I kept the title, because it's not Chavez' fault that this game went south in the 9th. We lost a game that all of us thought we had in the bag. Yes, they happen. Yes, they still hurt. <throws chair> I had the `Huston, again?' feeling when he came in, since he did throw a lot of pitches in the last two days, and looked less than sharp from the get-go. Hard game to lose, especially when we had just seen the team pick each other up in the 8th, and considering how awesome Haren was. But you win some, you lose some, and Huston is far more valuable to us than this game indicated.
Eric Freakin' Chavez, who many have written off over the last few years, especially during April/May, came through in every single AB today, picking up Danny Haren and Milton Bradley, and doing everything HE could to earn the win. Whether it's fatherhood agreeing with Chavvy, or the protection of The Big Hurt behind him, or just being on a team that is built to succeed, SOMETHING is going on with our franchise player. He doesn't look lost at the plate, he wants to be up there, and he is succeeding in every way possible right now.
Defense was the name of the game today, on both sides. Blalock put together a highlight reel which rivaled our perennial Gold Glove third baseman, but Chavvy countered with a very Derek Jeteresque dive (again!) onto the tarp (bad tarp!) and very nearly came away with a webgem.
Nick Swisher continues to do it all on defense. Johnson must be having a hard time watching this; on one hand, everyone wants their team to do well, but when you are mired in a pretty horrific slump, it's hard to watch your other half of a platoon doing so well. I don't think Swisher should be sitting right now. He's seeing the ball well right now, and his defense has been rock-solid.
Haren didn't only bounce back from a rough start, he DOMNIATED the Rangers' powerful lineup. He settled down and not only threw strikes, but finished hitters, something he didn't do a lot of in the third inning of his last start. According to today's broadcast, Zito was able to help Haren after his last start. Man, I'd like to know what he said. "Throw strikes?" Sorry, Zito hon, we are never worried about Haren's pitch-count.
And not to be lost in the shuffle were the incredible ABs by Melhuse as a pinch-hitter and Kotsay, both working walks to get the potential tying run as far as second base.
Bobby Crosby was on base three times today with a walk, and two singles. Still not #3 material, but a much better sign.
The A's `never say die' attitude REALLY will serve them well in the future. All you can ask is to get the tying run up in the 9th, and the A's did that and more.
Marco Scutaro is now 0 for his last few games. Look for Ellis to return Tuesday.
Huston Street, whether tired, or getting squeezed by the ump, or simply not sharp, cost us the game today. It was bound to happen sometime, and better April than September. He needs to shake it off, get some rest, and come out with the smoke during his next appearance.
The home plate umpire. Don't give the outside strike. Fine. That's your prerogative. But for the home plate umpire to call a third-strike check swing is ridiculous, and every replay clearly showed that JayPay did not swing.
But, as they say, tomorrow is another day, and in our case, an off-day. Here's to our boys getting plenty of rest before a winning series against the Tigers.