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Just What The Doctor Ordered

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You almost have to feel for a team like the Royals when a losing streak gets this long. The key word being "almost," because teams in pennant races, on 4-game losing streaks, simply cannot afford to feel empathy or show mercy. Now the A's have to hope the Angels (currently tied 3-3 in the 9th) lose so the A's can improve their position relative to someone; Wild Card chasers NYY, Cleveland, and Minnesota all kept up the heat with wins of their own.

One note to take away from this game: The "Moneyball" offense may have its limitations, but its stark contrast was on display tonight courtesy of a team that has--not entirely coincidentally--now lost 19 in a row. Donnie Murphy and Chip Ambres, most notably: young players batting with their team down 4-0, trying to help snap a seemingly endless run of futility, seen hacking away at 2-0 pitches against pitchers struggling with their command. The last one I noted was Jay Witasick's first hitter, meaning that Witasick had not yet proven he could throw a strike. When you see that, you re-appreciate the A's approach, first-pitch strikes taken down the middle and all. The A's middle relief was not brilliant tonight, and Rich Harden needed 27 pitches to get through the first inning. How different the game might have gone if the Royals had gotten Harden out after 5.