man stands 8'9" tall with a bellowing voice, rippling huge muscles, and rock-hard abs you could fry an egg on (I won't go into how I know that). We tried to get autographs but couldn't get close enough to ask. So we simply basked in the glory of his aura, and in the mojo he brought the A's in the top of the 6th. Then the Braves came back with 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th so we threw the whole family out on the street. Anyway, Melody took pictures and will, hopefully, post a Chez Nico diary with visual evidence proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that we indeed had a good time "enduring" the game together.