I think it's fair to say that tonight's game could not be mistaken for a regular season game. Exhibit A: The A's took a lead into the late innings, yet Kiko Calero, Justin Duchscherer, and Huston Street were all nowhere to be found. Exhibit B: Frank Thomas was the starting shortstop. Enough said.
However, be that as it may, tonight offered some pointed reminders of the pitfalls that can fell even the best teams on paper. (How do we know that the games aren't played on paper? If they were, tonight's game definitely would have been rained out.)
Reminder #1: Add on. A 4-run lead ain't what it used to be, even when Danny Haren looks sharp, Bonds isn't in the lineup, and the offense looks locked in at the outset. You can't stop scoring in baseball, because when you do you often look back and find you had one fewer than you needed.
Reminder #2: The A's have an excellent rotation and a deep set-up crew, but the back of the bullpen is about the same as everybody else's. Kennedy and Witasick trying to hold a lead? Good luck.
Reminder #3: If you play in the rain, someone's gonna get hurt. We held our breath, we held our breath, and we held our breath some more. And then just when we thought we were safe, Bobby Kielty was holding his hamstring after sliding safely into the warning track vaguely tracking a fly ball. Hopefully, he's ok.
Blanton, Harden, and Haren are all finishing strong. Tomorrow is the last tuneup for Esteban Loaiza, who has struggled in both appearances since rejoining the A's. He'll face Matt Cain, and hopefully he'll prove to be able.