Back in the "good old days," like 2002, or a week ago tonight (when the A's last won a baseball game), it was the A's who did to the opposition what was done to them tonight. Blanton pitched pretty well, but it was the Rangers who ran the pitch count up, and got into the bullpen after 5 innings. It was Koronka who threw enough strikes to get 7 innings out of 100 pitches, and it was the A's who issued eight walks.
What it boiled down to is that Chad Gaudin and Ron Flores ("Senator, you're no Justin Duchscherer!") proved that it is one thing to dominate the bottom of the order and another to try to deal with Michael Young, Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock. Gaudin showed why he had a 0.37 ERA in AAA, as the bottom of the order hitters couldn't touch him--literally. But the A's bullpen, in its current state, against the heart of the Rangers order? Just no match, unfortunately. Which puts the onus on the lineup to score more than three runs to win right now, and when you're going bad, you score seven on the night you give up eight, and you score three on the night when you give up five.
Congratulations to Chad Gaudin and Ron Flores, by the way. They may have given up the all-important runs, but until they showed up, four consecutive relievers--Karsay, Calero, Street, and Kiesler--had given up homeruns (generally before the PA announcer could even finish introducing them into the game).
Just five more games in May, and three of them are against perhaps the only team actually on par with our current pitching options: Kansas City. We may yet survive May. Maybe.