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Heartbreaker

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Your love has set my soul on fire
Burnin' outta control
You taught me the ways of desire
Now it's takin' its toll

- Pat Benatar

Texas and that home ballpark will take its toll on any team. This is your typical Arlington game. Well, not in the sense that it was 10-7 by the fifth inning, but the fact that it became a bullpen affair. Barry Zito probably lost a win he should've had his last game and now he escaped a loss he also should've been tagged with. Then again, he threw 112 pitches and only 66 of them were strikes. He got burned for roughly the same strike/ball percentage he had his last game.

The offense battled and believe it or not, there were some good signs tonight. Dan Johnson got a huge hit for the A's in a position when it appeared hope was spinning around the sink threatening to go down the drain. Granted, they did it against a pitcher who already has four blown saves, but something like that can go a long way.

The A's bullpen has been remarkable, but this Street injury really hurt tonight. It's been the second situation where it hurt (the Duke blown save being the first). Duke or Calero might've been available had Street been healthy. This is why I've repeated over and over that losing Street, Harden or Crosby for an extended period of time would doom this team in 2006. Crosby is proving me wrong so far with his pressing at-bats (three strikeouts tonight). But I think he'll eventually come around. Chavez had one of his worst nights of the season, but he can't be golden every night. I just cringe any time he has a bad night because in the past Chavez's "bad nights" could quickly spiral into oblivion. I apologize in advance if that sounds like an overreaction, but Chavy is so streaky that it's truly frightening any time he has an 0-5 night and grounds into two double plays.

I did read a few folks claiming Swisher had a bad night, but honestly I don't call two walks and a hit a bad night. I'll take that any day of the week, especially for someone who is hitting second in the lineup.

The concern now turns to Milton Bradley as he and Kotsay are basically the second tier of the A's offense (after Swisher and Chavez). Hopefully his knee injury isn't serious. It's better he sit and rest it now rather than miss a lot more time.

The A's now try to do something tomorrow morning that they haven't done for two and a half weeks. Win a series.

For that, we look back to Pat Benatar for inspiration:

We can't afford to be innocent
stand up and face the enemy.
It's a do or die situation - we will be invincible.
And with the power of conviction there is no sacrifice.
It's a do or die situation - we will be invincible.