The past finally caught up to the A's today. Among the warnings you'll find in the "nico comments" archives are:
- "If the A's offense, as currently constructed, stands around in DP situations, the A's will not score the key runs needed to win games." The A's failure to score that 3rd run in the 4th inning (Hatteberg's all-too-predictable DP) is what ultimately prevented Macha from be able to go into "close out mode" (Duke and Street) after Kennedy's six strong innings. That run, the one that never scored, haunted the A's for six innings.
- "One of these days, the A's are going to need Yabu to come up big in a crucial situation, and they need to give him enough work to be sharp when they need him that one time." The A's refusal to keep roster players 22-25 sharp was a disaster waiting to happen.
Personally, I don't know why Duke, having faced all of 7 hitters, wasn't allowed to continue in what might have been the best outing of his career. Or why Street wasn't the choice to pitch the 10th or to come in to face Renteria. Because once it became a battle of the bullpens, the A's were going to have the edge. This was the right time to invest what you could, the right time to roll the dice by extending your best pitchers for everything they had. It was not the time to see if Juan Cruz was worthy of pitching in a major league pennant race. But now you know.
Props to Scutaro for two awesome exhibitions of daring and aggressive baserunning. He almost stole the game for a team that doesn't steal.