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Schmidt Happens

I don't know, it's easy to be disappointed when the A's lose, but I'm hard pressed to find much fault in most of the people whose failures made today's loss possible. Brad Halsey gave up 2 runs in 6.1 outstanding innings, so how does one focus on the 2 runs? In the 9th, Jay Payton rips a line drive to tie it and Jason Kendall rips a line drive to wi--oops, a line drive smoked that hard gets through 90% of the time, not 100%. Play on...And Chavy's drive in the alley to the wall was the final example of an excellent clutch at-bat in a game that ultimately was just not meant to be.

In any event, while the A's will be fine after this loss, something tells me the Giants won the battle and lost the war today. Letting Jason Schmidt throw 130 pitches was just irresponsible. Felipe: there is something in between letting your once-injured ace throw too many pitches, and using 7 relievers to get 4 outs. And these are the wins that should leave Giants fans feeling lucky, not good. SF simply lived on the edge at the end, serving up line drive after line drive, and relying on too much good fortune to walk away thinking "Yup, we're good."

Harkening back to yesterday's discussion about pitching to Bonds or not pitching to Bonds, I think the answer can be found loud and clear in today's game. Bonds' HR, a solo shot, didn't really beat the A's--it didn't help, but when the dust cleared, the A's were in position to win the game 7 innings later. Calero's leadoff walk did more damage. Throw strikes, win games. And you know what? The A's are doing that pretty consistently right now. 5 out of our last 6, folks; I'm still feeling pretty good.

One final thought--not a criticism, just a question that was rolling around in my mind during Kendall's fateful 9th inning at bat. 1st and 3rd, one out, infield playing for the DP. If you start Payton, and Kendall just looks to tap a routine grounder to 2B or SS (not hard for a bat-control guy like Kendall to do), how exactly are the A's not going to win? What are the Giants going to do? (And even if Kendall swings and misses, if Matheny throws to second he has to worry that Crosby will score from 3rd, so they might not even throw through.) It's the ultimate safety squeeze. No complaints; playing it normal, Kendall really did his job and got unlucky. I'm just saying...